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At the desk, 9:08 a.m.

People ask me, or rather say to me, "Oh I see you self-publish."

Sometimes the words come with a tone of superiority as in "you JUST self publish". During a rash of "kick me when I'm down" bullying last summer, a particularly vile girl repeated on Twitter, "Well, at least I'm not self published," referring to me and Cook Street Publishing.

Sometimes the words are laced with curiosity - as in "What's this new trend I hear about?", "Isn't it great the way things are now?" or "What are you doing?"

I'm a little squirmy about the words "Self-Publish" because to say what I do "self publishing" discounts all of the time, money, and hard work of the other Cook Street Publishing Partners. That's not to mention Super Steve the amazing tech guy who keeps a razor's eye on things; Amazing Kathleen who fought valiantly against a certain messed up web server to post chapters, Perfectionist Peter who spent most of last week arguing for the m-dash, no spaces; Divya and her team who wrestle with commas, semi-colons, and bad sentences on a daily basis, and Brilliant Brion who has been known to drop everything to fix some stupid thing that we decide needs to be fixed. That's not to mention the bevy of marketing help, business mentors, publishing mentors, consultants, business managers, tax people and... I'm sure I'm leaving someone out.

I co-own a very small publishing house named Cook Street Publishing. It's a company where hard working people do hard work day in and day out on the way to creating fiction.

I love the romance of "I'm doing this myself" but it's so dishonest.

I write fiction. I tell stories. I'm the face of the company, but I'm not the company itself.

It's a company. It files income taxes as a partnership LLC. It pays contractors and purchases goods.