The Reading Corner is a place where books of all genres are examined and reviewed. Comments, questions and disagreement are welcomed. Grab some coffee and a comfy chair and make yourself at home.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Whiny Whiny People.

You know what I am really sick of hearing? People whine about self-publishing. I've ranted about Garrison Keillor's steaming pile of whine before, but apparently people still have not picked up on a few simple facts.

  • Self-publishing works for a growing number of writers and readers (so the people complaining about the poor readers! how will they ever be able to choose books! can seriously shut up. You're insulting readers -who know what they want, and will learn how to find it, when self-publishing outlets become as organized for readers as they are for writers)
  • Self-publishing is not going away. We live in an increasingly digital world. The ability of writers and readers to access books in seconds is not something people are going to give up, now that they have it. And there are more books available!
  • Self-publishing does not mean the books are bad (or "dreck" as one panicky Salon columnist called self-published work). I've said it before, and I will continue saying it until people realize it's true: not all self-published books are equal. Claiming that everything that is published belongs in the rejected slush pile as having been horrid, despicable, shallow and bad just alienates the great writers from working with you.
  • Self-publishing is a market. It's going to self-regulate. People are all panicked about the gatekeeper aspect of traditional publishing. Well, I'm sorry. Any "gatekeeper" who would allow something like Twilight to get published is hardly worth the name (and the claim that there are worse books that have been rejected changes nothing -a crap book is a crap book, and it got published. Someone on the marketing team is happy, while literature is sitting in a corner weeping. Claiming that the traditional industry is a bastion of literary prowess while self-publishing writers are all shoddy hacks is a lie, plain and simple.).
I also hate the claim that anyone who supports self-publishing must have been rejected from the traditional route and is looking for an easy way to get their book out there. First of all, I have been published in the traditional way (short stories are different than novels, but the rejection rate is still high), and I support self-publishing fully. I don't have any rejected manuscripts that I'm slapping out on a POD site, all bitter and angry about my rejections. My manuscripts aren't ready for publication, and any self-pubber with an ounce of sense has been through this process.

They have been through the marketing process, the design, the editing (and if they're smart, they hired somebody to help them with every step -and self-pubbers are very frequently very smart). The ones that aren't going through this rigorous cleaning, polishing and touting of their work aren't going to be successful. Just like in the "real" publishing world, if you put out crappy products, you get crappy results.

So quit your whining. Start making friends with the people who are driving the market forward and will be gaining even more momentum over the next decades. We're not going to forget the people who referred to self-publishing writers are producers of dreck. We'd like to work with people in the traditional industry and apply the expertise to this new market -but we're more than happy to leave you all behind as you cry about how technology is the devil and no one is writing anything good.

1 comment:

  1. Well said girl! Hey, thanks for visiting my blog and entering the giveaway! =)