• Jacobus Kotze


Updated: Jun 8, 2020

What does it benefit you to keep valuable information to yourself? Where is the love in that?

The other day I recalled the time when I wrote my first book, Mean Streets – Life in the Apartheid Police. Unlike most authors, I never wanted to be an author and had no dreams of becoming one. Yet up to today I have written 62 books. The endeavor came by chance. I had time. I was tired of the lies being spread around, and I had an interesting story to tell. And so I sat down and started typing, two fingers only.

When done with the first book, which took me three months, extraordinarily long for me, as I would discover later, I had no idea what to do with the manuscript. After looking at YouTube and reading many blogs, I decided to send a few emails to publishers. Some responded (most did not). A few even called for what became a heated discussion when we got to the legal and financial issues. As a qualified and experienced attorney, obviously, I could see right through their legal shenanigans and called them out. I was not going to spend thousands on them to do what can be done for free and ought to be their burden, risk, and costs. They went nuts. One told me that I should be “honored” that she is even calling me as there are many like me out there... The arrogance was astonishing. The snobbery beyond... I don’t even have words to say beyond what. Especially when the time of traditional publishers was and is over. They seem to be a bit slow in realizing what is obvious but in a decade or so from now you will not find any brick & mortar bookstores.

Is this a good thing or bad? I loved walking around bookstores and seeing what was on offer. The smell of a book, the feel of it. In the end, it does not matter, good or bad, there is no way that I see that business model working in the future. Indie publishing has taken over. I hate that description, by the way, indie publisher/author. I hate it because of the snobbery that goes with: “I am a real author. I was stupid enough to sign a dreadfully bad contract with a traditional publisher and sold almost nothing. I took all the risk whilst they took nothing. I paid them thousands and have not had any return on investment. I fell for their lies and I believe in cockroaches, coaches, too. They told me to go the traditional route and be a real author. Yes, despite this and the limited printing run, I am better than you! I am a real author even if you wrote ten times more books than me. Books that actually sold.”

I told that publisher that she should be grateful to speak to me without me charging her my usual legal fee which is more than what she can afford as it just tripled. At that, the negotiations ended rather abruptly. I went the self-publishing route and despite further attempts by the traditional publishers and other shysters I stayed with self-publishing where I have full control over my books. But it was a long road to travel and filled with anxious times, unnecessarily so. I would like to prevent this from happening to other authors. Therefore, on the website, I made 14 short videos where I discuss subjects like “Where to publish, Legalities surrounding books, Price, Cover Design...” and more. It is free, will always be free, and for you to gain from. Have a look.

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