on self-publication and the tribe of evil gatekeepers

I know several authors who have chosen to self-publish. They do not give "evil gatekeeper" rants; they treat all authors, self-published and traditionally published authors, with respect; their blogs are dedicated to publication and marketing or to their respective genres. In short, they're professional.

I have nothing but respect for these individuals. They see us all as being in the same entertainment field, and though there is competition for readers, we tackle it with good humor and seek to help one another. I'm happy to be a part of a supportive community like this.

Then there are the self-published writers who are unprofessional and frankly, some are becoming more offensive by the day. You know them by their rants.

I went to a workshop on self-publication at a con, hoping to pick up some marketing tips or find out more about self-publishing. Instead, I was treated to a fifty minute rant on how authors like me sold out to the Evil Gatekeepers in New York. Granted, my agent is based in NYC, but for the record, I sold my literary soul to the Evil Gatekeepers in California.

At first, I just wanted to crawl under a chair, I was so humiliated and mortified, but as the rant went on, I just got angry. I probably should have walked out, but I wanted to give the moderator a chance. I mean we all have bad days where we regress a little and say (or write) things we probably shouldn't so we can blow off some steam. Then clarity dawns on us and we redeem ourselves by saying (or writing) something we probably should.

That never happened during this particular panel.

And obviously, it still bothers me or I wouldn't be writing about it today.

I can't seem to forget about it, because on Twitter, I follow a few of those professional self-published authors. I suppose because I follow some friends who are self-published, other self-published authors seem to think I'm outside the circle of Evil Gatekeepers. I am starting to pick up more self-published authors who are not professional, and who are in a lot of ways just damned offensive.

Last night I picked up a Twitter follower with a bio that proudly proclaims that they avoid agents and established publishers. I'm not sure why, but the bio just hit me the wrong way. I think that was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I'm tired of the rhetoric. If you choose to self-publish, then do it with dignity. No one is stifling your creativity anymore. Go forth and publish with pride. I like the freedom that self-publication brings and may one day try it myself.

However, when you rant about Evil Gatekeepers, you're telling the world that you're angry, that you feel you have somehow been cheated out of something that is rightfully yours. You automatically transfer any power you might have had in your future to someone else. Worse still, whether it's true or not, it sounds like you're putting someone else down to make you feel better about yourself and your decision. When it's said or written in anger, that behavior bespeaks low self-esteem.

Stop it.

And remember ...

Don't follow or friend me, then insult me.

I am of the Evil Gatekeepers Tribe.