Monday, June 13, 2011

Attention Literary Bullies:

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 ? Can you at least respect the genre and advertise as what the book is?


NYTAuthor: And I find advertising a book under the  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.

23 comments:

  1. Oi how tactless of a NYT author. I'm sure a bunch of people found that very tacky.

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  2. I thought it was awful. I was completely appalled. It was just... mean. And totally uncalled for. Ironically on the Kindle pages their rankings are not very far apart. The indie author is doing quite well for herself!

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  3. I wonder if the marketing department feels like it's 'at her disposal'.

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  4. LOL! Authorguy, when I saw that exchange I thought the same thing. I think very few authors, regardless of how they are published, get much marketing assistance.

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  5. Wow. That's the most childish thing I've seen in a long, long time.

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  6. And also, what should #yalit be used for? And what does she CARE? Are only traditionally published authors allowed to be in the hash tag club? So many things annoy me about her tweets.

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  7. How awful and petty. I'm glad you kept the names out because seeing a personality like that might ruin NYT's lit for me. I know it shouldn't, authors and their books should be separate, but it's hard to keep separate in cases like that.

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  8. I think you hit it right on the head GP! I was wondering where this was coming from, but your reasoning for the author's actions makes complete sense. And what saddens me the most is that this is not all we will see. The tides are changing, and more people are going to feel threatened by the change. Thanks for the great post!

    Angeline Kace

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  9. The saddest part about this to me is that NYTAuthor has become somewhat of a role model for teens. This author goes from school to school promoting NYTAuthor's work while 'teaching' kids the horrors of certain issues they should avoid. NYTAuthor is also involved in an anti-bullying campaign.

    Now that NYTAuthor has shown hypocrisy in this area of life, I can only wonder when the teens will become wise and realize this person is just another "Do as I say, not as I do" let down.

    I can think of many "icky" ways to promote work. Using a hashtag on Twitter isn't one of them.

    Just before hitting "Post Comment," I discovered that NYTAuthor has apologized for NYTAuthor's behavior on Twitter. :)

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  10. Sadly, it is not just NYT best sellers who say things like that. I have been on the receiving end of some pretty backhanded comments from people who aren't even published yet. They might have agents, or even publishing cotracts, but even if they only worked on their book a year and landed an agent--they seem to want to assume they have either worked harder than I have or worked LONGER than I have.

    I don't think some of these people have any idea how long it takes to put out a good book yourself, you do everything they have to do THEN you have a million other hats you have to put on.

    PS- It must be an Angela day!

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  11. I'm sorry to hear this. It is a shame to have occured.

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  12. Aren't we all Indie Writers? Before NYTAuthor was picked up,she was an Indie!!!She just unwittingly called a ton of support for Indie Author 2.

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  13. Wow, this is disgusting. What a horrible way for one author to act towards another. I've observed a lot of prejudice towards indies from the writing community lately, and it's troubling to me.

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  14. DONALD WELLS said... (Blogger still won't let me post comments under my own name. Every time I try it comes up as anonymous.)

    This is just one more reason why we "Indies" need to stick together and support each other's work. If you read a book that you sincerely like that was written by an Indie author than don't neglect to praise that book openly. We can be each other's Marketing Departments just by offering honest praise and let the "Legacers" go their own way. By the way, It was very classy of you not to use names G.P.

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  15. Hello!
    Good writing is good writing.
    A good story is great to read.
    I wish you well with your writing and hope you sell heaps!
    xx

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  16. Some day her publishing company will go out of business and her marketing department will disappear. I hate seeing people lose their jobs, especially those poor working stiffs in the marketing department, but I can't say I'll feel especially sorry for this snooty deluded woman.

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  17. Literary bullies repeat after me. "Just because an author is self-published does not mean their writing is of poor quality."
    Amen, sister! :)

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  18. This is sad...it does not matter how a book is published...that is absolutley irrelevant to the material...if it Good...it is Good...and you are right. Those who throw mud eventually get mud all over themselves...times are changing..there are alot of amazing writers out there who have never been published..sounds like NYT Author is feeling threatened. Shaeeza is right...

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  19. Couldn't agree more. I find it such a shame to see this type of behaviour towards another human and writer. I'm glad she apologised, but I don't understand how she thought it was ok to do it in the first place. We should be supporting each other. And it's true a good book is good regardless of whether it is self-published or not.

    Bilinda

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  20. Interesting post. Let's just say I googled and found out who you were talking about and I only added one of them on Twitter. Thanks for sharing though.

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  21. Great post. I definitely think those kinds of comments are motivated by fear. NYT author sounded like she was trying to be the twitter police, haha. I'm guessing she didn't like the author using the #yalit tag because she doesn't consider self-published works to be "literature".

    I think the important thing is to step away from what other writers are saying and take a look at what the readers are saying, both through reviews and through their purchases.

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  22. I love how people act like self-publishing is new. Pretty sure first people to have a printing press didn't ASK someone else for permission to publish. Thomas Paine and his good buddy Benjamin Rush published "Common Sense." In the past, a writer who owned or had access to a printing press (or in our cases, the Internet) used it to publish his or her writings. Technically speaking, all of us were educated to write in a common language (depending on the country you live in). The language doesn't belong to anyone, but everyone. We should all use it and be courteous to one another. :)

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