I was talking to a photographer last week about the use of one of her photos for the cover of one of my books. She was interested until she found out I'm self-published and only e-publish right now (no print). I haven't heard from her since. Same thing happened with a model I was talking to a while back. There was lots of interest on his part until he found out that I am self-published and currently have a small budget.
I guess these two determined I wasn't important enough to waste their time on. Or maybe they assumed that as a self-published author, I'm not good enough to be in print. They haven't even read my work, but for whatever reason made assumptions about my abilities and stopped talking to me. And they're not the only ones. There is a purveying opinion that self-published authors aren't good enough to get into print, and that only crappy writers go the route of self-publishing.
And that's not the case.
Let me point out the fallacies of this line of thinking:
1) Print publishing is going the way of the dinosaur, so anyone NOT looking at e-publishing isn't tapped in to the trends and, in my opinion, setting themselves up to fail.
2) My decision to self-publish was a conscious business decision. I could have taken my AKM novels to an e-publisher or marketed them to a big print publisher. I have been told my writing is good enough to get an agent and be in print (a published author who was my writing instructor for two years told me this), but why would I want to go that route? It would take a minimum of two years to get picked up by an agent and a publisher, and for my books to finally end up on a sales rack somewhere. And then I would be lucky to see $1 for every $10 sold. And I would have to bend to the creative whims of the publisher, thus losing creative control over my work. As a self-published author, I maintain all creative control. I determine the price point and when to put my work on sale. In two years, I can have 16 pieces published (unlike the 1 I'd have published through a print publisher). I have a more direct hand in the entire process than I would with a publisher. And the kicker? I make anywhere from $5-$8.50 for every $10 sold. It's just smarter all around for me to self-publish. And being unemployed, I don't have two years to wait for a print publisher to get off their ass and take me on. I won't put out crappy work, but I can sure put out more work self-publishing than going with a print publisher.
3) If I am good enough to be in print, a print publisher will discover me while I'm e-publishing/self-publishing. They do look for what I've seen them refer to as "cream that rises to the top." If I am cream, they will find me. If I'm not, then I'll keep doing what I'm doing, because I do it well, with or without a print publisher backing me. Many self-published authors have been discovered by print publishers and now find their books in print. One day that could be me, and where will those naysayer photographers and models be then? Eating crow, I would imagine.
What just irks me is that there is this underlying attitude that if an author self-publishes, they aren't good. They suck. They're crap. And that's just not the case. Not anymore. Once upon a time, vanity presses churned out that kind of rubbish. Oh sure, you still find poorly-written self-published works, but you also find extremely well-written self-published works. There are self-published diamonds just waiting for a Big Six print publisher to discover them.
To automatically assume that everyone who self-publishes sucks is short-sighted and ignorant. For me, it was a calculated and conscious business decision. Anyone who wants to assume the worst about me and my talents will get left behind. Because I'll make it with or without them.