When people ask me what I think of this 'worrisome' trend to self-published authors, I tell 'em - politely - that they are full of shite.
I tell them that I, by contrast, welcome the trend to self-published music records, song titles, magazines and pamphlets and only wonder why it took so long.
I have been self publishing in these areas since the early 1970s and I haven't got cancer yet.
Look, I have nothing against writers who are employees (say of newspapers and magazines) and 'fess up to that fact - I am an employee myself, in a hotel.
As an employee, I don't diss my boss or the owner, at least in public, and I do what I am told - whether I like it or not.
If I can't handle that fact any longer, I'd quit - or even tell the authorities, if my disagreement was of that nature.
But when I write my blog SVE, I want you to know that I am a self-employed, fully independent, author - I fund the blog and I take no ads.
I have no manager or agent or editor or publisher or publisher's lawyer and marketing executive guiding my pen - for better or worse - I am the final word on what I decide to write about and how I choose to express myself.
By contrast, Noam Chomsky, nobody's shrinking violet, is an employee-writer every time he decides not to self publish himself --- his words are not, in fact, entirely his own.
I would prefer that Chomsky owned up to that fact, admit that every book published by someone else other than the author has invisible ghostwriters attached - sometimes dozens of them.
I realize it is more complicated than the way I present it in this brief post.
Things like kill fees if a freelancer and editor can't agree. But I argue the killed article usually will be the very last thing that the freelancer is ever asked to write for that editor or publisher, so I feel the essence of my argument is still not open to serious challenge.
My alternative ?
I would prefer that Noam Chomsky wrote out what he had to say as he wanted to say it and self-publishes it on his own website in the style he prefers.
Then he goes to his publisher and have them publish it in whatever manner they saw fit.
We do this all the time in the music biz - the songwriter does their best shot in a demo and we then hear the song in dozens of different forms - as singers and their producers and record company presidents see fit.
We see the songwriter's original vision and then we see how the world of commercial publishing altered it - sometimes much for the better, even in the songwriter's own opinion.
I don't truly respect any author or activist, no matter how ennobling their work is, unless they first self-published independently and only later let a major 'pick up national distribution', as we say in the music biz....