10 off-the-cuff, ranty reasons I choose to remain an independent author/artist

  1. I have an unfathomably low tolerance for bullshit.
  2. I would rather pour lukewarm coffee at the local waffle diner than compromise my artistic vision and creative freedom.
  3. I am a “control freak” and consider that a compliment.
  4. In my eyes, traditional publishing companies and their methods are on a par with newspapers, 8-track tape decks, and pterodactyls.
  5. I create for no reason other than self-expression — not as an appeal to a particular audience, not specifically for financial profit or esteem, and certainly not to benefit a greedy agency or corporation.
  6. I have what I think are viable ideas and just want them to exist and be accessible to anyone, anywhere, anytime — industry and labels be damned!
  7. I view independence not as a backup option, but as the only option.
  8. I see no place for peer review in art. The process is a joke and can’t even avoid being personal, political, and financial in ‘objective’ fields such as academics and the sciences. It is certainly no touchstone.
  9. I refuse to accept that it still takes 2 to 3 years to publish a completed book in this day and age. Come on, folks: think WWW, not SASE!
  10. I read the clichéd submissions policies of major book publishers, such as,

Corporate House Press does not accept unsolicited submissions or queries. Should we receive such materials, they will not be returned. We suggest that authors handle submissions through an established literary agent. We cannot recommend agents, but you may want to consult your local library for a directory that contains agency listings. You can also find such listings at this or that online marketplace site.

And what I really read is something like this:

We, the Randomly-Appointed Gatekeepers of Self-Expression, refuse to acknowledge your submissions, regardless of quality, unless you first complete a variety of ritualistic tasks. For instance, successful delivery of the (properly-formatted) Sacred Query Letter requires you to have survived contact with the legendary Literary Leech. In order to locate this loathsome brute, we urge you to journey to… wait for it… your local library — to be found in the vaults of your local museum. You may also attempt to seek out, via credit card payment, the heavily-guarded, oracular wisdom of an online guild of prophets who specialize in interpreting the arcane, but assuredly-legitimate, laws of ‘Getting Published’.

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