I received the following email on MYSPACE…no doubt well intentioned, but it irked me. Here it is.
"While reading your wonderful profile I could not help but notice that you have authored some books. If getting your "words" out to a larger audience is something that has some interest to you …"
I continued reading this informative missive, and then the following paragraph hit me between the eyes:
"This is a great opportunity for you as a self-published author to have your book listed and distributed along with some of the greatest books ever written!"
Since when am I self-published? Hey, I get royalty checks in the mail from more than one internationally established publishing company, get advances from publishers before I write a word (okay, not enormous advances, but advances!), and I’ve never paid for the honor of being an author.
The next paragraph reinforced my "irk factor":
"BookWise is very supportive of the self-published author, and one of the perks of being a member is the Author’s Workshop coming up for all members this Oct 18,and 19th, 2007. And the 20th the first company convention-FREE TO ALL it’s members"
Well, that pushed me over the edge. Perhaps I was channeling my nephew, Lee Goldberg, when I hastily replied:
I am NOT Self-Published, subsidy published, or any other variation on vanity publishing. I am PAID to write by real publishers — I do not pay printers to print up my books and then have the nerve to call myself a published author.
Next time you read a profile, actually READ it. In my opinion, calling yourself an author when you are self-published is like calling yourself a doctor because you purchased a stethoscope.
Okay, that may have been a bit harsh.
I heard back right away informing me that Bookwise also features real authors published by real publishers. Good for them. I wrote back and wished them the best of luck on their charity endeavors.
But why do people assume that we all self-publish? When I was recently introduced somewhere, and it was mentioned that I’ve written a dozen books, the first question was "Have any of your books been published by a real publisher, or do you print them up yourself?"