I have nothing against self-published people. I have nothing against “for the love” markets. However, I won’t be joining your ranks any time soon. For everyone that self-publishes in the right way (including getting their work actually edited) and for the right reasons (for example, to fill what they know to be a niche market), there are hundreds with too much time and money on their hands, churning out poorly edited (if edited at all) dreck tarnishing all self-publishing writers.

If writing was easy, everyone would do it. Uh oh. That may be the problem. The Internet and technology have given rise to a whole new class of “for the love” markets and self- (or vanity) published writers. Yes, there is a stigma attached to being published through PublishAmerica and the like. Live and learn.

There is quite the discussion going on over at Shocklines and another over on the Red Light District (and I will take this moment to once again declare my love for Tom Piccirilli). Relax, O sensitive, self-published writers and insecure, “for the love” market writers. We aren’t being condescending, we aren’t saying that you aren’t a real writer, we’re trying to pass on lessons we have learned. You claim to want to hear from pros who have “been there and done that” and possibly learn from their mistakes. Sometimes you are not going to like what they have to say (if their comments strike too close to home for mistakes you are making and currently justifying).

I’ve been blessed to have pros mentor me. I’ve also been smart enough to seek them out and (more importantly) listen to them. If there’s one thing being a member of HWA has done is drummed into my head three things:

-writers deserve to be paid
-money flows to the writer
-rarely is exposure instead of money a good idea

It took me a little over a year to get my first sale
. It was another four before I had sales two through five (part of that, however, points to my lack of dedication to my writing career). After that, I started getting regularly published (and much more disciplined about writing). So I understand the desire to see your name in print or where have you. We pour our hearts and soul onto the page and we want some form of validation.

Those of you who want to work on your craft in the small/“for the love” presses, I commend you for wanting to hone your work. You can still do so by submitting your stories to the largest/best markets first.` Working out your craft in exposure only markets usually means you are exposing your crap which wasn’t ready to be published. It will only become your “porn past” that you won’t want to talk about when you start getting regularly published.

This only applies if you’re serious about being a writer. If you just want to see your name in print or simply be a self-published martyr, carry on. Nothing to see here.

I don’t have time to always check the comments all the places where this rant is posted. If you want to make sure that I see it or just want to stop by and say hi, do so on my message board. I apologize in advance for some of my regulars.