by Shelt Garner
I totally validate anyone who wants to self-publish their novel. If you abide strictly by the cold, hard metrics of the real world, self-publishing definitely makes a lot of sense. You have to be wilfully delusional to believe you can get traditionally published — especially if you’re an old, CIS white male like me. But, guess what — I am wilfully delusional.
What bothers me is many self-publishing advocates on Tik-Tok seem to want to go out of their way to shit on my dream of being traditionally published. They pick apart all the problems with getting traditionally published. I’ve seen everything from how statistics are against you to the fact that you can’t pick your cover being cited as reasons to go the self-publishing route.
Jesus Christ is it all very annoying. Fuck off, you assholes.
I have a huge chip on my shoulder when it comes to my writing, so huge, in fact, that I’m willing to risk everything to pursue my dream of proving a point by getting traditionally published. From the very beginning, the point of the project has been to see how far I could get into the traditional publishing process before it became absolutely clear that I was going to have to self-publish.
The reason why this is at the forefront of my mind is not just the fact that I’m gradually leaving the “wilfully delusional” stage of the march towards attempting to be traditionally published, but I am constantly bombarded with a deluge Tik-Toks by self-publishing advocates who keep going on and on about how I’m an idiot to even attempt to get traditionally published.
I know one of the reasons why I keep seeing these self-publishing advocates on Tik-Tok is there is a massive cottage industry around self-publishing and so people are trying to make some money by facilitating others following them down that path. Even though I know this, I’m still fucking aggravated by how insistent all these self-publishing advocates are that I should give up my traditional publishing dream.
A big part of the whole process of going the traditional publishing route is how difficult it is. I’m going to be forced to go outside my comfort zone the moment I finish my novel and have to convince a gatekeeper that my “baby” is good enough to actually get traditionally published. The whole thing is exciting and dangerous and risky and I often find myself feeling pretty insecure about it all — hence how much I bitch and moan about self-publishing advocates shitting on my dream.
Anyway. I’m not ruling out going the self-publishing route. That may, in fact, be what ultimately happens. But not yet. I’m prepared to endure the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in my quest to be traditionally published. It’s definitely going to be interesting to see which comes first — civil war or me seeing my novel in the hands of readers.