Tuesday, June 19

Writers Unite - Kind of a Rant

All right, I have to do this. Love me or hate me as you will--this has to be done.

I have been simmering for two days now, angry as hell, and it all started with this post. I'm sure most of you have seen it, it has been on the from page of Amazon for several days now. If you haven't read it, go ahead... I'll wait.

(And by the way don't bother commenting, they only allow complimentary messages and NONE of mine have made it past moderation. I was not at all mean, but since none of mine started with 'Oh my God you are such an inspiration, blah, blah,blah, they were't deemed good enough.) 

In fairness, this is not the only post of its kind, far from it. Everywhere now you read about the 'Big Bad NY Publishers' taking advantage of the poor innocent writers, and how even well established writers are 'flocking' to the self-publishers because they have 'had enough'.

Well you know what? I have had enough.

Publishing is a business. Of course self-publishing offers higher royalty rates, there is no risk involved. Someone buys a book online, they print the book, and ship it out. The money is guaranteed. Do you have any idea how much money it cost for a traditional publisher to mass produce a book and send hundreds of thousands of copies out to stores all over the country? A. LOT. And they do this only hoping that the books will sell. It is a huge risk. If they pass on a book, it is simply because they could not--for whatever reason--take the risk.

Traditional publishers do not exist to screw you over. Editors do not sit behind giant desks in designer suits, twirling their handle-bar mustaches, snickering as they pass over your manuscript. They are men and women whose jobs likely don't pay any more than yours. They eat at McDonald's, knit sweaters for their mothers, and take their kids to the dentist. They are just like you and me. And the fact that some of us choose to work with these people and choose to pursue traditional publishing for our writing does not make us deluded! There are some writers--hundreds of thousands, in fact--that are traditionally published and could not be happier with their houses.

Yes, there are authors who have had bad experiences with larger houses and have chosen to go smaller or to self-publish, and that is THEIR CHOICE! It does not mean it is the only way, and it does not mean that everyone who doesn't do as they do are fools.

More over, I am sick of people who have never experienced the traditional publishing world talking poorly about it! Yes, there are writers who have had bad experiences, however, more and more the people you hear screaming "down with the traditional, go indie", have never worker with a traditional house, and thus, sorry, have NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE TALKING ABOUT! All that most of them know is that their book got rejected and now they are bitter, so they use the experiences of others to build their own platform, and that is crap.

Now this is not to say that the self publishing world is made up solely of books that could not find homes in traditional houses, as that is not true. There is a lot of quality work out there in the self published world that is not to be taken lightly. There are several self published authors I have found recently that have become some of my favorites. However, there is also a lot of not-so-quality work out there that was turned down by NY, and guess what... it wasn't always NY's fault. I read a post not long ago about a woman who gave up on the big houses because they wanted to 'fit her into a box' and that's why she couldn't get a contract, and she'd had enough, and so she self published. Everyone was so inspired by her story, and blah, blah, blah, so I bought her book as it was under $3.00 on Amazon... yeah, 11 misspelled words on the FIRST PAGE! Maybe if she'd spent less time bitching and more time editing, she'd have gotten that contract. But no, she is yet another one of the hoards of people out there not trying to turn the world against the 'Big Bad Publishers'.

Here is what it boils down to folks: Everyone has their own dreams and their own goals, and just because my goals are different from yours doesn't make them wrong. If your dream is to land a Big 6 contract, then go for it, but respect those who realize that a large house is not the best path for them. If your dream is to self publish, then do it, but respect those who have different goals in mind.

My dream, or at least part of it has always been one day to go in to a book store and see my own book on the shelf. Some say that is shallow, but to hell with them. It is a part of my dream and I own it. It does not make me shallow, nor does it mean that I am writing for the wrong reasons, or that I don't deserve it as much as anyone else, or any of the other crap they want to spew. So there.

We need to spend less time defining ourselves and more time uniting together and supporting each other, no matter what our goals are.

Okay. I think I'm done.

Please feel free to comment below and give me your thoughts even if they oppose mine. What are your goals? Are you published and happy where you are? I promise I will not delete your comment. ;) And please pass this on to anyone who might appreciate it, particularly any Trad Pubers who are happy where they are and want the world to know!

Hello! My name is Marian Vere who also writes as Julianna Scott, and I love both my small and my large traditional houses!


  1. I swear to holey-moley, I love you! :-D When I read about the evil editors in New York and all I think about is my editor Sandy, a 42 year old woman who is so little and cute you would think she is a kindergarten teacher! I am perfectly happy at my house, where I have been for 4 books and 6 years. I have no plans to change. Thank you much for your poignant and inspiring words!

    Good luck to you!

  2. Anita - That is too funny, because actually the example of the editor kitting was for my editor Amanda who is constantly knitting and just finished a sweater for her mom! She is sweet as pie, and I love her to death! Thanks for stopping and sharing!

    Nikki - Thanks! Glad you liked! :)

  3. Very well put!! I think you summed it up perfectly early on in the post--PUBLISHING IS A BUSINESS!!! I think SOME writers are delusional when it comes to their expectations in this business. Just like when I was looking for an agent, I couldn't believe how many people queried agents solely because they "seem super sweet." I've never lost site of the fact that this is a business. I wanted an agent I felt confident could sell my book, not someone I could sit down and chat over coffee with. Whether right or wrong, publishers are in it for the money.

    Publishers are going to take on an author because they seem "really cool" or because the author's family LOVED the book. They're not going to take on a project unless THEY are sure it's going to sell. And guess what. That's their perogative!! If an author doesn't like that, they have the right to go indie! However, just because traditional publishing isn't for them, doesn't mean they have the right to bash those who choose that path. Do editor rejections suck? OF COURSE! But not once have I ever felt any ill will towards the editor. IT'S. A. BUSINESS!!! They have to do what they have to do!!

    1. EEPS! Sorry for all the typos (I guess I got a little too heated/excited). The first sentence in the second paragraph should say "Publishers are NOT."

  4. Thanks Angela! I didn't want to come across as a crab, but it bothered me for so long tat I had to vent. Glad you are with me! Actually this has, in only two days, become my most popular post. More than 230 hits so far! So looks like we are not alone! Either that, or everyone is pissed at me, and just doesn't want to comment! ;D

  5. Yeah, great rant! My favorite part was about editors stroking their handlebar mustaches hee hee. I read that post and it was good to hear another perspective.

  6. It seems people want to make teams of everything and then go after the other side. I guess I'm not much of a teamer, so I like your perspective that everyone has their own goals and just because someone else's are different, that doesn't mean they're wrong.

    I personally fall somewhere in the middle as far as my goals. I like being with a smaller publisher, so for my current manuscript that's what I'm looking for. I'm not really interested in getting an agent, so small houses that take direct submissions are my step one. Basically, I'm lazy when it comes to anything outside the actual writing (and I include heavy editing as part of the writing process). Is there a team for that?

  7. My comment disappeared. I don't know what I did. It was a long one too. lol

  8. UGH! My Twitter is down...got sucked into reading this post while I was checking out your site now I can't tweet you back LOL Am sending an email...and freakin' great post, BTW! I'm on the fence. I think both have great advantages and disadvantages. But My dream is to also see my book on a bookstore shelf one day. I don't think that's shallow of authors at all. We grew up walking into bookstores as kids. We fell in love with books there. I just love the smell of booksores LOL I want very much to walk into my local store and see my book having a home =)

  9. Bah! Sorry this took so long, my comments are screwed up apparently...

    Thanks to everyone for commenting! As I can't get any of mine so save correctly,(and because most of you have probably moved on with your lives by now), I will leave it at that. :)