Notes from An Alien

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Tag Archives: A Writer’s Bucket List

Are Self-Published Creative Writers Prostituting Themselves?


Many creative writers who pursue self-publishing, which demands a massive effort to self-promote, have what seems like a plaguing moral dilemma

Let me give you links to a few other posts here that bring up “issues” for the creative writer:

In An Attention Deficit World, What Kind of Novel Do You Write?

“Success” Is Vastly Over-Rated

Do Creative Writers Have Social “Responsibilities”?

We’re Infected by Materiality . . . < This one has other authors who’ve left some fascinating Comments :-)

So, back to the “issue” of self-published creative writers—slaving away to create literature that has lasting value—needing to communicate effectively in arenas that definitely don’t resonate to literary writing—selling themselves for well, what is the definition of prostituting?

My Oxford dictionary says: “put (oneself or one’s talents) to an unworthy or corrupt use for personal or financial gain”.

And, for those who like to ponder, it gives this etymology: “mid 16th century (as a verb): from Latin prostitut- ‘exposed publicly, offered for sale’, from the verb prostituere, from pro- ‘before’ + statuere ‘set up, place'”.

So, originally, prostituting merely meant to place oneself before; and, even in its modern sense, a writer would only be a prostitute if they were promoting for personal or financial gain in an unworthy or corrupt way

Enter Dana Sitar, freelance journalist and indie author.

You can check out her blog, DIY Writing, and her most recent book, A Writer’s Bucket List: 99 things to do for inspiration, education, and experience before your writing kicks the bucket.

I discovered her through Joel Friedlander’s blog, The Book Designer, and her guest post, Why Even a Novelist Should Know How to Write Strong Copy.

Near the beginning of her post, she says:

“Fiction authors spend a lot of time developing strong skills for creating characters, incorporating tension, drawing a reader into their world, etc. But when it comes to finding a platform and connecting with readers, that style of storytelling won’t cut it. For these, any writer will benefit from understanding the basics of writing compelling copy. Even if you don’t want to work as a shill, studying the skills can boost your overall writing and style and career.”

Then, she details a few areas where an indie author can prostitute themselves apply what’s called “Copywriting” to help them in their promotion efforts; and, she also gives a few valuable links for learning about Copywriting:

If you’re a creative writer and you are or will be considering self-publishing, do go read the whole post :-)

If you’ve already explored or used copywriting to promote something, please share your thoughts in the Comments
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