There are a lot of opportunities people miss. I provided an opportunity for someone a little while ago. They missed it. Why? Two things spring to mind. Either they caved in to preconceived notions or they may have been in someone else’s pocket. Here’s what happened:
I offered a media kit to a newspaper, which shall remain nameless. The editor came to talk to me. Or rather, to give me the brush off, as it turned out. He started out friendly, even seemed to enjoy reading the back of my novel. However, he mentioned that it should be the ‘entertainment editor’ who interviewed me. He got up and promised to do the interview himself if she was busy.
After a few moments, he brought a very young lady (who looked kind of bewildered) to meet me. I doubt she was any kind of editor, partly because of the ‘dead fish’ handshake, and partly because of her lack of self-confidence. She sat down as he retreated, and began to look at my material. As she did so, she mentioned they wouldn’t be interested if my books were ‘self-published,’ (which they are.)
I thanked her for her time and began collecting my material. As I did so, she appeared even more flustered. Apparently, she was surprised I wasn’t leaving everything. When I picked up my books, she looked like she was expecting to be in trouble for having ‘lost’ them. She started apologizing, to which I responded that it was all right, and said goodbye.
While I’ve been treated well for the most part, some of the modern media effectively ‘spit on’ self-published authors. (It still stings when it does happen.) This newspaper lost its opportunity, because it wasn’t willing to see value in self-publishing. While I may not be famous yet, for all they know, my series might be the next big thing in science fiction. They might have been ‘the first,’ which is something media people love. (At the very least, they should have offered to sell me an ad!)
Here’s the ‘back pocket’ conspiracy theory. When you’re self-published, you run into this so often it’s tempting to believe there’s a reason you don’t get a chance. Personally, I don’t believe traditional publishing houses have ‘paid off’ mainstream media to neglect and ignore self-published authors. I prefer to give media the benefit of the doubt, and assume some of them are simply ignorant of the fact that self-published authors can write great books. I don’t ‘write off’ any media I haven’t personally dealt with.
Ironically, a self-published author can quickly surpass the ‘average’ author’s sales of about a hundred books, merely by talking to individuals who are genuinely interested in their topic. It’s far more personal, and less of a ‘buckshot’ approach. It’s more cost effective as well. Self-published authors look for opportunities and realize they can pop up anywhere. Even if we have to learn something new.
Thanks for reading. 🙂
Phyllis K Twombly