How I Self-Published: Part 2
Is Piracy really of relevance to Indie-Authors?
I’ll get to the process of producing your own book in the next two parts, first I want to discuss “Piracy”.
I self-published my first full length novel, “Bobby’s Boy”, on 7th April 2012, so I’m a “noob” in the world of self-publishing. I’m learning fast though. One of the first “issues” I came across while researching the processes involved with self-publishing, e-publishing, using Print-on-demand services, such as Createspace and Lulu, and promoting, was that of protecting one’s work. Apply DRM or not?
It seemed like a non-issue to me when I first started down the road of becoming a self-published author, and it still does now, one fictional novel and one non-fiction collection of short stories “Paddy’s Daddy”, later. The reason for my lack of concern over someone stealing or “Pirating” my hard work? Piracy has always existed, always should and always will.
From scrolls to wax-tablets to bound papyrus, the first codices; from modern books to audio-cassettes and Mp3s; people have transcribed, copied, photocopied, hacked and recreated their hearts away merrily throughout history. Many of us would never have had the opportunity to see, hear or read a huge variety of creative projects without the process of copying and or passing on works which moved or interested us, but that we didn’t necessarily pay for or earn the privilege to access. The internet has changed and amplified this practice forever.
Which of us (certainly over thirty) hasn’t recorded the top-forty during our formative years, cursing the DJ the whole time for talking over that favourite song? Which of us didn’t record Star Wars, or James Bond (Roger Moore of course), or The Incredible Hulk (forever DAVID Banner to my mind)? Who hasn’t shared a comic, or a video, DVD, CD or a book?
We’re all technically “Pirates”, we all do it, and will continue to do so. Is it stealing on this small scale? Absolutely not, not to my mind. Do I condone it on a mass scale, where factories churn out thousands of copies of albums, games and books, bypassing completely the hard-working (mostly) creative folks behind them? Absolutely not. But the facts are this; those who pay and wish to pay for books, or any other media, will continue to do so. Those who do not, will not. These people will find new ways to circumvent whatever security we try to lock our books with. And do you know what? Its right to do so.
People should always strive for way to stick it to the system, to gain access to the inaccessible. To those materials that those in power have decreed they cannot have for reasons of wealth, education or social status. The world of today, is one of communication and information transfer. Transfer not purchase. The music industry has had to accept that it must evolve in order to make money. Good musicians and bands realise this and are getting creative in how and what they market and promote to their fans. Ask anyone under 20 if they pay for music and they’ll look at you like you asked them if they pay to breathe. Why should they?
As truly free authors we need to shrug off the delusions of the previous regime of the publishing industry. We have it in our power to present our work the way that we want, and be rewarded for it how we choose. I don’t think that books will fall so easily to the depths of almost non-profit that music is surely headed to unless the industry catches on and changes. Books, good books, will always have a value, as will good music, the key will be in determining how we convey that value to our readers and how we define and collect our reward as authors.
When all’s said and done, I’m an Indie-Author. I write stories that I believe are good, really good. Stories that are human, and have a piece of my life in them. Stories that matter to me. Stories about people and I want people to read them. I have that luxury because I’m not owned by a Publisher. I have no delusions of grandeur or dreams of fame and fortune. I deliberately avoided the soul-destroying, shackling methods and machinery of traditional publishing, so that I could write what I want, when I want, for whom I want.
The more people who read my book, by whatever means, the better. Hey, go buy it, that’d be great, I’d be happy with that, but if the couple of bucks I’m charging is too steep, if you want to borrow it from a friend, go right ahead. If you like my book and share that you liked it by reviewing it or emailing me to tell me so, I’ll be a happy wee Indie-Author.
We’re the new Rock Stars, us Indie-Authors don’t’cha’ know? Lets not get trapped in the negative, insular world of publishing that we have such a great opportunity to free ourselves from. Get those creative minds being creative about how we define our new publishing world.
Bobby’s Boy is available on Amazon now: