Self-publishing is a jungle, a ocean of shark-infested waters to navigate, a deathtrap gauntlet to grind through… (insert your own metaphors here). No doubts about it.
The boon of it all being that anyone and everyone can do it. The bane being that anyone and everyone can… but shouldn’t necessarily. Being such a glut of offerings out there ranging from glittering gems to diamonds in the rough to unpolished turds, the challenge remains the same: how to get noticed. What follows, however, is a cautionary tale of what not to do.
The controversy swarms about a new book out called Adela Arthur and the Creator’s Clock by JudyAnn McCole. It seemed to be getting a fair amount of play and was even scheduled for some blog tours. One of two ladies whose opinions I value greatly- Steph over at Cuddlebuggery– was drawn into the author’s web by some admittedly very clever sockpuppetry. But, as is so often the case with Teh Internetz, nothings stays concealed for very long and the socks started unraveling the more they were worn.
The story goes that McCole posted a story on Wattpad that no one read, so she took it down and turned it into a fanfic for a certain world-famous property (built-in audience and all that) and it took off. So what’s a writer to do? Put that bitch up for sale! Hell, it worked for E.L. James and Cassandra Clare. And then blame everyone else when the shit hits the fan. You can read some excellent detective work breaking it all down here and here.
Now, I’m probably the only native English speaking person on the planet who still hasn’t read Harry Potter- and not planning to, either. But fo’ realz, y’all- can’t you find your own shit to write about? There’s hundreds of how-to books on plotting and creative writing, and I’m sure there’s a friendly neighborhood writing group you can join up with to help flex your creative muscles. Hell, I’ll even point you to a couple of my favorites if you want.
I’ll give McCole props for one thing- she’s a black female author who claims to have wanted to get children in our communities interested in the genre and reading more. Fair enough. But the shit she pulled was way out there. As you’ve read the lengths gone to just to get this thing noticed is… creative- including making up a blogger persona who claimed to have a sister attending the BEA. That’s deep.
Kids, don’t try this at home. And adults should fucking know better by now.