I thought I’d take a different route today, and not talk about my books (:O shocker, I know).
I figured that since I’m seventeen, and published, I’d give people an insight on publishing that they wouldn’t normally get: a teenagers view on Self-Publishing.
“You write books?” My friend asks.
“Yeah, I like to write,” I respond with a shrug.
“What’s one of them about?” They ask curiously. (I say “they” because this is pretty much how it goes all across the board.)
I try to think of a way to explain at least one of my books without coming off sounding cheesy. “Well, it’s about this…uhh…it’s kinda hard to explain. You’d just have to look them up.”
“Where can I find them at?”
Crap. The question I tried to avoid. “Well, they’re on Amazon.”
“So, they’re not in the library?” They say with a chuckle.
I shrug. “Nah, they’re just ebooks.”
Their eyes grow large. “Ebook?! What the hell’s an ebook? Is it one of those Kinky things?”
“No, it’s not kinky. It’s Kindle. You should probably learn what kinky means, by oh, say, reading a book.”
“I only read real books, not a Kinky book.”
“Kindle, Kinky, whatever. Anyways, do you have a publisher, or anything? Are you rich? Will you buy me some gum?”
The other question I didn’t want to answer. “No, I won’t buy you gum.” I hesitate before answering the next question. Will they think I’m a loser? Will they think I’m weird? Will they laugh me off as a nobody, and make me buy them gum? I suck it up. It doesn’t matter what they think. “I self-published.”
They look at me ‘like a calf at a new gate’, as my dad would say. “What’s that?”
I sigh. “It’s a way to get your books on the Kindle.”
“So, it’s an ebook, it’s not at the library, you can only read it on the Kinky. Explain to me again how you’re an author?”
“Well, for one of my series, I’ve had over a hundred thousand downloads!” I say, trying to recover some of my ego.
“Oh, really?” They look surprised. “That’s a lot, dude. How much money did you make?”
“Oh, well, it’s free.”
They bury their head in their hands. “Free? That doesn’t count.”
“Well, before the last book went free, I had over a thousand sells!”
“You made a thousand dollars?!”
I shrugged. Again. “Well, I only made around 350 dollars.”
“And you wont buy me any gum? You’re selfish.”
Now, that has been exaggerated maybe just a little, but that’s how I imagine that conversation going. For us teenagers who publish, that’s how I imagine some self-published adults reacting. A little different, of course (they probably know what a Kindle is called). I imagine a virtual pat on the back, them saying “Good job, kiddo. Come back when your at least twenty, then you can be apart of our club.”
Then, I release some of my teenage angst, and tell, “Screw you, adults!” I’m kidding, of course. But sometimes I want to.
I think it’s harder for us teens who truly try and take the whole self-publishing thing seriously. We aren’t saying ‘Ohhh! Money! We could make some money!’ I couldn’t care less about the money. The only thing I want it for is so I can pay for an editor. Why do I want to pay for an editor? Because I take this stuff seriously. Back when I released The Runners, I couldn’t afford an editor, and yeah, I thought I was going to be a sensation overnight. But I soon realized that wasn’t the case, and I decided that I was going to write just because it’s what I love doing. If I don’t make any money, then who cares? I just want people to read my book. I’ve already done more than most people my age, and I’m not stopping anytime soon.
Now, I’m gonna switch gears really quick, and talk about something that annoys me big time: people who give me special treatment, because I’m a teen.
Seriously. Shut up.
If I wanted special treatment, I would’ve put that in the blurb. I’m a kid! Please be nice!
Do I want people to be nice? Of course.
You wanna know what I want more than that? Honesty.
Didn’t like my book? Fine! Tell me what you didn’t like about it so I can improve. Recently, I got a two-star review for Runner. You know what the title was? Two-stars in sympathy of authors age, or something to that effect.
IF YOU THOUGHT MY BOOK WAS A ONE-STAR BOOK, THEN GIVE ME ONE-STAR. Don’t give me extra stars just because I’m young.
Another thing, I hate it when people say. It was okay since it was written by a teenager. If it was written by somebody older, I would’ve been harsher.
Listen. I want my books to seem like they weren’t written by a teenager. PLEASE tell my HOW it seemed like it was written by a teenager so I can FIX it! All I want to do is to improve my craft. Getting special treatment isn’t going to help me AT. ALL.
That’s pretty much all I’ve got right now. I’ll probably continue this post at a later time, but it’s kinda running long as it is, and I don’t want to bore you guys.