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What Can the Occupy Movement Learn from Self-Publishing?

By Edward Nawotka

digital self publishingThe Occupy Movement and self-publishing share several traits in common. The two movements both took off and gained popularity last year, largely on a wave of feelings of disenfranchisement from the perceived-to-be elite.

Both movements were predicated on the belief that the system was not only broken, but deliberately suppressing the majority in order to elevate the majority.

Both movements feel that the the game is rigged, the deck is stacked against them, or whatever cliche comes to mind that describes a severe imbalance of power — and they’re determined to rectify the situation.

Unfortunately, the Occupy Movement appears to have lost momentum and is on the verge of becoming a lost cause. Meanwhile, self-publishing is going from strength to strength and gaining more and more advocates as time progresses.

Is there some lesson the Occupy Movement can learn from self-publishing that will help it sustain itself?

We’re I to suggest a few ideas, the first would be the lesson of resilience. After all, how many self-publishers faced rejection time and time again before taking matters into their own hands? Plenty…at first. Now, it’s now the first option for many, rather than a last resort. And there may be a lesson in that as well. Rather than standing in opposition, the Occupy Movement would do well to communicate what it is in favor of, what it supports. In that way, it can become a “first option” for the politically motivated.

Taking the power of self-definition into one’s own hands is, in large part, what embracing the moniker of self-publisher is becoming — especially as the anger, resentment and opposition towards the traditional publishers fades as the DIY publishers find success on their own terms.

Let us know what you think in the comments.

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  1. Posted March 8, 2012 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    Taking control, and with it responsibility, for one’s future is the spirit of the age, from Zuccotti Park to Kremlin Square. Independent authors are still a long way from gaining full control over their works and the existing channels through which these can be presented still offer paltry compensation to producers versus purveyors.

    But the revolution has begun. Thank goodness for that.

  2. Posted March 8, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    It does come down to a spirit of resilience. The self/independently published writers cannot really tell the occupiers the “how-to” because they are in different situations. But the occupiers need to share a certain state of mind. Self-published writers have had to withstand the perception of being “second rate” by the established publishing world. The occupiers are brushed off as people who can’t get a real job. The occupiers will have to embrace and actually revel in the notion of being the outsider. It’s always harder on the outside, but it does have its rewards…the freedom and creativity of being in charge..to say nothing of speed.

  3. Posted March 8, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Permalink

    The Occupy Movement is failing because they think they understand the problem but have no idea about remedies. They just don’t have a plan other than occupy. I don’t think self publishing was a good comparison with the Occupy Movement. Self publishers understand both the problem and the solution and then they just get on with it.

  4. Passerby
    Posted March 9, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    What can an onion learn from the garlic? What can a chicken learn from a wheel borrow?

    Sorry, but I find the self-publishers/OWS comparison to be very hacky and not helpful in any way. It’s rhetorical and pat and doesn’t provide any worthwhile insight. OWS may have faded – or not – but definitely not failed. It may resurface still (and I think it probably will) – the White House certainly thinks so? (http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/03/05/g8-summit-moved-to-camp-david/)

    And Peter, http://occupywallst.org/forum/detailed-list-of-demands-overview-of-tactics-for-d/

  5. Posted March 9, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Failed? Hoke! re-structuring!

    What they can learn?

    and don’t buy from global corporations, shop only from Indies…cash bash

    Don’t let your health compromise by cold or brutal cops – use the Internet to stultify banksters and global corporate gangsters and the social system.

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