Note: This is meant to be gentle fun-poking. For the love of all that's holy, don't take it too seriously. I mean, I know all y'all reading this are smart people, but I also knew that nobody would read a book about Greek gods coming back to power and write a negative review because it's not a Christian book.
So, I've glanced over at the blog of my friend way over there at terribleminds, Chuck Wendig, fairly often. I like his writing and his humor. I don't always agree with him, but I don't always disagree with him, either, which places him well above most political commentators on my list.
So today, he wrote about being an "Author-Publisher."
He doesn't like the term "self-published," it turns out, because it leaves out the fact that those who self-publish are generally also authors. Then again, that's the main point--I don't know anybody who self-publishes anything written by anybody else, because then it would no longer be "self" publishing. But I admit that the term itself is absent the nod to the task of writing, which would be objectionable to me, also, if I used it by itself.
No, it's true. I never answer the question "what do you do" with "I'm a self-publisher." That just sounds dorky. "I'm an author" can sound a bit pretentious, as Wendig ably points out, but the way I generally put it is "I'm a self-published author." There--it's a nod to the fact that I write stuff, and also a nod to the fact that I then go through the work of publishing it all by myself, all while avoiding sounding all pretentious and crap.
Isn't that cool?
He also makes a point about his fondness for hyphens, which is an addiction I can no longer support. See, I've freelanced. When you freelance you're working at the whim of those with the checkbooks who may or may not know the correct rules for hyphens, semi-colons, and other moderately complex crap like that, and since hyphens are way over-used, they're generally looked down upon for that very reason. It was thus that I started using fewer hyphens, and with the diminished frequency of use I've found I enjoy not using them as much.
It's kinda like when I stopped using tobacco and realized I could taste other things again. Cool!
But Wendig is right to point out that we who do the work to make our writings available to the public all by ourselves deserve credit without the stigma of all of the "see, all I have to do is push this button here to get my quasi-readable crap to appear on Amazon" self-published authors. Fact is, though, that's more than publishing.
Publishing is what you do when you press that button there to get your writing, readable or not, to appear on Amazon. That's the simple part. We're also distributors, advertisers, graphic artists, office trash removers, and all sorts of other stuff as needed.
Thus, I would like to propose a more complex term to fit the greater complexity of the job. I am still--yes, still!--an authorpreneur, mind you, but only those who've looked at how difficult it is to be an entrepreneur of any sort realize what that term implies. To get that complexity across in the most straightforward manner possible, I am now....
Stephen H. King, TOSK, Ph.D. and Publauthographadisher