what so gay 2

What’s So Gay About Being Self-Published?: Part One

Why is it that self-pubbed authors continually suffer at the hands of their oppressors, aka the traditional book publishing industry?  Why is it that many indies resort to trying to “blend in”, rather than asserting–and reveling in–their many rainbow-colored differences?  And finally, why is it that even though indies have more control over their work, keep a larger percentage of sales and do much of the same platform-building and marketing as trad-published authors, do they still believe that going “straight”, er, traditionally pubbed, is the “normal” and preferable thing to do?

I know, I know.  Linking indie authors and homosexuals might seem a bit like comparing apples and bananas.  After all, self-published authors are free to marry each other and adopt children in all fifty states.  And yes, indies have always been able to serve openly in the military and rarely get beat up for walking hand-in-hand with another indie down a street somewhere in the South or the Midwest.  But in many ways–which we’ll be detailing in the course of the next several weeks–self-published authors are treated with the same kind of derision and scorn that their homosexual brothers and sisters are.  And that’s just unfair, whether you’re an indie or if you’re gay.

Q. So, what’s so gay about being self-published?

A. Self-published authors and homosexuals are assumed to have characteristics that are often inaccurately attributed to them.

Gay men are effeminate and don’t like sports. Lesbians are tough and don’t wear make-up. And self-published authors are all lousy writers who couldn’t get published any other way than to pay for it themselves. Need we mention Seth Godin (Unleashing the Ideavirus), Hilary Thayer Hamann (Anthropology Of An American Girl), John Edgar Wideman (Briefs) and Henry David Thoreau (Walden), all well-respected authors who have swung both ways?

So let’s concede that there are butch lesbians and swishy gay guys and bad indie books, they certainly aren’t ALL that way.  And even if they were, what happened to the idea of judging people by who they are and what they do, rather than by what they’ve been labeled?

Next Post: Is there room in that closet?

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