I Don’t Want To Be A (Self-Publishing) Hero

The Internet is probably not the best place for a journey of self-discovery, but it can happen from time to time. Today on my lunch break I was amusing myself by Googling “self publishing” to see what came up. One of the results was a Huffington post article entitled The Heroes of Self Publishing which listed some of the self-publishers through history who managed to find success — not just Amanda Hocking, but other notables like Thomas Paine, Benjamin Franklin, and Beatrix Potter.

All in all it wasn’t a very rewarding article. There were two modern success stories, but most of these people published at a time where it was considered perfectly acceptable to do it yourself — a time when individuals could engage in art and self-promote and be considered respectable, instead of enthusastic wannabes who couldn’t pass the vetting process.1

As I thought about that, I remembered an article I wrote when Help Desk turned Fifteen, where I listed five goals for the future. The fifth goal is worth noting here:

Show them. Show them all.

“Show them, show them all” is actually a goal I’ve had rather persistently through my entire adult life (and a fairly significant portion of my childhood as well. I’m pretty sure my parents will back me up on that.) And it suddenly occurred to me that I don’t want to be a self-publishing hero.

I don’t. Not even a little bit.

Heroes don’t want to show them, to show them all. Villains do.

I want to be a self-publishing villain. Not just a common villain, but a super-villain.

Suddenly it all makes sense… and someday, the world will tremble at my feet.


  1. Which isn’t what I think of myself, but if you’ll peruse some of the forums on where buyers complain about self-pubbed authors you’ll find it’s a pretty common view.

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