You've all heard me preach about ego before on how it can hurt your image, but lately I've seen and trend in the author world where an author is better than another author or a group of authors. Is that vague enough for you? Yes, some authors have better writing than another author, this is clear by quality and reviews. But I'm referring to the on going battle of traditional publishing vs indie publishing. You've seen it all over the internet, but here let me pull some quotes for you so we can take a look on how the problem is not just on one side of things.
"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," said Grafton. "Learning to construct a narrative and create character, learning to balance pace, description, exposition, and dialogue takes a long time. This is not a quick do-it-yourself home project. Self-publishing is a short cut and I don't believe in short cuts when it comes to the arts." -Sue Grafton (pulled from this article)
"The complete opposite is true," he said. "Self-publishing means finding your own proofreader, finding your own editor, finding your own cover designer (or designing your own), doing all your own marketing and sales work, etc. Having a publisher is lazy as all you need to do is write a half-acceptable book and allow your publisher's editor to make it sales-worthy. Self-publishers must do it all – we have no one else to pick up the slack." -Adam Croft (pulled from this article)
Now, I take issue with both of those comments. What? You expected me to come out fighting for the indie author and not disagree? Let me break down my thoughts.
Grafton has a point, anyone can publish on amazon and yes, there is a lot of crap out there. I have to disagree with her that it is a short cut. Those who are truly indie-authors (not doing this for a hobby, but to make a living or trying to make a living) so not see it as a short cut. In fact, it's not a DIY project, it's a job that takes dedication and time. Lots of time.
That being said, we have the other side of things in response to Grafton. A best selling indie author claiming that having a publisher is lazy. I disagree with him on that. It's not lazy, I'm a hybrid author (I do both indie publishing and traditional publishing) guess what, unless you're a huge name author you don't get your marketing paid for and we all know that is a ton of work. Okay, sure so you have an editor, but guess what though they tell you what should be changed and make suggestions, you still have to have a damn good book going in or you don't snag that publisher.
But Grafton isn't the only one who has problems or issues with the indie populations. Kim Harrison had this to say (in regards to price fixing, but still...)
"...force books that are created within the scope of a publishing house to adhere to the same price points as those created by independent authors who are not all paying for marketing, placement, cover artists, proofing, and the building to house these people, not just for their book, but all the books within the publishing house. Independent authors can afford to charge a lower price because they do not have these things. Indeed, they should be allowed to charge a lower price to garner the attention that they miss by not being associated with a big six publisher. But forcing those who _are_ paying for marketing, cover artists, proofing, ect, not just for their book, but others in the publishing house..." (taken from here)
I must wonder who Ms. Harrison thinks pays for all that when it comes to indie-authors. Yes, I understand that there are overheads that publishers must cover and honestly the price fight is a topic for another day. But that comment makes me wonder...do traditionally published authors really know what goes into indie publishing?
Here she is again "You can’t ask someone who has been working their entire life at crafting words into cohesive stories to be valued equal to someone who has been at it for two years. Would you work at a job for 20 years, then accept a new, forced salary commensurate with the mail room guy? No. Of course not." (taken from here)
In my free lance work I've read books that are just as good as a big press author who plan on going indie. I've ready authors who have been at it for years, are big press published and it's crap. My point is, quality is found everywhere. Not just in big publishers, not just in indies. I've been writing since high school, it's a passion, who is she to say someone who has the same passion for the craft isn't to be valued equally?
This is a challenge we face as indie authors. Elitism from traditionally published authors. This is a problem this wall needs to be broken down to where we are all just authors. Now don't die of shock, but this is also a problem on the indie side of things. I'll be covering that my next post. So stay tuned.