Is Publishing Just A Scam For Power?

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It’s looking increasingly so.

There was a time back in the dark ages of the 1990s, when one couldn’t publish themselves easily, or get out there to any degree where people could see your work without a lot of incredible circumstances falling into your lap.

Those times are no longer.

You can do everything yourself. it just takes the work. I’ve been learning photoshop, illustrator, indesign, and the process of printing through different companies, so I can make this happen for myself.

But it’s getting crazy out there. Even long time establishment hailed heroes like Alan Moore are now saying everyone should just go out and self-publish.

“Publishing today is a complete mess. I know brilliant authors who can’t get their books published,” Moore says, explaining that many publishing houses are afraid of taking risks on fiction. Moore’s solution? “Publish yourself. Don’t rely upon other people.”

I too know many brilliant people who could never get published, and would never sell. One of the greatest hard sci-fi epics of the last decade was done by a guy who has a condition which medically prevents him from interacting with almost anyone, he barely got it done because it took him 10+ years to write, and no one heard of it. But at least he got it out there. At least his work is his work and it stands. I know it for what it is, if no one else does.

Alan Moore is right. Editors don’t have taste. Publishers don’t have taste. They have no idea. It’s why the comic stands are filled with crap, it’s why there’s nothing even worth picking up when you make a Barnes & Noble trip. Everything that’s worthwhile is on the new frontier of self-publishing.

It’s great. No one can water down your vision. No one can tell you what to do. It’s on you to formulate the team that works.

And of course, even in establishment writing, they’re showing that in many cases, no one even gets paid. Look at this trainwreck thread:


As I said, if you publish yourself, this can never happen to you.

Get my first self-published work, Flying Sparks #0. All proceeds go directly to me, which feeds my art so I can make more.

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4 thoughts on “Is Publishing Just A Scam For Power?

  1. Jon,

    It’s not power per se. But the ability to shape mentality and thinking via gatekeeping humiliation rituals. Keep the ordinary people entralled with bad cultural content.
    I’m glad that traditional publishing has entered its terminal phase.
    Brian’s remarrked that we’re returning to the patronage system but much more democratized that in the past.

    I’ve calculated that in 3 years I’ve sponsored over 30 books and still counting. I’m to the point I can’t crowd fund so many wonderful projects because of a lack of money.
    I’ve decided to sponsor some writers on their Patreon and I’m giving it a shot at writing my own novel. Not in English just for the challenge 🙂


  2. Pingback: Not Brand X: Dracoheim, 3d6 in Order, Fantasy Vietnam, and the Beating Heart of SF/F | Jeffro's Space Gaming Blog

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