Friday, October 17, 2014

A Place At the Table

There has been a lot of talk on one of my writers’ loops about the disrespect given to self-published and small-press authors. Are they good enough to be included in one of the big writers’ organizations? That organization just sent out a questionnaire to its members to ask for their opinions. I gave up my membership in that group a while back because, as a self-published author, they didn’t support me, so why should I support them with my hard-earned money?

If self-published authors are to be included in these organizations as “active” members, then by what criteria? Should we be accepted on the basis of how much money we’ve earned? And if that doesn’t guarantee acceptance, what does? How about the quality or quantity of our work? Who is to judge which writers are acceptable and which are not? What about rankings or reviews on sales outlets? Should that be a method of evaluation? By what calculus should we be judged?

I have two friends, one self-published and one published by a small press, who were bluntly rejected to guest on a writers’ blog because my friends weren’t “traditionally” published, which by the bloggers’ standards meant published by a major publisher. Both friends are avid readers, supporters, and blogging hosts, and both were embarrassed and hurt by the put-down. I understand bloggers want to draw in readers by hosting big name authors, but we all know the big guys. We want to learn about good writers we haven’t heard about. Not too long ago the same writers making these judgments were searching for publication acceptance themselves.

That’s not the only example of the caste system snobbery within the writing community. Self-published authors want an even playing field. A seat at the table, so to speak. The possibility of representation on the panels of major conferences. How that’s decided is up to the organizations who host these conferences, but how long can they pretend that so many good self-published and small-press authors don’t exist?

I recently attended a conference where I was barred to be on a panel. I witnessed first-time authors participate while I, who at the time had six well-received and highly ranked books, could not. I knew this before I went, so I accepted it.

But it’s wrong.

The insult is that “traditionally published” authors aren’t held to the same standards we are. I understand that bestselling authors bring more money to the publishers’ coffers. They’ve worked hard and earned their places. Many self-pubbed authors are also writing terrific books and making tons of money. They’ve been great advocates for the rest of us. We appreciate them and hope more of us join their ranks. But when will we have a seat on a panel at a big writers’ convention? When will we be considered “real” authors?

If I wrote the same books for a big publisher, would my books be any better? Some would argue that they would. They’d say I’d have first rate editing and outstanding covers. I admit that at the beginning of my writing career, I made mistakes, but I and others learned quickly what we needed to do. We hired editors and cover designers. Even books edited and published by The Big Five have glaring mistakes and typos. I’ve seen them, and so have you. As for covers, the books represented in the collage on this page are all self-published books. I think they look pretty darn good.

A friend went to a romance conference this past weekend in Atlanta, Moonlight and Magnolias, and told me that three of the eight category winners were self-published. Romance seems to be ahead of the curve. Three cheers to RWA. I may even renew my membership.

Are there some bad indie books? Yes, but we’re working harder and getting better collectively all the time. In all fairness, there are some less than great books in the traditionally published market too. I forecast that a self-published author will win a prestigious award in the near future, and more will follow. There have already been a few indie writers nominated. I hope I’m there to cheer their win.

Stay tuned.


Polly Iyer is the author of six novels: standalones Hooked, InSight, Murder Déjà Vu, Threads, and two books in the Diana Racine Psychic Suspense series, Mind Games and Goddess of the Moon. A Massachusetts native, she makes her home in the beautiful Piedmont region of South Carolina. You can visit her website for more on Polly and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

48 comments :

  1. This is not an easy issue. There are two sides to this coin. Writer conferences are about attracting attendees. Therefore having known speakers with track records would be a logical goal. Would you go to hear speakers who were all self-published and only had one or two books in the marketplace?
    One the other hand, the way indies and small press writers were treated at the RT Convention -- shuffled off into a small room, away from the "Big Five" authors, is a deliberate slap in their faces. That lack of respect hurts everyone, but also makes RT look bad.
    As the publishing industry continues to swirl like a tornado, we are seeing many changes. Perhaps the writers who self-publish to avoid the rules, like hiring editors, will drop by the wayside. Right now, it's difficult to judge anyone's work based on how they are published. Best to go on a book by book basis. But until there is some standard established for indies, I'm afraid conferences are going to continue to solicit speakers who have a connection with a publisher. Great post. Well written, thought-provoking.

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    1. You're right, Jean. It is a complicated issue, and when there are two sides, we forget that there's a lot going on in between those sides. As much as I love the chance I've had to get my books into the reading public, many others see it as an opportunity to publish whatever they want, and some of it is terrible, as MaryAnn mentions below. This isn't an all or nothing situation. One seat on a panel of five or six given to an indie writer with bona fides isn't a lot to ask. Thanks for your thoughtful and spot on response.

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  2. There are still a few try to holding onto their arrogant feelings of superiority. The romance industry has always been ahead of the curve in advancements. They led the eBook revolution. Considering how many books sold are romances, it behooves the rest of the industry to pay attention to them. Sad to still see the exclusion.

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    1. I left RWA because I felt at the time that they were exclusionary, and I was an exclusion. Even though I had three erotic romances published under a pen name, and I would be accepted on that alone, I still felt on the fringe. I'm glad to see them making headway and recognizing indie writers.

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  3. I was trying to determine how to respond to this post, Polly ... and honestly, I couldn't come up with anything meaningful ... or worse, funny. Perhaps I'm just too far removed from the hubbub of writer's conferences ... I honestly don't care how the 'established' writers world bestows labels and accolades ... I just write self-pubbed popcorn books that people can choose to buy or not ... okay, mostly not ... but I see that as a lack of marketing skill and resources ... not a lack of quality. The fact that there is just nothing amusing about this response is more degrading to me than the fact that I'm a self-published author.

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    1. It's okay for you not to be funny, Christopher. As you said, you don't care about the conferences, but many do. I doubt I'll go to another conference, though I thoroughly enjoyed meeting friends I knew only online. Maybe when things become more equal, or at least conferences make an effort for them to be more equal, I'll reconsider. As it stands, no one will miss me if I'm not there, and many won't know me if I am.

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  4. I got that same survey. My reply was lengthy. There should be some sort of minimum standard for all writers - trad or indie. They should have a good grasp of language and decent plotting skills. They should have a decent hook and synopsis. A lot of trad pubbed books are complete snoozes. The book should look professional and be edited well. I find typos in almost every trad pubbed book. Who would evaluate the books for quality? I don't know. With a little promotion a book that has sold only a few hundred copies could sell thousands. This is true of books published by the big houses. How do these professional entities decide what to promote and what to ignore? With mid-list authors being dropped, indie is the only other option. I see the new technology such as POD and ebooks as a good thing: they could accept and publish more books under their imprint, couldn't they?

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    1. Of course, you're right, Diana. And therein lies the rub--how to achieve that. How to distinguish the serious book from the crap when there are so many books to judge. It's interesting that Stephen Colbert promoted a couple of books by unknown authors, and they soared in sales. I can't remember whether he'd even read them or whether it was an experiment. Terrific books written by an indie author will die on the vine, while a bad book by a writer with a name will sell and moreover be thought of as a good book because s/he wrote it. Unfair, but that's the way of the world.

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  5. It is a shame that indie authors are still struggling so to gain respect, but part of the problem is that all self-pubbed books - even someone's missive to Aunt Suzy - are thrown together on one side of the fence, while the traditionally published books are on the other. One is considered the junk heap by too many folks.

    I read and review a lot of indie authors books and can testify to the fact that too many of them belong on that junk pile. Sorry. That's just the way it is. I received a query letter yesterday from a person who called themselves and indie author asking for a review. The letter started something like this:

    "hi. my book was just published. you can find information about it and a buy link below."

    That kind of unprofessional writing is what turns so many people off to all indie books.

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    1. Right you are, Maryann, I agree. I don't know the answer, but I imagine indie authors will wind up being judged on a body of work with single efforts left to be either forgotten or expanded upon. Fortunately, some of those writers have only one book in them. We can hope, anyway.

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  6. Thanks for putting it so well. The collage looks great, and I'm proud to have my book included. I'm proud of self-publishing, after years with both "major" and small presses.

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    1. Judy, you would be considered a hybrid writer, with a body of work for traditional presses, small presses, and now an indie book. Anyone leaving you without a seat at the table would be worthy of a tongue lashing. You've proved yourself long before I wrote my first book. Cheers to you. (Remember, I didn't write the first one until 2000.)

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  7. Polly, as usual a well written post. I find it interesting that writers use their pen and keyboards to make their statements, to send messages and subtext about the wrongs/rights of society and then we mirror it in our behavior. Anything that is going on in the world, e.g. your point about caste systems takes place in publishing.

    Human nature perhaps? I refuse to participate in this snobbery. Remember the theme to Mary Tyler Moore? "She's going to make it after all." I'm of this mindset. I'm writing the best books I can, and ignoring the rest.

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    1. Donnell, you write great books. I know because I've read them. You also would have a seat at the table at any conference because you're published with an "acceptable" press. However, if your books were self-published, you wouldn't. And that would be a loss. Keep on writing those great romantic suspense books. Your readers are waiting.

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  8. With your six well-received and highly ranked books, you may well have attracted more attendess than other traditionally published authors.

    Just sayin'.

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    1. Seven, but who's counting? :-) You're another writer who has self-published three terrific books and has been included in the conferences you attend. Maybe that's the difference between the east coast and the west coast. West coast conferences are far ahead of those on the east coast, in general. Not saying totally, but they've opened up their panels to good indie writers. I don't know how they make their determinations, but cheers to them.

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  9. Polly your comments are very well thought out. I've been dismayed by the number of edits missed in "big" books in print, and even Peter Robinson told me last year in Oxford that he was 'embarrassed' by the number of typo's in the US editions of his books. Quality will rise and it's time people saw that quality stories and writers are out there, slogging away and working hard to turn out great reads like yours!

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    1. Thank you, Marni. That is indeed high praise from you. Your books are great.

      The difference in editing between English editions and US editions is indeed shocking. There doesn't seem to be any reason for that. I can understand the US version changing colour to color, but mistakes? Why? Lack of editors? Bad editors? If they are the ones criticizing indie writers, maybe we'd better look more deeply into the divide.

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  10. Thoughtful post. I dislike having books lumped together under one banner with no thought given to the individual, but I don't have the answer to how books can be judged in quantity otherwise. I do it for myself by reading the opening pages before I buy, easy to do with eBooks or print, online or in a store, but that's relatively few books.

    I like the covers on your collage (of course, mine is one of them), and they look good, better than many produced by big publishers. No one and no group has a monopoly on quality.

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    1. That's the conundrum, Ellis. You have fulfilled, along with others on this page, what needs to be done to produce a good product. Great writing and editing and a first-class cover. I find many people write a review that they didn't like this or that in the opening chapter. Well, read the sample. Simple and easy. Maybe that's one way to judge someone's ability or at least a way to begin the elimination of books and writers. Just a thought.

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  11. The only thing wrong with that collage of covers is that Polly neglected to include any of her STUNNING covers.

    Change can't help but come to this industry, and people like Polly who are brave enough to speak out about the inequities are needed.

    Real books, now that's a funny term if I ever heard one. I remember about ten years back when a writer might be considered an odd duck for having an ebook. Now no author would be caught dead without including a digital format or two in their offerings of each title.

    So, things do change, but if you have the perspective of the oppressed, change can't come quickly enough. For those in power, change is about losing control, about losing status, about losing market share. No wonder the fight is prolonged!

    I'm a hybrid author and proud of it. I have traditionally published mysteries and romances, but I've brought out backlist titles under my own imprint, and I'm about to jump into a new genre, science fiction, that I plan to publish.

    As for conferences and panels, I've been lucky enough to be seated on panels at conferences, but the booksales I make at conferences don't begin to cover the expense of the experience. Thus, I view cons as networking opportunities and a chance to recharge my Muse.

    Though most people say only death and taxes are certain, I'm sure change fits into the certain category as well.

    Thought provoking post. Hear, hear for Polly

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  12. Thanks, Maggie. Actually, I did send in one of my covers solo, but I guess space didn't allow for it.

    You are the perfect hybrid author, and I love that you're willing to take chances. You do all the things required of authors and more than most. I'm in awe of your energy. Wish I had some of it.

    Thanks so much for posting your views. I agree that change is a'coming.

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  13. Well said, Polly! I began with a small press and moved to indie publishing because of the freedom to create my own books (plus the money!) and haven't looked back. I write (and publish) three books a year and, like Polly, have been cold-shouldered out of participating with the "real" authors. I believe that time, and readers will tell.
    Thanks so much for saying what a lot of us are feeling, Polly.

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    1. The only way things will change is when people speak up. This concerns just about everything, from politics to publishing. Apathy guarantees things will stay the same.

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  14. I want to state that my views have nothing to do with being jealous of anyone's success. I'm thrilled for every writer who does well. My point is exactly as specified in the title of this blog. A seat at the table. A level playing field for those of us serious about our work. Fairness. Nothing more, nothing less.

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  15. I left the "questionnaire" group long ago and don't consider I'll ever go back to it. I have to try everything, so I'm self-published and traditionally published--with 3 different publishers. What I chose to read (when I have time!) has nothing to do with the publisher, but I know some of the readers of my publishers do go to them to get something consistent. I can't imagine snubbing someone because of how they're published. Like you said, we've all been unpublished! Lots of good points. Thanks for the post!

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    1. Kaye, you're the epitome of the hybrid writer. Your series, both indie published and traditionally published by one of the big five, have been well received. You've stuck to your guns about genre and aren't afraid to try new things. I commend you for that. Much future success, but I know anyone who works as hard as you deserves the brass ring you've latched onto.

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  16. Polly, you are becoming a strong, well respected voice for many of us and I thank you.

    Whimsey (thanks for including my cover in your wonderful collage - I do love my cover!) is my first journey into the world of fiction after many years of writing narrative non-fiction. Two of those pieces were accepted for juried anthologies and I was, and am, proud as punch to be in those books surrounded by some of the most awesome talent imaginable.

    I had so hoped for the same welcome in the world of fiction. In many corners I was welcomed with open arms and shown tons of support by writers I know and respect. But - not in all corners and not by all writers I know and once respected. It's been a learning experience, for sure.

    I am working on a second Whimsey, and I also plan on reprinting the first because, yes, there are a few typos that got past me and my editor. And if there is only one piece of advice I can share with anyone planning on self publishing their work - DO use an editor. Not just a proof reader. An editor. A real one.

    Even though I see mistakes in traditionally published work, I still know that self-pubbed books are going to be judged more harshly and therefore need to be perfect. We who write them need to be more diligent and work harder, but those of us who are women are used to that standard of having to work harder, so should be up to the task.

    As far as conventions? I plan on attending B'Con in 2015, but my convention attendance from now on will be as a fan. That way I'm removing my thin-skinned self from having my feelings hurt.

    Best conference experience ever? Murder in the Magic City weekend. There was never the first mention about who was published how. The attendees didn't know or care.

    I've started occasionally asking readers if they ever look at the books they're reading to see who the publisher might be. Most readers, outside of the more savvy types at places like DorothyL, look at me like that's a very strange question to be asking.

    It's going to be interesting to see how things evolve, if they do evolve, based on the survey sent out by MWA.

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    1. Kaye, we all have to start somewhere. As I mentioned, I made some mistakes in the beginning and still have to catch the stray typo or loss of continuity, especially when I'm trying something different, like putting my antagonist in first person, changing back to third, and finding a missing first person thought. Grrr. The best thing a reader of mine said when I mentioned a typo was that I could call my protagonist a different name and she wouldn't notice because she was so caught up in the action. Still, we don't want those goofs to tarnish an otherwise good book.

      You've kept to writing what you love, and that is what it's all about. I had editors say about my book InSight that who would want to read about a blind woman and a deaf cop. Well, lots of people. So there.

      Go, girl.

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  17. Well done, Polly! You've addressed a situation that nearly all of us who aren't traditionally published would like to see changed. How? That seems to be the question of many who commented above.

    For years I have advocated the creation of a qualified panel/group/multiple groups to examine submitted books from indie writers who value excellence, the purpose of which is to give them (or not) a seal of approval, rather like the one from Good Housekeeping. The books would be judged on all the criteria that makes them stand out from the gigantic slush pile:(characterization, plot, flow, interest, great dialog, grammar, punctuation, etc.). If they earned the seal, they could display it on the cover for all to see that it was a book worth buying and reading. While this is a simplified version of my idea, it never met with much interest when I presented it. But then, it would be quite complicated due to the sheer volume of books that might be submitted, and it could require a large number of qualified, objective "judges" to determine whether a manuscript/book met required standards. Obviously, a fee would need to be involved because the judges couldn't spend day after day reading without compensation. And so on...

    You are quite right that it is a matter of fairness, nothing more and nothing less. And at this moment it certainly is not fair.

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    1. I could have sworn I already answered this, but knowing me these days, I probably forgot to press Publish.

      Your solution is a good one, Linda, but doomed to fail for all the reason you mentioned, payment the most prominent. That would likely put the judges' results in the same column of paid reviews or even paid-for publications. I guess for the time being, the best we can do is continue to write good books that can't be overlooked in the marketplace and in readers' views. Thanks for the input. Wish it could come to pass.

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  18. Great post as always, Polly. I was with a small traditional publisher who closed suddenly last year. With a launch party already planned I jumped into the indie publishing pool. One of the most gratifying parts of this journey was the willingness of others to share their resources and also any other tips they'd learned along the way. I love having control over my covers, pricing, product description. I feel my covers and my own team of editors are superior to my previous publisher and many others. But I also feel I have to set a higher standard for my product because I'm indie published. AND PROUD OF IT! I did get on a B'con panel and my latest release was a finalist for both cover art, the Lefty for best humorous mystery and the Falchion for best traditional mystery so things may be changing finally, thanks to early originators like you, Polly.

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    1. Cindy, you've done extremely well and will continue to do so because you're treating your career in a professional manner. I am far from an originator. Many before me blazed the way. I just followed. I had a friend who urged me to self-publish long before I did. I wish I had, but I'm not sure I would have been ready, and those first impressions stay with readers.

      You have carved your own path, and good for you. You're doing much better than I. Don't change a thing.

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  19. Hi, Polly. Great piece, thank you! You know, I'm aligned with Christopher, above. I am so busy writing I don't have time for conferences, and frankly don't really care about all the politics, etc. Although I am appalled to hear about the exclusion of writers based on who published them. Geez. I have written and published 22 books so far - 15 with a very well-accepted small press (Twilight Times Books, a member of Mystery Writers of America, whose owner is frequently interviewed in Publisher's Weekly, etc) and 8 titles I've self pubbed, having learned the ropes like everyone else. I have earned 18 literary awards for these books, have a stable of over a dozen beta readers, engage great editors, and hire a top notch cover artist. It's all about quality. Frankly - most readers could give a hoot about who the publisher is. I see this all the time at book signings or book sales. They really don't care. All they want is a 1) intriguing cover/title 2) enticing back cover blurb 3) a well-written first page that convinces them they'll like the author's style. I've NEVER had them check "who published this book?" Crazy, huh? Best wishes to all, Aaron Lazar (www.lazarbooks.com)

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  20. P.S. Thank you for adding BETRAYAL to the collage, above! Looks great with wonderful company. ;o)

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    1. And your books show the care you give them. I've read enough of them to know. You have the perfect attitude. Keep writing, and thanks for your input.

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  21. Great post, Polly. What really shocks me is the blogger who refused to consider hosting writers on the basis of how they were published. It's one thing for a big organization to make those kinds of distinctions, but for a fellow writer to do so boggles my mind.

    I'm proud that I've interviewed writers on my blog from all categories: self-published, large publishers, and small. It isn't the publisher, but the writing that matters. Your books are as well written as any out there. I see the survey as a hopeful sign that one of the big organizations is at least considering the merit of self-published authors.

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    1. Thanks, Nancy. It's interesting that a caste system still lingers, especially with writers who were themselves unpublished just a few short years ago. How uppity some have become. You're doing it right. It is the writing that matters. If readers would only look at the first pages on Amazon, they could save themselves a lot of time. Those pages are enough to decide whether you like the writer's style or not. Thanks for stopping by.

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  22. I have nothing new to add to all the comments - came late to the party today. Wonderful post, Polly. I live in hope that some day recognition will be directed to the quality of the book not the manner of publication. I know too many authors eagerly awaiting the expiration of their contracts to get rights back so they can go indie. The handwriting is on the wall. The future is here.

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    1. I couldn't agree with you more, Kait. It should be all about the books, but it isn't. Yet! Late or not, I'm delighted you dropped by.

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  23. Polly, you are so correct in your thoughts on this topic. I would not have guessed your were self-published until you said it. Then again, i don't buy books based on that criteria. i look for good writing and have found that self-pubbed, small press pubbed, and traditionally pubbed can be good, great, bad, mediocre, and awful.

    The snobbery in publishing today is diminishing, as it should, but it will still be a while before the playing field is level. After all, who is going to set the criteria? Certainly, for a time, those gatekeepers will be the ones who currently manage the current writing groups unless there is a significant groundswell to the contrary.

    I look forward to each new book you publish!

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  24. Ah, lovely. A reader. Thank you, Claire. I'm not alone out in the bookasphere. There are many good self-pubbed writers. Checking the sample pages on sell sites is one way to see a writer's style and make a judgment. Hopefully, that level playing field levels off soon. Thanks for commenting.

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  25. The core issue, apart from an obvious caste system and the lingering stigma of being self-published, is that if you get past the editing—typos, egregious grammatical errors, major inconsistencies—quality is subjective. Dollars, on the other hand, are not. If a writer is receiving renumeration for their work, s/he IS a professional. Whether that money comes in the form of an advance from a traditional publisher or via sales on Amazon, etc. shouldn't matter. Given that the mission statement promoted by the big writer organization suggests no concrete mission apart from inclusivity, it's ironic they seem so hellbent on marginalizing. My guess is they're losing members for the reasons you've outlined here, Polly, and now they're scrambling.

    Because of the sheer number of self-published works, I would guess conference organizers (usually volunteers) are afraid of being overwhelmed by panel requests from the multitude of indie authors and thus maintain a blanket exclusion to protect themselves. Arbitrary and wrong? Of course, but they don't want to be the gatekeepers, and frankly, I don't blame them.

    Any book blogger whose policy it is to exclude self-published/small press authors would be an automatic no-read for me. Bloggers should be sharing books they personally consider to be of quality, regardless of how the book was published. If bloggers don't have time to evaluate the books they promote, and they're depending on publishers to determine what's good, then they're not blogging, they're shilling for the big five.

    I completed the questionnaire. I hope the big writer organization is candid and open with the results.

    VR Barkowski

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    1. VR, I will bet money that if there's a determining factor for the unnamed organization, it will be earnings. Why? Because those who are earning good money will use that to separate the majority of self-pubbed writers. That might come back to bite them in the ass, though, considering that many trad-pubbed authors aren't making as much as some indies. Of course, that's if they exact the same active membership parameters to active members as well. It will be interesting to see what happens. I agree about gatekeepers, but there's a lot at stake, and they will eventually have to deal with the problem.

      I still feel that conference panels should try to have one indie writer on each panel. How they decide is again a problem. I, personally, have gone to all the conferences I want to go to, so it won't effect me one way or the other. But what's fair is fair.

      I totally agree with you about bloggers. I've never asked to be on anyone's blog, but I know the hurt being rejected caused, and the actions of that blog has diminished them in my eyes. Not that they or anyone else cares what I think. But there you have it.

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  26. I was at a writing conference so I didn't get to see this post, and most points have already been made, and very well. In most organizations that had 'approved' publisher lists for membership, the change has shifted -- slowly -- but the dollar earning amount has appeared in many of them as an alternative. These groups are governed by writing professionals, but let's be realistic. When's the last time John Q. Reader walked into a brick and mortar bookstore and said, "Can you direct me to the Random House aisle, please." Those outside of the business don't pay any attention to who published the book.

    I've been left off panels and have paid huge bucks to attend a conference where nobody knew I was an author. So much for networking.

    And, at the conference I attended this past weekend, the changes are showing. One agent, with a large agency, said they're now open to contracting only for sub-rights. So, the indie author who could never hope to deal with getting foreign translations, or movie/television deals, or mass market paperback instead of trade, now has a chance. I'm technically a hybrid, but I was with small presses, two of which were digital first, and the other only hard cover. Never made a dime. Now that I have rights to almost all of my back list, and am writing original fiction, I'm making money.

    I'm going to the Novelists, Inc. conference this weekend, where all these issues, and more, will be on the table. I'm looking forward to seeing where things are going. (And that group has also come around to include indie authors, and it sets a royalty/earnings threshold for membership, as it's only open to authors with at least 2 published books.)

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  27. Terry, that's heartening to hear. I can't wait to hear how the Novelist Inc conference deals with the problems. I'm not a member, but maybe I should be.

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  28. Polly, I so agree with you on this. Recently, I read a traditionally published book by one of the big name publishers.The book was by a well-known author I enjoy, and was well written, except it had some glaring typos that this publisher. Last night I finished another book by an author I enjoy, with not one of the big five, but still a very respected publisher and again I found editing mistakes, and I'm not a nit-picker looking for them.

    Although, I'm not included on panels and understand that to some extent, I was quite pleased because I had several short stories published, that I had a spot for the last two years at Author's Alley, and in 2013, was included in the New Author's breakfast for my first book and at a time for book signing. This past Malice, I drew a slot for Malice-Go-Round, too, and sold a lot of books for that. So it seems that Malice is coming a little way towards accepting we Indies.

    By the way, although their convention is for traditional and/or cozy books, I do see them bending the rules just a little bit, Polly, so maybe your books will be recognized there someday, too, as they should be.

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  29. Thanks, Gloria. Hopefully, we'll see changes in the next few years. Too many good writers are left out only because of the way they're published. And like I said, it's not right. Thanks so much for your comment. You are a delight, and I'm so glad to have met you.

    ReplyDelete

The Blood-Red Pencil is a blog focusing on editing and writing advice. Some of our contributors are editors, some are authors, and some are writing sheep. Yes, sheep.

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