It’s your story, tell it how you want to

When I finish my book, I don’t plan on using a publisher. Whenever I mention this, many people ask why. Here’s the reason.

I don’t want a boss and I don’t want a master. I don’t want anyone to tell me what I can or can’t do with my story. I very much value editors, but editors only advise; publishers can demand. I will not even humor demands. In the end my success or failure will come down to me, so I will tell you the unvarnished story that I want to tell, with all the rough edges left on.

Some of you will know what inspired this post, but the specific reason isn’t important. The important thing to remember is that if you’re making any kind of art, success or failure comes down to you. Why give up control in exchange for legitimacy or commercial advantages?

This is the future, where individuals can distribute their work on their own better than ever before. Now, maintaining creative control is far more valuable than anything a publisher can give you. Don’t give it up. Otherwise someday you may find your new masters at the door, bearing “suggestions” that you don’t have the luxury of turning down.