Posted on 07/11/2015 at 12:00 AM by Jeffrey Bruner

There was a thread on a website the other day about how a mainstream media outlet went out of its way to make clear that a book was self-published.

"Do you think they meant that in a derogatory way?" they debated.

I can answer that: Yes.

Or if you want a longer answer: H*** yes.

I spent twenty-five years working in the media, so I can speak to the mindset of reporters. It breaks down by age group for the reporter.

Over forty: They're old enough to remember the piles of cheaply produced, rarely edited paperbacks that came from people who paid a vanity press to take their floppy disk and output it onto paper. A few were good but most were terrible and barely readable.

And unless these reporters have been paying attention to book publishing over the past ten years, they aren't aware that an entire freelance army has emerged that can make any novel look and read just as well as anything published by the New York City giants.

Under forty: Journalists are an insecure bunch and it's only gotten worse during the past decade of never-ending layoffs, furloughs, and wage freezes.

A good number of them are convinced they have The Great American Novel in their head, which they will write just as soon as they finish a sixty-hour work week, analyze their web metrics, engage people on social media, and complete the list of house chores.

If they can make themselves feel better by knocking someone else down a peg, they're going to do it because it's cheaper than buying another bottle of wine.

You know what? Forget 'em. Or as the philosopher Taylor Swift once said: Haters gonna hate. Shake it off.

Don't let others define you. Define yourself. If you invest time in your research and craft and find talented people to edit and design your book, no one will know how your book was published  ... or for that matter, care.

For another example, check out What Beyonce has to do with ebooks.

Comments
<p>Interestingly, I went into the most prestigious bookshop Heffers/Blackwells (Cambridge &amp; Oxford) in the UK to order a book a colleague had self published. The manager I spoke to holds those to take the self publishing step in high esteem and asked me for recommendations for more self published authors I knew. Certainly there may be some poor material out there written by naive authors - but there&#39;s some bloody good writing out there too. The world is changing in so many ways it&#39;s hard for us to keep abreast of all that&#39;s going on. Don&#39;t blame people for not keeping up with everything - we&#39;re all guilty. Publishing is something most people don&#39;t attend to anyway. If you go to my reviews on Goodreads - I&#39;ve posted only those that I feel are worth 4 or 5 stars. In fact just go to Goodreads. The reviewers are ordinary people, like us, who tell it how it is.</p>
Gary Bonn | 05/24/2018 at 02:32 AM
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