I suppose it was about time we had another author self-own. It has, after all, been six years since one last annoyed me to the extent of blogging about it. She, however, was more tiresome silly bitch than grifter, unlike the current one, who is not just blowing her own trumpet but seeking to scam other wannabe authors. The Wonderful New Publishing House For Proper Literary Romance (that all you existing romance/erotica readers and indeed writers are too thick to appreciate) is a vanity publisher.
It’s true that most authors need either a day job or a side hustle – something I often say to customers when I’m out and about at the various fetish fairs is that I wasn’t going to make a living just selling my own stuff, so I started selling other people’s books, too. But being a bookseller isn’t scamming hopefuls out of huge sums of money. Vanity publishers should have been seen off by the growth in self-publishing some years ago, but they have a nasty tendency to proliferate, even now.
More than one aspiring romance writer has come unstuck by dissing the large, lively, articulate and knowledgeable romance community. Insisting that your work is better than everyone else’s when you clearly haven’t read any of it is likely to make you look foolish (when I was a slushpile reader, I found boastful covering letters an infallible indicator of a shitty, cliched and unpublishable submission). But another thing that makes this a truly epic author self-own is the ghastliness of her website. Dated, clunky design, typos all over the shop and *of course* a little note to the effect that any author ‘fortunate’ enough to be offered a deal will find themselves paying their own editing, cover design and printing costs – which makes you wonder why on earth anyone would choose this ‘bookhouse’ over straightforward self-publishing.
It’s fine to write what you want, and understandable to feel sulky and resentful if the world is not in a hurry to recognise your specialness. But self-aggrandizing whinyarsery backed up by bugger all is never going to do you any good.