Friday, November 4, 2011

Suicide is Painless: A Retort

My last blog certainly drew some blood. My own. 

I could say that it ripped out my heart and hurt my feelings, but that would be a lie. I'm a writer; I'm used to getting ripped to shreds.

There are a million reasons why self-pubs, indies, and even traditional wayfarers hate traditional publishing and/or the Big 6.
  • Gatekeeper's prerequisites, i.e. queries and synopses (who doesn't hate writing those?)
  •  The long waits, even after you get picked up by an agent and/or publisher (What? It'll be two years before my book is on the shelves?)
  • The snobbish tomfoolery.
Yeah, yeah... the list could keep going, but I'm going to stop there. I want to talk about the last one. That last blog, "Self Pub Suicide", was about humility and getting along. Unfortunately, sometimes I come across as mean when I am trying to make a point. It can't be helped. (If you have something to say about this, save your breath and read the tirade in Abrasive.)

Point: As writers, we need to unite to help each other. If my goal was to please just the writers, then I wouldn't have a job. My goal is to please the reader... I'm pretty sure that is everyone's goal.

I don't believe in the mentality behind the "it's just not what we're looking for" comments (read "you're just not good enough"). So, instead of acting like a snobby gatekeeper,  leave the asinine comments at home and be constructive. Be as offhanded as you want. Throw in some sarcasm for good measure. Stab my work till it's bloody. Tell me I've made typos. Ask honest questions and post your perceptions that will breed healthy debate and growth. That's the only thing that will benefit any writer.

But, DO NOT come into my house and play the "I'm better than you" game. Writing is a level playing field. Suck it up, learn the game, and play it with some integrity.

This is what I'm thinking when I listen to other people, (especially when they are being derogatory or spiteful):

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle." Plato

...Try it some time.  


  1. Before I was picked up by Red Willow, I had a large publisher after my books. They told me I would get a small advance because I was a new writer, almost next to nothing in royalties, and my rights: meaning that if the first book in the series did not sell, I would have to buy back my own books. The only plus was the marketing. It is true that my books may have already sold millions instead of thousands etc., but with a small publisher, my royalties are extremely high, the output of the books is lightening fast, and I get to keep my rights.

    The real turn off of the big 6 for me was the edits. I was not asked to cut story or change characters; I was asked to make my language sound more contemporary. I said no; Austenesque is my style, there is a market for it, and I was not changing. The editor's answer was: "Our readers are just not smart enough to understand that language." My response: "People are only as ignorant as the books you give them to read." She said that I was right but that the bigguns would not agree. I left it there and went with a press who was willing to give me everything I wanted.

    In the end, it depends upon what the individual prefers. I might have made more money, but I couldn't have lived with myself knowing that I had traded away a 30-book series to the bigguns for a couple of bucks.

  2. I suppose the reaction was predictable...but the fact is you stood up and said what a lot of people know but for whatever reason keep to themselves . . .

  3. @Kirsten That's one of my biggest flaws... I rarely say what's on my mind. I edit out my opinions a lot and keep my mouth shut. Anytime I don't, I get a huge outcry from the community. *shrugs* Thank you for commenting, I was starting to think I was being boycotted after the last post. :)

  4. Not boycotted - at least not by me.

    IMO - Indie writers are really twitchy - more so than average because things are so unsettled. I know I feel pretty defensive because not only am I an Indie, but I write paranormal romance & women's fiction.

    Some days I feel like I'm getting shot at on all sides.

    We do need to stick together, but we also have to have compassion for those who are trying and struggling to make even the lowest standards. They might just get it together - we have to wait and see.

    I'm a 'live and let live' person. I always try to meet people where they're at.

    I'm also always looking for my niche readers - women who want their fiction to appeal to the mind as well as the heart.

  5. "But, DO NOT come into my house and play the "I'm better than you" game. Writing is a level playing field." I agree that we need to treat each other with respect even if we critique each other. That said, writers need to decide who they want critiquing them and how seriously they will take what they hear.

  6. Letting you know I did not quit Twitter. I got suspended. Why? I have no idea. This has happened twice now. I'm appealing it so we'll see. Hope all is well with you....michael

  7. Can you please post this to twitter: friends of Michael Pokocky!!! He was kicked off twitter. Starting a new one. go here -> leave your twid so he can add u.

    Michael Pokocky
    @antresolcafe --> gone