Sunday, October 3, 2010

The long ponder about self-publishing

Odilia Rivera Santos

Many of you don't know this, but I am stubborn -- which has its up and down side.
I have considered all the paths to publishment of my novels. After sending them to publishers, agents, etc., I begin to think of self-publishing as a more progressive or empowering option.
I guess publishing houses think of branding first. I will not write a Black Puerto Rican version of Sex and the City. I don't care about those women and the fact is that the focus of the show is just revamped 1950s ideas about getting a man.
It was a show about courtesans, except, unlike courtesans who were educated and prized for their intelligence and ability to engage in discourse on art, philosophy and literature, the women of Sex spoke about bullshit: shoes and how to behave in order to please a man. Very retro.
I did see the show for the first time on a plane headed to Spain in 2005 and realized it was just consumerist porno. I watched it as a sociologist while I folded laundry at home and needed a light distraction from the taint of housewifery.
I won't write a gang girl novel because although I saw plenty of that kind of life growing up in the Boogie Down, I was never of it just simply walking past it.

To self-publish requires me to change perspective.
I know that the urban literature genre is about writing in the dialect used and about subjects considered relevant in urban ghettos. Dante did it and it worked well for him.
Some of us who have been nurtured by our experience in the ghetto have different interests and concerns. I am an urban intellectual who reads voraciously and has no baby daddy drama.
No Tyrones in my life, so I don't need to call him to come git his shit.(Badu reference; clever, no?)

Self-publishing does give one control over creative work and considering the many times artists' work is abused, that is a good thing. I think.
Anyway, I would love to hear about others' experience in the self-publishing world.

Buy my e-book! Latinalogue, Puerto Rican Nonfiction Part I

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