Self Publisher! Magazine Logo Some people live their lives by relying on those people around them. Whilst other people live their lives by relying on their own guile and gumption. So what type of a person are you? 'People Around Them'? Or 'Guile and Gumption'? Furthermore, what type of a person would you say my mate Ian would be too? Go on. Have a guess whilst reading this conversation we had only the other day, whilst classifying books in order of dust.

1) What are your own origins, Ian? Plus what path did you take in life before you got to where you are today?   I was born in Parma, Ohio, with a club foot, and I struggled growing up with the medical treatments needed, and later, while I was at school, I had a learning disability too (dyslexia).

Yeah. I wasn't like other kids in my class.

I was very much that 'picked-on' kid that had no friends. I didn't understand the world, and it didn't understand me. I didn't really learn how to read or write until I was almost in high school either; and I did it on my own, through comic books. This was back in the mid 80’s.

WriteBy the time I left high school, though, I was publishing my own mini-comics and giving them to people; trading through the mail with others, etc. That’s how I finally connected with others, and it’s really been who I am ever since.

2) In your own words how would you describe ‘Self Publisher! Magazine’? And what is your role within this organization?   I originally started 'SP!' in 1989 on a typewriter, basically reviewing books I traded for, cutting and pasting strips into a zine 'old school style'. I didn't have a spell check, and relied on people to spread the word of what I was doing through the mail.

I wasn't the only zine then, and I certainly wasn't the best. I just enjoyed it -- and worked at it -- and tried new things, and got better and better over time. So 'SP!' has always been a perspective of who are the people publishing stuff. My role is to keep it going.

3) If ‘SP’ was a song, what song would it be and why?   One of my other hobbies is writing songs and singing; so I would have a hell of a time picking one single song. 'SP!' is the song of us all, it is the background music to what all creators want: A career doing what they love.

4) What have you and learnt about yourself via this endeavour? And were there any unforeseen obstacles you had to content with?   I really grew up doing this, and have been at it for decades. So over time I have dug through every aspect of publishing you can think of. Plus, I have also made every mistake you can think of, because I have always only been able to learn things the hard way, Ha! 

I have let ambition get the better of me. I have let inaction watch opportunity slip away. I have let life stomp on me, and occasionally, been able to stomp back. I mean, I can bring up things that have changed me and effected the progress of things. I can use them as excuses as to why I never really 'made it big' yet.

George CarlinI got some great stories, but none of it compares to the point that I’m still here, trying my best, and never giving up.

5) If you could get a celebrity – either living or dead – to promote your wares, what person would you get, and why would you want to choose this particular person?   George Carlin. He’s politically incorrect, and he says what he feels, with no regard to how others will agree or not. As such, he commands respect for his opinion, makes people think. 'SP!' is not here for fluff pieces on the latest thing we want to push. It’s here to dig into the who’s who and what’s what. So I think he would say something like “This is the shit, read it”.

6) What would you say is the biggest advantage of self-publishing?   Being able to control all aspects of your project. It’s harder, takes more thought and planning, but ultimately, success or failure is your own, and matters more. 

7) Same question as above, but biggest disadvantage instead.   Well, with so many people trying to 'make it', the odds are hugely stacked against you, and there is no way to compete directly with any corporation that has dollars to buy and sell you.

In the end, the best thing you can do in 'Self Publishing', is win your fan base, and hope at some point your Intellectual Property -- the base of the project you own -- gets the attention of a huge studio that wants to pay you for movie rights.

But that doesn't happen for many people. So we see people’s expectations and reality clash all the time, and really good projects, that don’t go supernova right away, die on the vine. 

8) What is the procedure of submitting work to you magazine? Plus do you have any prerequisites people have to take into consideration?   Check out the info page of the website.

9) If your ‘SP’ had a motto, what would it be?   Anything is possible.

Hallelujah, brother Ian. Halle-God-Damn-Lujah! What you had to say was just spot on for my own liking. And what I think is 'spot on', I always encourage my readers to click on. So go ahead. What are you waiting for, folks? The last supper at McDonalds? Check out today. As a little click will do you a lot of good.