To say that self-publishing has unleashed something profound around the world is an understatement. Whether it’s through the launch of ebooks and print-on-demand books or just a blogging or social media platform, digital publishing has made it possible for individuals to put their ideas in front of a broader audience. It cannot be a coincidence that the global spread of ideas and the actions of individuals such as the recent Arab Spring have taken place in a climate of mass content sharing.
To that end, one of the individuals who has probably done more towards furthering the ability of individuals to reach a larger plane with their ideas is Mark Coker, CEO and founder of Smashwords. His vision for giving authors a place from which to release their works is only six years old, but in that time his work has made hundreds of thousands of titles available for readers around the globe.
Today, Coker posted on the Smashwords blog not only his deeply held beliefs about writing and publishing, but also this document:
THE INDIE AUTHOR MANIFESTO
We indie authors believe all writers are created equal, that all writers are endowed with natural creative potential, and that writers have an unalienable right to exercise, explore, and realize their potential through the freedom of publication.
I hold these truths to be self-evident:
I am an indie author.
I have experienced the pleasure and satisfaction that comes from self-publishing.
I have a right to publish.
My creative control is important to me. I decide when, where and how my writing graduates to become a published book.
Indie does not mean “alone.” I choose my partners.
I shall not bow beholden or subservient to any publisher. In my business relationships, I seek partnership, fairness, equity and mutually aligned interests.
We indie author comprise diverse writers unified by a common purpose to advance, empower and celebrate writers everywhere.
I am a professional. I take pride in my work, and I strive to improve my craft to better serve my readers, myself, my fellow indie authors and the culture of books
My writing is valuable and important. This value and importance cannot be measured by commercial sales alone.
I celebrate the success of my fellow indie authors, for their success is mine, and mine theirs. Together we are pioneering a better future for books marked by greater quality, creativity, diversity, choice, availability, affordability and accessibility.
According to Coker, who so humbly describes self-publishing as a “global movement,” in his post said, “Critics say self publishing is causing a tsunami of drek that will destroy book culture and render the best books undiscoverable. Not true. Yes, self publishing will enable more horrible books to be published than ever before, but it will also enable more better books to be published, discoverable and enjoyable than ever before. There’s a yin and yang to this.”