I woke up this morning to an inbox full of email from friends calling my attention to a series of tweets by a NYTimes bestselling author about a bestselling indie author. I want to share this exchange with you but I'm going to remove the names because it's not my intention to drag anyone through the dirt.
NYTAuthor: Wow... just randomly signed in here to find some Amazon wannabe claiming her book is YA?
NYTAuthor: @Indieauthor Okay, really? You want to call this #yalit? Can you at least respect the genre and advertise as what the book is?
NYTAuthor: And I find advertising a book under the #yalit hashtag icky. sorry.
Indie Author 2: @NYTAuthor Not everyone has a marketing department at their disposal.
NYTAuthor: Some of us worked hard to get that marketing department at our disposal.
As an indie author, I feel compelled to say that I think these comments are made out of an emotional place of fear. I don't think NYTAuthor is afraid the publishing industry is going to crumble or that this indie author is going to impact her sales. I think NYTAuthor is afraid that some of us are actually GOOD. See if people take indie writers seriously, if we are successful competing for the same readership and maybe someday for the same awards, it undermines the notion that she and her writing is somehow better, more validated, than the indie writer's. I think what scares NYT the most is that people like myself DID work hard on our manuscripts and the fact that she is there and I am here may be more a matter of luck or timing than skill.
Literary bullies repeat after me. "Just because an author is self-published does not mean their writing is of poor quality." In fact, you might be surprised at the amazing books that are out there.
Ironically, I've never read one of NYT's books. Why? I found the topics exploitive of troubled teens. It's just my opinion, and I've never shared the reason I passed them up publicly before. But I think it's relevant in this context that the pot shouldn't be calling the kettle black.
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