Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

A Mild “Rant” About An Extremely Serious Situation


I’ve learned that standing up and screaming about a perceived wrong is, in itself, wrong.

Being mild in speech and patient in attitude can seem less effective but are better all round.

So, I’ll practice what I’ve learned

Most of you know that the digital revolution and its child, self-publishing, are causing all kinds of disruption to traditional methods of writers bringing their work to the public.

It’s quite similar to absolutist rulers finding their power being eroded by popular social movements and going quietly insane in their castles.

The problem is the rulers aren’t being quiet

One incredibly extreme example was a recent article in The GuardianHarperCollins UK boss tells publishers: take storytelling back from digital rivals.

You might think the boss wants a war with rivals over traditionally published books.

Nope, this man’s war is “going beyond ebooks to apps, games and video”.

Nothing about the quality of books or the importance of the author as creative producer—merely a move to make more money

This particular example is rather like the absolutist ruler adopting the demands of the society and selling them back to the people.

For more (some nearly barmy) things these folks are doing, read a few of the posts I’ve tagged with “Traditional Publishers”.

And, I hope a few of my readers who have “successfully” been published through the traditional route will share what they went through

O.K., so self-publishing is here to stay (and, you might still find a decent book that happened to be traditionally published [but, please remember, there are many authors jumping from the sinking traditional ship]) yet, is self-publishing actually harming writers??

One of the most insidious “reasons” I’ve found to defame self-publishing appeared in the article, Self-Publishing’s Parallel Disruptions.

You should read the article to sense the full range of repressed anger at the forward march of author freedom; but, essentially, the point made is that, without the traditional castle and its minions, a writer who uses self-publishing is harming their chance at becoming a truly accomplished author

I can’t avoid sharing one quote from that article (and, remember, these words are a defense of traditional publishing):

“High mastery is expected of symphony musicians, ballerinas, Olympic athletes, brain surgeons and more. Why not novelists too?”

So, if you don’t submit to the demands of traditional publishers, you can never achieve mastery?!?

‘Nuf said

Two Caveats: Nothing I’ve said should be taken to diminish the talent and artistry of those authors who have used or will use traditional publishing. And, there’s quite a bit of dreck being self-published.

Still, I feel all writers would be better served by self-publishing

For those of you who haven’t yet explored the vast realm of possibilities being offered today’s writers, check out the 96 posts I’ve written about self-publishing.

If you take that last link, you’ll see this post at the top, since I’ve tagged it with “self-publishing”. Also, when you get to the bottom of a page of posts, you’ll find a small link that says, “Older posts”.

I’d Love to hear a few comments on my “Mild Rant” :-)
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8 responses to “A Mild “Rant” About An Extremely Serious Situation

  1. Pingback: Rant. #1 | The Masked Face.

  2. cmmarcum November 23, 2013 at 11:07 am

    IInteresting, but I am going to come down on the unpopular side here. I do think that most ‘most’ indie authors have an inability to evolve, learn, and accept critiques–ever how delicately those critiques are worded. Of all the writing sites that I have been on, only a handful of writers were open to a frank discussion of their work–and that had to be done via private emails. Even fewer were willing to help me with mine. Unlike me, they were born grand masters.

    I’d have to say that most indie authors would never survive the rigors of traditional publishing and the ego bruising results of a professional edit–in which case they better have a damned exciting story. If they don’t, then these folks are the ones who generate that giant E-slush pile.

    Like

  3. Alexander M Zoltai November 23, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Yes, you’ve identified the slush-pile authors

    Yet, there are Indies who go through rigorous editing processes; yet, the quote I shared clearly implies that even these authors can’t attain mastery

    Like

    • cmmarcum November 23, 2013 at 11:47 am

      Okay, my friend. When I say edit, I am talking about more than punctuation and syntax.

      Like

      • Alexander M Zoltai November 23, 2013 at 11:47 am

        So am I :-)

        Like

  4. juliecround November 24, 2013 at 11:20 am

    The articles you quote from seem to suggest that a traditionally published book is carefully scrutinised by experts before publication. How is , then, that I have just read a traditionally published book with more holes in the plot and problems with the writing than I have ever found in a self published book?

    Like

    • Alexander M Zoltai November 24, 2013 at 11:45 am

      The article I quoted did imply that the only way to publish was the traditional route yet I hope I conveyed my disdain for the close-minded attitude they had

      Like

  5. Pingback: Can Creative Writing Survive Our Digital Obsessions? | Notes from An Alien

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