Tuesday, April 30, 2013

The Hucksterism of Self Publishing

You get it all the time now. The stories of someone who self published something and it became that something that made a million dollars. The stories fly at us from every corner, from every person who wants to sell us the formula to make that something to make that something make a cool million. The first twenty or so of these stories you read with interest. They are bait and switch stories. Do this and this will happen to you. We see this in mortgages and the lottery. One ticket baby and you are set. I will give you this low low low 1.5%.  Now it has happened to the new industry of instant self publishing and business is booming.

But like the low low mortgage you will never get and the lottery you will never win you are being suckered by the oldest con in the book. This is the snake oil of the literary world now. You can make a million dollars by publishing a book. All you have to do is buy my method, my database, my editing, my publishing, my site, my ad, my email blast. These all use the same come-on that is tried and true. I will be the one who beats the odds and make a million dollars too! Only you wont.

I wont bore you with stats. We have heard them before. But I will bore you with facts. Fact. You want somebody to pay you to publish your book. Why? Because they have skin in the game then. You at least have a silent partner. Fact. Even with a traditional publisher selling books is a ball busting game. You have to work and work and work and then you have to work some more. And then nothing happens. Fact. If you go the route of self publishing with nothing more than the desire to make a million dollars you will fail.

Why. Because it is not set up that way. Self publishing is for the person who has paid his or dues and now wants to bring their voice to the literary community. This is the mission. The goal of making a million dollars is commerce. Even those that comodify selling books move on because there are easier things to sell than books. Another fact. You will publish your book and no store will carry it. Another fact. It will be available on the Internet with a million other books. Fact. You will own your book and a few friends. The rest will be in your garage.

So if you are reading about the guy who turned around and published his book and made a million dollars then know the con. That guy is selling whatever he is selling and dragging a line though the water and many fish will bite. We are an instant world of gratification which makes an instant world of suckers. You want to self publish and bring your vision, your words, your reason for being to the world. Go for it. There is nothing more honorable than that.

You want to make a million bucks. Go buy a lottery ticket. At least you only get conned for a few bucks.

Rocket Man...the American Dream upside down


Books by William Hazelgrove