On Doing Everything Wrong

More self-publishing notes, brought on by this blog posting here about The Five Mistakes Killing Self-Published Authors. Consider me killed.

I’ll have to go (almost) backwards through the Mistakes to explain my demise. It’s Number Four that did me in – Free! According to this mistake, “We shouldn’t be giving away our work unless it serves some kind of a strategic advantage.”

Oh no, I forgot to have a strategic advantage!

For me, self-publishing is not a business. I’m not in it for money. In fact, to me, the whole point of self-publishing is that I can finally publish for not-money. Let someone else worry about how much it costs them to distribute my books. They can be in it for the money. That’s none of my concern. As long as they are allowing me to get free distribution, to give away my books, that is my one and only “strategic” concern.

After that, the other mistakes mean nothing at all to me.

For example, number one, publishing before I’m ready. Hell, I do that every time. Does it matter? No. I get slammed for typos and grammer no matter what, partly because a lot of readers can’t spell and don’t know shit about proper English. So there. Oh yeah and I make mistakes too. With self-publishing, I can always go back and revise and re-publish. Does it matter? No. My books are not Rosetta Stones.

Number One also plays the old saw about ‘appropriate arcs’ and structure. Check this out: “Three-act structure has been around since Aristotle, and there is a lot of evidence in neuroscience that suggests that three-act structure is actually hard-wired into the human brain.  Thus, when we deviate too far from three-act structure, it confuses and frustrates readers.” – to which I can only say, GOOD! Confuse those suckers. Frustrate ’em too. Why not? How are they ever going to grow or learn if you keep stuffing pleasant candy down their throats? Nobody ever broke any new ground by not breaking new ground. Go for it, peeps, whether you’re any good at it or not. Of course, if you’re just out to sell candy then by God give them what they want, for sure. Just don’t talk to me about “art” in the same sentence. Somebody’s got to have standards!

Number Two – not understanding the business side. I don’t care about the business side. Next?

Number Three – all about promotion. Here’s my advice. Listen to everybody. Listen to nobody

Number Four – why buy a cow when you can get it under the fence for free? In other words, don’t put out. Don’t be easy. Don’t have “peanut butter legs”.  Or, free ebooks are for sluts.

Number Five – don’t shop your one book to death. Oh hell, I say go right ahead and shop that bitch all you want. Why not? The world is going to get sick and tired of your sorry ass sooner or later. Might as well get it over with.

8 thoughts on “On Doing Everything Wrong

  1. Funny…the comment above. I read over that article and see that she’s coming from a promotional/sales background. I think that’s part of the problem. I kind of prefer your whole attitude about it, because it seems to me if it gets too formulaic, it’s really not art. I mean aren’t we supposed to use inspiration? And where’s the creativity aspect there? Honestly, it would be nice to make a living writing, but I know as a writer the chances of that happening are pretty small, but gosh darn it, doesn’t mean I can’t hope and it doesn’t mean I’m going to sell my soul, creativity and inspiration to make it happen.


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