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Don’t Bring Me Down

The news is depressing. There’s no doubt of that. Many of us have just stopped watching. Or at least limit how much news we digest.

It isn’t a surprise. Nobody tunes into the news for the positive stories, despite what we say. Sure, a rare “Dog found” story makes the headlines, but only because the negative happened first: he was lost. We tuned in for a positive outcome of a previously negative situation. We would never tune in to “Dog behaves and stays home for 10 years without running away.” Why? Because normal is not news.

But when it comes to self-publishing, we tune into only one kind of story: the Sensational Success. Why don’t we hear about the mid-lister or the miserable failure? Because these are both considered the norm. To me, the fact that there are hundreds, even thousands of successful mid-listers who are making a living as writers seems like news to me.

It wasn’t always this way. With the big five in control, there were really only two stories: those who sold some books, but not enough to really ‘make it’, and kept working their day jobs, head hung low, keeping the dirty secret that they were authors, and hoped someday to make it. There they remained, until they gave up, or actually broke out, and the aforementioned Sensational Success.

But with the advent of self-pub, the very definition of author success has been reset, yet largely ignored by the mainstream media. The fact is this: more authors are making money self-publishing or publishing with small presses than traditionally published authors. Just as when the same trend broke the old model of the music industry, the news made its way quietly through the industry, but seldom popped up in the mainstream, except for the rare Sensational Success.

So don’t try to bring me down with the drivel stating people aren’t reading any more, the physical book is dead, and authorship is still a go nowhere career. It just isn’t true. I simply don’t believe it.

Published inAdvice for AuthorsOpinion