One hundred golden needles

Do you see this needle?  Shiny, precious, unique and desirable.

*Tosses it into a bin filled with one million gold-plated needles and gives it a good shake*

Go find it.

No really, go find it.  It is totally worth finding.

Not interested?

Me either.  This is the basic challenge I have with self-publishing.

Do people find the golden needles, yes.  Do they also have to do so against astronomical odds?  Absolutely.

Millions of books are being published, but there are no gatekeepers to guarantee the quality.  Finding the good books is a monumental task. It has happened. If you  look at people writers like Amanda Hocking or John Scalzi there is proof the internet can create a career, but what are the odds?

John himself will tell you, you cannot have his career.  Every writer is going to make their own path to success, if they make it all. If there were a proven formula beyond, “Sit your ass down and write,” there would be some consensus on it by now.

What’s more, as the market expands and the number of aspiring self-publishers rises the odds of your being found will go down.  How we will as authors deal with this?  Perhaps it is arrogant of me to say so, but how can those of us who have the ability to produce quality products reach the market past the hundreds of thousands who do not and  are joining the gold rush to capture the fabled riches and fame of being a writer? (If only they knew the truth about the glamour)

I have no answers to these questions, but they weigh on my mind as I write.  I write for myself, much like I cook, but the consumer is the medium in which I judge my efforts. If I cannot reach that medium it takes away some of the experience for me.

How about yourselves?  What do you think?

I welcome your comments.

-Seamus

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