Thursday, August 16

Sue Grafton: I Did A Bad Bad Thing

Yesterday Sue Grafton backpedaled on her claim that self-publishers were "too lazy to do the hard work". Ms. Grafton writes:
The responses to that quote ranged from irate to savage to the downright nasty.  Indie writers felt I was discounting their efforts and that I was tarring too many with the same brush.  It wasn’t my intention to tar anyone, if the truth be known.  Several writers took the time to educate me on the state of e-publishing and the nature of self-publishing as it now stands.  I am uninitiated when it comes to this new format.  I had no idea how wide-spread it was, nor did I see it as developing as a response to the current state of traditional publishing, which is sales driven and therefore limited in its scope.  I understand that e-publishing has stepped into the gap, allowing a greater number of authors to enter the marketplace.  This, I applaud.  I don’t mean to sound defensive here…though of course I do.

I don’t understand the mechanics of e-publishing and I still don’t understand how you can earn money thereby but I realize now that many indie writers are doing well financially and netting themselves greater visibility than I had any reason to believe. 
Read the rest over at The Pulse of the City: More from Sue Grafton on Publishing & Indie Writers.

Hugh Howey wasn't impressed. Here's his response to Sue's clarification of her thoughts on indie publishing:
Here is my favorite part of her disingenuous backpedaling:
When I’m asked for advice I warn many writers about the charlatans lurking out there.  I warn about the risk of being taken in by those who promise more than they actually deliver and do so at a writers expense. 
Sue? If I didn’t know better, I’d say you were talking about traditional publishers. Promise more than they deliver? Self-publishing makes no promises. You work your butt off with nothing but your own hopes and dreams. Every success startles. The empty promises I’ve seen made have come from major publishers, who have graciously offered to take my hard work and pay me less money and less frequently while they profit handily. Who are the charlatans? Look around, Sue. They’ve been milking you for years.
You can read Hugh's entire response here: An Explanation from Sue Grafton

Personally I think there's something to the adage: By their fruits you will know them. Are indie authors making money? Is indie publishing advancing writers' careers allowing them another option for advancement? The answer: Heck ya! But one thing indie publishing is not is easy.

Related reading:
- Hugh Howey, Bestselling Author Of Wool, On The Key To Writing Success
- Seth Godin: When To Go With A Traditional Publisher
- Amanda Hocking's Unusual Writing Schedule (Amanda Hocking writes between 6 and 12 hours a day! Anyone who calls that lazy has a different definition than I do.)

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