Around two years ago, when I was researching how to get my first novel published, I stumbled across the term "self-publishing", followed by a not so subtle warning about how it's only for those who're already famous and can afford to not have the backing of a publishing house. I didn't think much of it then, because, well, I didn't think much of anything back then.
But while pondering how to get my second novel published, I found this website called Notion Press, that allows authors to self-publish their novels, and I was taken aback. Complete creative freedom over my work? Complete control over its distribution and promotion? Yes, please!
Then, while building my presence on Twitter, I found this community, the #WritingCommunity, full of self-published authors. While reading some of their work, I discovered one indisputable truth - that the label of "amateur" associated with self-publishing is a myth. I've met more freakishly talented and underappreciated novelists on Twitter than anywhere else over the past few years. If these guys had the backing of a publishing house, they'd be global megastars.
One prime example of that is Anangsha Alammyan, author of What Did Tashi Do? and What happened to our forever?. I still remember reading the first one (it's a cybersecurity thriller about how your online presence can be compromised and used to blackmail you) one night, thinking - "Well, this looks good. Maybe I'll even finish it." I did finish it. In two hours. At one go. I couldn't put it down, I really couldn't. The brilliant pacing, the visceral language, the intricate plotting... it was perfect. Alammyan has a quality that some bestselling authors lack - she makes you feel what's happening, instead of just writing about it. You go deeper into the pages, past the words, right into the place where the scene is taking place. You become a spectator, not merely a reader. I cannot overstate the amount of fear, paranoia, joy and grief that took hold of me over those two hours. After I was done, I felt mesmerized and exhausted.
I'm lucky to have found this community full of talented and horribly underappreciated authors. I urge you to look up Anangsha Alammyan and read her work. Begin from there. And lose yourself in the world of self-publishing.
Like I have.