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I was pleasantly surprised by the content of Anne R. Allen’s post, “3 Questions to Ask Before You Jump on the Indie Publishing Bandwagon.” For one thing, with a title like that and the use of the word “bandwagon,” I really thought this was going to be another post from someone who’s just trying to dismiss self-publishing as an all-around bad idea.

It’s really not, though — she’s not trying to dissuade anyone, she’s just presenting literally that: three questions to ask first.

The main kind of preparedness she’s talking about is something I don’t see a lot of people mentioning: emotional preparedness. Namely, are you sure you’re ready to deal with snarky comments and bad reviews?

“There are some unspoken benefits to the old query-fail-query-fail-submission-fail-editorial meeting-fail, fail, fail system. It not only gives us numerous readers to help hone that book to perfection—it also teaches us to deal with rejection, failure and bad reviews.

If you choose to self-publish because you can’t handle the rejection of the query process, you’re setting yourself up for worse pain later on. If those form rejections in your email sting, think of how you’ll feel when very personal rejection is broadcast all over the blogosphere.

So there’s a lesson here: don’t publish until you’re psychologically prepared to take the heat. Always keep in mind this is a business, and business can be nasty.”

Emphasis above is mine, not hers. That was the sentence that leaped out at me — it’s an excellent point, and very well put.

Me, I’ve got a pretty damn thick skin, earned in the constant flame wars of my youth. (I know the media likes to call this current generation the “Digital Natives,” but I’ve been kicking around on the Internet since 1987. This is home to me, and I’m entirely used to the way people talk to, and about, each other.)

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2 Responses to “A Veteran Of A Thousand Psychic Wars”

  1. Anne R. Allen on May 17th, 2011 12:18 pm

    Belated thanks for the shout-out. (Google alerts are sooooo slow these days.) I’m glad you got my point. Writers tend to be shy and thin skinned, and I think growing some emotional armor is as important as honing our literary skills. Thanks. Nice summary.

  2. Michael Montoure on May 24th, 2011 12:54 pm

    Oh, you’re welcome! Thanks for making such a good point, and making it so concisely.

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An unreliable narrator, MICHAEL MONTOURE ( montoure@bloodletters.com ) is an indie writer of horror and dark urban fantasy. His obsessions include hidden truths, secret dealings, and the changing and fragile nature of our own pasts. He is known as much for his spoken-word performances of his fiction at Seattle coffeehouses and conventions as for the stories themselves. Currently working as a writer and producer of the webseries Causality, he lives alone with a gray cat by the edge of Echo Lake, Washington. ( Twitter / Facebook / Google+ )
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