Self-published IS published, after all
1. Burn everything you’ve ever written and don’t ever mention your writing to anyone ever again. Ever.
2. Always mumble the word “self” but say “published” really loudly. Then go right into how you hate your editor and all the changes you have to endure. You won’t be lying when you say this because people who are self-published are generally their own editor. Then walk away abruptly so they don’t have a chance to ask you any other questions (this will help build your persona).
3. Leave out the word “self” altogether. This also won’t be a lie because you are published in some sense of the word. Otherwise, why would they call it that and not “self-deluded”? If it comes out later that you are self-published just quote something really obscure and say, “I cherish my privacy.” And then abruptly walk away.
4. Preface all your conversations with how hard it is to break into the increasingly cutthroat online market; how it takes a different kind of savvy to really get yourself out there (and how, obviously, they wouldn’t understand).
5. Cast yourself as the misunderstood genius. Call everyone else sellout trendy hacks who don’t care about truth and beauty but just whore their craft out to the highest bidder. Continue to quote extremely obscure lines at conferences and parties and roll your eyes in derision when they (the published ones) don’t know who or what you’re quoting. And remember, above all else, you be the one to walk away. This keeps you in control of things–just like your own writing!
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