A Real Publisher puts you on any number of bookstore shelves once they publish you, because–since they’re apparently not doing much marketing for their authors, anymore–that is their primary power.

But getting on a shelf yourself? How can you not feel an incredible sense of accomplishment? (Is it disgusting that I took a picture of my independently released book on a bookstore shelf? Say what you will. I did it, anyway.)

That was in Nashville’s Davis-Kidd Booksellers. Since they wrote me the letter saying they wanted Homefront for their store (after I submitted it for review, that is…they made sure to read it, first, which makes their invitation that much more significant), I’d been back twice: once to look at it on the shelf, and once to do a reading.

This third visit, I just wanted Ian (my husband) to look, to see what I saw: that all of those books surrounding Homefront were distributed by major publishers, and I–sans agent (for that book), sans Real Publisher–was still able to include mine among them. (I make no comparisons here when I say I’m just a shelf away from Mark Twain! Why, it’s like walking around in his neighborhood! And, while we’re on the subject, if you’re ever in Connecticut, I highly recommend visiting the Mark Twain House.)

In March of this year, The Publetariat creator April Hamilton drew attention to a February blog post by bestselling detective/crime author J.A. Konrath, whose blog site is titled “A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing.” Hamilton points to this passage:

“Are you confident or delusional?

Chances are high the delusional people will believe they’re confident, since self-awareness is in short supply in the writing community.  Here are some questions to ask yourself.

Have you been published by an impartial third party? Confident writers eventually get traditionally published. Period.”

And to this:

“Would you rather be paid or be praised?

Confident writers know the best form of praise is a royalty check.”

Both of these assertions, as well as the following by Konrath, are worth responding to:

Confident writers work within the system, even though the system is flawed.
Delusional writers work outside of the system, even though they long to work within the system.

Let’s take them one by one, yes?

(read the rest, posted at Backword Books)

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About Kris Tsetsi

Kristen J. Tsetsi is the author of the novels "Pretty Much True..." and "The Year of Dan Palace" and the short fiction collection "20 Short Stories," all published under the name Chris Jane. Website: http://kristenjtsetsi.com

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