We independent, self-publishing, print-on-demand, wannabe famous writers want to play with the big boys but, unfortunately, we have a whole troop of monkeys on our back. If you’re just coming out with your first book there are many critical eyes focused on your work. That’s assuming anybody at all is watching. Traditional publishers, traditionally-published writers, and book retailers whose shelves are overflowing with well-known and sought after titles aren’t happy to see us. They aren’t exactly standing on the shore welcoming us any more than the Delaware Indians were throwing their arms around the hordes of strangely-outfitted people landing on their pristine beaches in the 1500’s. Most of these ill-mannered, uninvited guests to the party smelled bad after their long voyage. They acted like they owned the place, wanting the prime real estate in the book store’s windows. The sad part, the part that is most difficult for us to overcome, is some of our books actually do smell bad—our writing is often atrocious, as is our grammar, spelling and punctuation. We’re un-edited, uncouth, and often our words leave a foul taste in the reader’s mouth. Do you blame them for not wanting to share their marketplace with us?

One of my newly published writers asked me why their book wasn’t available on Ebooks.com. The truth is they don’t allow us, the self-published, to eat at their table. They only accept traditionally printed books from traditionally published authors who have washed behind their ears and their material is professionally edited.  That’s what is driving me to get us to clean-up our act, to join together and police ourselves by editing, critiquing, and polishing our words so that our books by any other name would smell as sweet and read as well. Now, I’m not selling editorial services. I’m just sayin’…

Won’t you join with me in becoming the grassroots beginning of an Alliance of Independent Writers? I have no playbook, no manual on creating an association, and I’m not looking for donations or dues. Are you interested in helping the self-published author get a seat at the table?