[Terry: OK, we have an impassioned and occasionally vulgar attack and a reasoned and polite — if deadly–response. So, I decided, as someone who once considered himself a journalist, to combine them into one.
FIRST. An impassioned anonymous writer who has issued a obscene and illustrated jeremiad against independent authors.
SECOND: Misha Burnett, an old friend of this blog who responds reasonably but firmly–and wields a damn good literary stiletto.
THIRD: Because I wasn’t really a journalist, I only worked in television news, I’m going to include a POLL so we can trivialize the conversation and generally enjoy ourselves.
Hey! I was extremely well-trained in the art and craft of crappy TV!]
Posted on August 10, 2013 by Grammar Nazi Panzer General
I’ve come here today to talk to you about Indie Authors. Yes, that’s right, Indie Authors.
I contemplated answering a question about indie authors, until I realized that I’ve gotten the same question over and fucking OVER about the indie market. I figured it deserved its own, shiny little blog post.
So let’s address the main question here: Is the Indie Market really that bad? I mean are they really?
Yes. They really, really are.
There are exceptions to every rule, and I’ll address that in a minute, but for now let me just say, the Indie Market is shit. It’s a little pile of shit, wrapped up in shit, to make a shit burrito covered in shit sauce.
In the Indie World, you can find the drudges of the literary market. The unedited, untalented, unresearched drivel that has been rejected by every publishing house this side of the universe– and with good reason. But instead of putting the book down, or setting it on fire, the sorry excuse for a writer has turned to the indie market for validation.
The author has taken the 10,945th attempt to write the next Twilight and thrown it to the rabid, uncaring, undiscerning market of women clamoring for their next idiotic, pathetic female, and well-chiseled male, and they don’t care if anything is spelled correctly. They don’t care if there isn’t a coherent plot. They don’t care if the author writing the book has never taken a basic literary course. And somehow, that validates their writing against all of the professional rejection they’ve received.
On the other side of that you’ll find authors who have never tried the traditional literary market. I’m going to go out on a limb here and pull this percentage out of my ass…
Ahhhhhhh. 96%. I believe about 96% of those who have never tried the traditional market don’t because they know they’re going to get rejected. Their book is nothing but glorified fanfiction, and somehow they’ve decided that indie publishing is the way to go, and have the gall to ask hard-working human beings to pay them for that drivel.
There is a time and a place for that shit, my dears. And it’s called Livejournal. It’s the place where pathetic, lonely, vampire obsessed writers go to get their fix.
For the Rest Click HERE Why Indie Authors Still Suck | So You Think You’re An Author.
Now, I won’t address the obscenity, profanity, and random personal attacks liberally sprinkled through this post. Seventh grade was a lot of years ago for me, and that stuff stopped either shocking or amusing me years ago.
Looking at the forty percent or so of the post that actually says something, he has written a rather passionate defense of traditional publishing. Passionate, yes, reasonable, not so much.
Basically, he has one good point to make. Books require editing. That happens to be quite true. It is true for Indie authors and it is true for traditionally published authors. Quite frankly, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t agree with that. So I’ll just admit the obvious and agree with him.
Books require editing.
However, from that fact he draws the completely erroneous assumption that because books require editing it therefore follows that authors must be published by traditional publishing houses or “they suck”.
In the first place, traditional publishing houses do not have a monopoly on editors. There are a great many excellent freelancers who work on a per-job basis for indie authors. Many of these freelancers have experience working at the traditional publishing houses and either left to pursue freelance careers or were let go in one of the innumerable restructurings that the publishing business seems to require.
In the second place, a freelance editor works for the author and does what the author wants done. A staff editor works for a publishing house, and does what the publishing house wants, usually for less money than a freelancer, and often under an enforced schedule that allows for little more than spellchecking. The days when a traditional publishing house could afford to give personalized attention to a new author are long gone.
The same goes for book designers and cover artists. Traditional publishing houses view these as assembly line functions–you say it’s science fiction? Here’s your picture of a rocket ship. Fantasy? Here’s your elf girl in a chain-mail bikini. Next!
Anonnymouse13′s main argument–that traditional publishing houses turn out a higher quality product than an independent author working with freelancers–is simply not supportable. And that’s his best argument.
He goes on to say that he believes that the majority of authors who choose to self-publish do so because they know that traditional publishers wouldn’t accept their books. He is probably right about that. I can only speak for myself, but I am sure that no traditional publishing house would be interested in Catskinner’s Book or Cannibal Hearts. I rather doubt that The Fauxpocalypse Project could find a home at a traditional publisher.
Why? Because I have books that don’t have either rocket ships or elf-girls in chain-mail bikinis. I have morally ambiguous characters, sexually ambiguous characters, I play games with the narrative structure, I don’t wrap up all the loose ends in a nice neat package. I like to make my readers think and question their own preconceptions. Worst of all, I write books that can’t be described as “Just Like The Last Bestseller We Sold You! (And The One Before That…)”
[Vote as often as you like for as many choices as you like. Trust me, this is as accurate as any other online poll.]