...’cause what could be more punk rock than following your intuition and your heart?

Sell Out With Me :)


Sep 27, 2012 , , , 8 Comments

The email came as a bit of a surprise to me. I’ll paraphrase, ’cause I’m nice and don’t want to subject you to poor grammar and spelling:

“Dear Lisa,

I’ve been watching your work and reading your email newsletter for a while now. I enjoy what you do, but I must say that I’m very shocked that you are choosing to be published the traditional route. If you are so PUNK ROCK, why wouldn’t you self-publish? Besides, you will make more money selling a self-published book, won’t you? I don’t get it. You’re not walking your talk here. You are a sell out. Just sayin’.”

–Email From Anonymous, Disgruntled Fan

Here’s my response to this email:

“Hi there, Anonymous, Disgruntled Fan,

Thanks so much for writing and sharing your thoughts. It’s always interesting to hear others’ ideas and thanks for taking the time to write me. Much appreciated. –Lisa”

You might be wondering why I didn’t defend myself. Or, why I didn’t just rip into the person. To be honest, I just don’t have the time or energy. Secondly, I’ve been working really hard on not taking things personally. A wise teacher once encouraged me to not take neither negativity or compliments to heart. It is what it is. If you view things as just feedback, in a more neutral way, it will cause you much less suffering, at least in my opinion.

I’ll admit that the term “sell out” had a bit of a charge for me. Yes, I’m punk rock, but isn’t punk rock about doing things your own way? I mean, if getting published by a traditional publisher feels right to me, how is that really selling out? If my goal is to help as many women as possible who read my self-help book, it makes more sense for me to go the traditional publishing route. They have a bigger reach than I do on my own. The idea that you have to figure out or do everything on your own is depressing. Life is short and since I want to follow my dreams, I believe in getting help and support. This is my own version of punk rock! :)

Just some of my thoughts. What do you think about selling out?

I decided to shift the selling out bit by listening to this funny song that came to mind by Reel Big Fish and it’s what I’ll leave you with below.

Let’s sell out together,



  • Sabine
    Sep 27, 2012 at 3:01 PM

    Whoa, congratulations on a very mature response! I’ll bear that in mind next time I’m having a difficult customer on the fone :-)
    Well done you for choosing to step aside and not defend yourself. Eventually, every comment is about the person that makes the comment, not the one it’s aimed at.

    What stood out for me in that e-mail was the following sentence: “Besides, you will make more money selling a self-published book, won’t you?” I thought, hang on, something is not quite right here. Isn’t punk rock supposed to be anti-everything, hence also anti-capitalism? Isn’t that what the accusation “you’re a sell out” is usually about? Bands being accused of selling out to the big labels to make the big buck instead of staying indie and poor? (Yes, we all know the thing about the big buck isn’t true *grin* but ignore that for now).

    So, the whole outburst in itself is rather contradictory, non? :-)

    In my book, punk rock is about not conforming to other people’s expectations and doing it your way. Hmm, and about being alive and kicking. Personally, I think that for instance Vivienne Westwood is still pretty punk rock.

  • Kesha, The Uncommon Chick
    Sep 27, 2012 at 6:11 PM

    F-A-I-L to the person who wrote that…really? What’s wrong with traditional publishing??? Just because you live a life on your own terms doesn’t mean you live a life ON your own… Life on your terms also means understanding common sense, which we all know isn’t all that common… just sayin’ :-)


  • Deb Augur
    Sep 28, 2012 at 12:19 PM

    Hi Lisa,

    I’m proud of you for landing a book contract… not an easy things to do! And I loved the way you handled that “disgruntled fan.” That shows a lot of class.

    Do things the way they feel right to you, not what others expect of you. Now THAT’S PUNK ROCK!



  • Lisa
    Oct 1, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    Hi there, Deb,

    Thanks so much for the kind words and encouragement, much appreciated :)

    Thanks and love,
    Lisa S.

  • Lisa
    Oct 1, 2012 at 4:44 PM

    I’m having giggles over the FAIL bit! Heehee! thanks so much for the support xoxo

  • Lisa
    Oct 1, 2012 at 4:45 PM

    Thanks, teehee! :)

    Yes, it’s so contradictory :)

    Ooh, I love Vivienne Westwood. She rocks and I’d love to own a pair of her lovely shoes :)

  • Adrienne
    Nov 16, 2012 at 2:09 PM

    First off Lisa, congratulations on the book. That has to be the best feeling in the world.

    Second, self publishing is expensive and a lot of darn hard work. I know a few people who have gone that route and “you” are in charge of the every little bitty aspect. Is that your area of expertise? Do you know who’s doors to knock on because you are in charge of self promoting that book too. Oh, and let’s not forget the expense of having them in hand. I think for most people who are just starting down this path, that’s not the smartest move so really, who is the dummy here!

    Kudos for you replying back in such a nice way. Hey, everyone to their own opinion right! What does she expect from you. Totally stepping out of the box and venturing away from the pack all the darn time!

    I think just taking charge of our own lives period whether you’re punk rock or not is standing up for yourself and doing things your way. Isn’t that what we all want!

    Huh, wonder if she’ll stay on your list now. This should be interesting. :-)


  • Lisa
    Nov 19, 2012 at 9:28 AM

    Thanks, Adrienne.

    I think it’s hard work whichever route is taken, whether it’s self-publishing or getting published. Also, it requires the hustle and fundage either way too. That is what most people don’t realize. Either way, it’s tons of work. Most authors, even if published by a traditional publisher do their own marketing, etc.

    Thanks for the kind words about how I tried to handle it nicely. It actually cracks me up to read this blog post again, since so much has happened since I wrote it. So much more backlash has occurred, so I supposed it was training for handling it.

    Thanks for visiting and commenting on this blog. I tend to post more at LisaSelow.com, my author website :)

Leave a Reply

©2015 by Lisa Selow
Carpe Diem!