Edumacation Makes You Smrt
WARNING: I’m tired and grumpy and yes, this post contains profanity. If that sort of thing offends you, you can suck it.
Every so often I emerge from my self-imposed seclusion and attend local author festivals. The entire day, I plaster a fake smile on and pretend that I love talking to random strangers. For a wannabe hermit like me, it’s exhausting. No offense meant to anybody who comes to ask me about my books, of course, it’s just that being social takes a lot out of me.
The last event I attended did not have this usual effect on me, however. I was too busy being astonished to be anxious. Why?
The first person who approached my table was a young woman, probably early to mid-twenties. She grunted in response to my hello, picked up my book, and immediately turned to the publishing information.
“You’re published?” she asked, faint surprise in her voice.
“Yes. With Mundania Press,” I answered.
“It says they’re in Cincinnati. You’re from Cincinnati?”
I quirked my head to the side. Did she misunderstand the whole local part of the local author festival? After I told her that I do indeed live here, she then proceeded to ask me how I got published, and once I went through the whole submission process, I asked if she was a writer. She grunted yes and walked away to sit down at a table across the room from me. Yes, she was a writer, and more than that, she was peddling a self-published book.
For the rest of the day, I spent more time talking to the other authors there than I did to the public who were potential buyers. As far as I could tell, the majority were self-published. I think I was among 2 or 3 authors who actually had a publisher.
Now this post is not a self publishing versus traditional publishing post. There are enough of those all over the internet, and frankly, I find them repetitive and pointless. This post is to say, in the nicest way possible, FUCKING EDUCATE YOURSELF!!
Do you know how many of those self-published authors asked me about the submission process? The editing process? Do you know how many didn’t know what slush was? All of them.
What does this tell me? That not one of them tried submitting their books to publishers, for one thing. For another, that none of them, on completing their beloved books, bothered to research how to get published. They didn’t bother to learn about marketing plans, or about developing a web presence, or creating a brand. I sat through one lecture that a local author provided on how to get more exposure, and his advice could be summed up as “Make bookmarks.” I got a cramp in my jaw because of how wide my mouth hung open in disbelief.
Listen up. You want to make something of yourself, no matter what field you are going into, you need education. Let me repeat that. YOU NEED EDUCATION. It doesn’t have to be expensive. The internet has tons of free sources that explain each and every step to aspiring authors. There is no excuse for ignorance. Writers should, theoretically, be able to read.
You know what it tells me when I am confronted with so-called writers who don’t know the first thing about the industry? It tells me that they are going to get taken advantage of by some less than reputable vanity presses out there. And it also tells me that their book fucking sucks. You heard me. Fucking sucky writers write fucking sucky books.
Yeah, all right. You can take this entire post as a dig against self published authors. Before the arguments commence, let me just say this. I don’t care if there are some decent self published books out there. I don’t care if there are literary masterpieces. I’m not wading through a shitty haystack to find a needle. When I spend my hard earned money on something to read, I want it to go to someone who gave enough of a damn about their work to learn about their industry.
The more you know, the more you grow, bitches.