As I mentioned in my previous post, while I really love self-publishing, there are some negatives that anyone considering the route should be prepared for. Obviously not selling or bad reviews sting, but that's a common experience for many authors. Not having as many promotional opportunities (and some people simply refusing to read self-pub work) isn't fun either, but I'm pretty good at shrugging that off.
My most negative experience as a self-publisher was an innocuous twitter conversation.
This followed a guest post I'd contributed to the Book Smugglers' web site, where I'd listed 99 female authors. The post was a response to the usual nonsense about how women don't write SFF. Instead of producing a list of the same half dozen luminaries whose names seem to turn up on every list (perhaps contributing to the perception that there are few female SFF authors), I simply listed authors I had on my physical book shelves.
An Australian author* asked me why so few Australian authors (there were four) and I explained that most of my Australian books were in e-format, and thus not on the list. [Though a lot of Australian fantasy is big-book multi-volume epic fantasy, which isn't to my taste.]
I thought nothing of the exchange until a month or so later when I noticed the same author talking about sources of information about Australian SFF authors, and speculating that there were so few Australian authors on my list due to cultural cringe. She offered up her own list of Australian (adult SFF) authors, one she'd prepared some time before tracking Australian authors put out by mid-range and large publishers.
I suggested that the Aurealis Award nominees listed on Wikipedia would be a good source (a list I happen to be on, as a multiple finalist). I was told that she'd started with that list, and then left off the YA and the self-publishers.
She'd taken the Aurealis Award list, and removed me from it.
This was a fantastically minor conversation, with no malice whatsoever involved, but it really brought home to me that self-publishers continue to be thought about in a separate category. To not only be left off lists, but removed from them.
Sometimes it's the tiny comments, the smallest things, that are hardest to shrug off.
* Identity not important - this was an entirely innocuous exchange. Please no trawling through my twitter history playing detective.
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