Official First Day and a Rant – November 1, 2018

Well, the first day of NaNo has come, and gone.

I spent quite a bit of time in front of my trusty old MacBook today, hammering at the keys, building up my word count on my actual story.

I am kind of proud of myself to tell you the truth.

In all, I managed 3448 words today.

I have to point out, however, that I’m laid off from work for this week, so it’s not like I had an actual job to go to today. But still 

It’s a good start.

This evening, I went to a NaNo Kick Off party at the local University. Essentially, just a bunch of wanna-be authors and NaNo participants who get together to crow about past accomplishments (blah), brag about what they have planned for the coming 30 days (blah, again), and act superior to those who are just starting out in this venture with a sincere desire to improve their writing skills.

Pardon me if I seem a bit bitter, but seriously, here’s an example of what I had to deal with this evening.

I met no less than five “published” authors today, in a conference room at the University’s library.

All of them were very eager to let you know they’d been “published”, which does sound impressive, and I have to admit, at first, I was impressed, and somewhat intimidated.

Getting “published” is a longtime dream of mine. I literally dream of the possibility of walking into Chapter’s or Cole’s or Indigo Books and seeing something I’ve written prominently displayed on one of their bookshelves.

Despite everything I’ve managed to do, save having and raising two wonderful children, I think having a book on one of those shelves would be one of the most satisfying moments of my life.

So, if you tell me you’ve been “published”, I’m bound to be impressed.

What’s less impressive is finding out that every single one of the “Published” authors I met this evening, aren’t.

Or at least aren’t in the manner in which they had originally tried to convince me they were.

Self Publishing is a valid way to get your work out into the public, but it’s not really the same as being a “Published” author. Sorry if that sounds elitist, but it’s true.

Literally (ha!) anyone can self-publish a book now-a-days. You can literally (hah-Ha!) just type out the word “Blah!” fifty thousand times, save it as a .doc file, upload it to Amazon Kindle Direct, design a cover for it using their online guide, and BAM!!!, you’re (self)published.

How do I know this? Because I’ve done it.

A bit over a year ago, just for the lulz, I did just that. I took a novella that I had written, and was kind of proud of, and uploaded it to Amazon, designed a cover, and even ordered a few copies to give as gifts to those who I thought would appreciate it, and for myself to keep as a keepsake. I have a copy sitting less than four feet away from me right now.

Again, it’s not that I think self publishing your work isn’t a valid way to get your work out there, but please don’t misrepresent yourself.

Whether we want to admit it or not, everyone who writes wishes for the validation that comes from someone investing in their work.

A publisher invests in authors. Period. And they’ll only invest in you if they think your work will sell. They put out the money to make the physical copies of your work, the artwork that goes on the cover, and to promote it. They won’t do it if they don’t think there’s a good chance they’ll see a positive return on their investment.

We all want to think our works are “worth more than that”, but is that really true? Granted, there is quite a bit of crap out there, most of it in bargain bins at Walmart, that someone took a chance on and it didn’t work out, but should that really mean that self-publishing a book is equivocal to having a work published? I don’t think so.

While I respect your courage to put your work out there, whether you attempted to get it published through regular channels or not, please don’t try to mislead me.

I won’t think any less of you for admitting your work is self published. Actually, I’ll think you brave for putting it out there at all. But, if you try to lead me to believe that you’ve been “Published”, in order to impress me, then yes, I’ll think less of you when I find out the truth.

End of Rant.

Total Words Today – 3448
Novel Word Count – 3448
Beers Had Today – 5

NaNo Day 1

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