Embarrassment In The Time of E-Publishing?

Lately I've been experimenting with online publishing sites as a way to put out an advanced report for the Geek Scanner.  That's also had me thinking about how easy it is to publish, and what it means for the embarrassment of publishing something bad.

We've all heard about some meltdown that some author had online, from fanfic writers to professionals (in everything but the "professional dignity" sense). More people are putting stuff out more people are able to read it, so what does it mean for the idea of being embarrassed for putting out something bad?

Know what? I'm not sure.  I've wondered about similar issues before, and I'm wondering still.

Maybe you do put out something horrible, terrible publication of some kind, but you might find the right audience of like something about it. Is that bad? Is that a failure?  Should you be embarrassed? I'm not entirely sure.

A flawed work can be targeted to an interested audience anyway via all the marketing tools available.  Failure?  I don't know.  Should you be embarrassed?  I don't know – since you were pretty savvy.

Maybe put out something terrible, but it means you get more feedback so it becomes a learning experience you'd never have without electronic publishing. So that's a failure of one kind, gentle path to success for another.

It seems like the only thing you can truly do wrong out there is have a public meltdown over your mistakes.  That'll mark you more or less.  That is embarrassing and legitimately so.  Then again even that may change.

So I'm not sure where embarrassment comes into it in the age of e-publishing.  You may find the right audience for a flawed work, it can be a learning experience, etc.  What is a failure or a potential failure  and the nature of that failure changes (hell, a bad work may just get ignored).

I think in the age of e-publishing our ideas of what is embarrassing, how to approach failure, how to handle rejection needs to change.

I'm just not sure how yet.  Which, I suppose, is something I should be embarrassed about . . . except I'm not sure . . .

Steven Savage