They’ve heard the talk for years: self-publishing doesn’t make you a ‘real’ author; it means you’re not serious; it means you’re not good enough. Some of these comments have come from literary agents and even mainstream authors.
And at least one author isn’t taking it anymore.
Alanna Brown (pictured at right) penned a column for The Huffington Post, likening mainstream authors to playground bullies.
“Those snot-nosed, mainstream-published authors who think indie writers are not real artists just because they don’t have a traditional book deal. Pooh on them, I say. Pooh! Don’t listen to a single misinformed word from their filthy mouths. They’re just plain bullies.”
Brown wrote the column in response to a Forbes blog post written by David Vinjamuri, and points to a quote from author Sue Grafton:
“To me, it seems disrespectful… that a ‘wannabe’ assumes it’s all so easy s/he can put out a ‘published novel’ without bothering to read, study, or do the research. … Self-publishing is a short cut and I don’t believe in short cuts when it comes to the arts. I compare self-publishing to a student managing to conquer Five Easy Pieces on the piano and then wondering if s/he’s ready to be booked into Carnegie Hall.”
Of course, others jumped in to respond to Grafton’s remarks. After all, there are enough successful self-published authors to show just how inaccurate Grafton’s comments are. Does she really think that writers don’t do research or study or read or do the things that makes writers want to write?
As Brown points out, it’s actually in the best interest of an author to go down the self-publishing route financially. Mid-list or established authors can make more money with their fan base than by going the traditional publishing route because the royalties are in their favor.
It makes me wonder why Grafton is so angry with self-publishers. Is she finding less people are buying her work because they would rather spend money on new authors? I don’t know what the answer is, but it sure seems as though Grafton has an axe to grind with independent authors.
But it’s good to see that authors aren’t letting Grafton’s words go away without a fight.
It’s time mainstream authors start embracing other new authors. You see this in music where big stars promote, back and even bring new artists on tour.
What is Grafton so afraid of?