Press This

A friend and I recently talked about indie authors creating small presses for their works.

The cynical side of me spoke up. Along the lines of how authors must still feel a tiny bit of shame that there isn’t a publishing house listed under their title. My friend explained the business sense behind having a press, and I get that. I’m even considering it, talking to another friend about starting a small local press.

But let me be brutally honest here. I would feel more like a ‘real’ author if I had a publisher’s name behind me. Heck, even a small press that I started would make me lose that tiny seed of shame when someone asks me, ‘who published your book?’ I could say the name of the press rather than ‘me’.

Dang that makes me mad. That tiny seed of shame. Why am I less of an author, in this day and age, because I am not under a contract, signing my life away to a big name? The truth is, I’m not less of a writer. My stories are just as valuable. Well, I may need a lot more editing than most, but that’s a previous blog post.

Now that my dander is up and I’m continuing the honesty theme, I think even using the phrase ‘I’m an indie author’ is covering up for that seed of shame. Otherwise I’d say ‘I’m self published’. Yes I know there’s a difference between self publishing and self publishing through a vanity press. Yes I know all the arguments for publishing free of an agent and big name. After all, I researched all the pros and cons before I chose which route to go. But still, there’s that ingrained sense of not being a truly published author yet.

You know what I think the problem is?

Age.

Think about it. I grew up when an author’s dream was to land an agent and get picked up by a major publishing house. All the resources for writers explained in detail how to market yourself to an agent.

These days, younger writers are growing up free from that. They are like my teenage son, who amazes me with his computer skills. Compared to me, growing up with a manual typewriter. These young people haven’t had those publishers held in front of them as the only path to being an author. Options and alternatives are more acceptable.

Guess I need to get with the times.

Think I’ll go start a small local press.

He's also skilled with engines. Not that I'm bragging.

He’s also skilled with engines. Not that I’m bragging.