Never before has the individual identity been so empowered, nor has personal empowerment relied on others to this degree. Identity in the hyper-connected digital era exists in a paradox.
As we sacrifice privacy and more of our personal lives come online, the singular concept of a man or woman in control of their own manifest destiny falls.
While we share individual pieces of our lives, the image of ourselves we want people to see shifts. Our peers and family members add their own touches to the picture. Identity is no longer controlled by the individual, rather it’s painted in an impressionist or abstract fashion by their peers.
Further, identity is fractured, an overlapping jigsaw puzzle of roles. In one corner you have your work identity, in another family, and in a third, hobbies. On and on.
Brian Driggs asked me to discuss self-publishing after reading my sordid Fifth Estate story. While I don’t want to dismiss traditional publishing altogether, I can only speak for myself. I will self publish my next book.
There are several reasons, but first let’s discuss two reasons to consider traditional publishing:
If you are published by a traditional house, particularly one of the majors, there’s a prestige element. Most “published” authors, some business people, and at least outwardly almost every publisher looks down on self published authors.
As someone who attended American University and then Georgetown University, the published prestige is comparable to Ivy League snobbery. And for the record, American challenged me more intellectually than Georgetown (which is perceived as on par with some Ivy League schools).
Traditional publishers will tell you to never self publish, that you won’t ever have a chance of getting published in real life. But then you hear stories of successful self publishers who get signed, people like John Scalzi, Mark Schaefer and Amanda Hawking. Self publishing has become a minor league for traditional publishers.
Read More »Done with Traditional Publishing