Okay, my next blog post wasn’t supposed to be one of my argumentative, soap box, pro-indie posts. It was supposed to be about book trailers, and how they are good for marketing. BUT that will be pre-empted for a later date (TBA).
I am so irked about something right now–yes, a few crazy argument on another board–that I have to speak up about it. It mostly has to do with freedom of speech and freedom of the press (and yes, I do consider one’s right to self-publish part of that). No offense to anyone living outside of the US, but I am very adamant about my freedom to write and say what I want.
YES, there are some badly self published books. LADIDA! THere are also a lot of bad traditionally published books. There are some really awesome self-published books out there, that may not be “the norm” or may cross over into their own genre…but they are that author’s story and they have the right to publish it.
But we all know that…
But now the Great Gurus of the Commercial Publishing Olde Guarde (and strangely enough, some indie authors …?) are telling us what we are not allowed to say in certain (or maybe any) online forums.
Here are just a few of those taboo expressions, and why it irks me that we are not allowed to say them (other than, of course, freedom of speech).
You’re not allowed to say you “never heard of” a traditionally published author. At all. If you do, the internet guards will swoop down and attack you for making such an “immature” derogatory comment.
a) since when is saying you don’t know somebody derogatory? seems to me a neither/nor kind of thing. You either know somebody or you don’t…
Well maybe you’ve heard of them and forgot. But that’s beside the point.
b) What if it’s a statement of FACT? NO, I actually never heard of Joe B. Smith. Never read any of his books. Then, that’s a FACT. And, that’s something you should be able to freely state.
c) If you never heard of someone, then their words don’t carry much weight. Period. And, I believe that’s all those people who claimed they never heard of a certain author were stating.
If John B. Smith, author of some scifi series you never read says something…well his words old as much value to you as any other stranger. If Stephen King says it, or JK Rowling, or JA Konrath…well then you might take more heed.
I could claim to be an expert in XYZ topic, and unless you know of me, have ever heard of me, or have read about the research or anything else I’ve done in regards to…you aren’t going to hold my comments in any higher regard than you would your Aunt Martha. Or, more to the point, any other random stranger.
I can tell you my boss at my “night job” is an expert in investigations. but I have no proof of that other than my own word. And what does that matter to you? It doesn’t. You probably don’t even care. You’ve never heard of him. You might not even care about criminal justice at all. I’m not going to rant at you that he’s a damn, smart man of excellent integrity who has seen a lot of tough things in his CJ career, and he deserves your respect…
Doing so would mean that I make an ass of myself, and that is what certain people have done. (no offense to anyone, personally). People really need to chill, and respect other people’s opinions.
You’re not allowed to say you don’t like a traditionally published book. Okay, one or two people have been the exception to this and commented that they respect my rights to say that I did not like a certain book. Nice to know there are people who do respect other people’s opinions. Nice to know there’s some normalcy and sanity on the internet. 😉
The other people commenting on 1-2 particular threads absolutely lynch you for saying “but he sucks anyways” or “But I thought his book was terrible…” or even that the book was boring. The book in question was loaned to me by a friend at work a couple years ago, and I couldn’t even get through the second chapter of it, then I wound up skimming through the rest. I’d tried to read it previously (when I worked in the library) and couldn’t read it even then, when I was much less picky than I am now. So, after my friend loaned it (actually forced it in my face) at work I read the first 2 chapters, and though “oh, this is that same damn book that I couldn’t get into before…” and, as I said I skimmed it.
again, A) that’s fact. I really did that! I didn’t LIE and say that I didn’t like and say it out of spite, just because this author dissed self-publishing. Where would that get me?
B) that’s my opinion of his book, which I am entitled to. There seems to be a school of thought that indies should not comment on TP books lest we all look like “jealous wannabes” or “bitter indies.” I am of the opposite school of though, that thinks it’s healthy to discuss literature More of that later). It helps us gain credibility, and helps us us to grow as readers as well as writers. JMO.
We are not allowed to say anything negative against any commercially published successful author, ever. ever. lest we be banned from the interwebz.
Apparently, to do so is to “attack someone’s character.”
I’m sorry, pardon me while I catch my breath from laughing so hard at that one. It’s so silly!
And, this occurred on at least 3-4 separate online forums this week.
Look, nobody accused Dan Simmons of raping their dog. Nobody accused Anne Rice of murdering their cat. Nobody said Stephanie Meyers is an alcoholic, who got drunk behind the wheel of the car and ran over their chinchilla.
Opinions (there’s that word again) were formed about these authors based on: comments they have made on the internet, which everyone can read, various cases of “authors behaving badly,” their books themselves, and the writing skill (or lack thereof) demonstrated by said books.
YES, people may use words like “he’s talking out of his ass.” or “She’s a hack.” Again, all opinions. And, yes when someone goes on and on about something they clearly have no knowledge of they are “talking out of their ass.” It’s a figure of speech. I could go on and on about brain surgery, and I would be just “talking out of my ass” because I have no knowledge of it, and nothing to base my comments on.
People tend to call people “idiots” and “morons” and “assholes,” and worse ALL OVER THE INTERNET, and even IRL. Don’t want to come under fire? Don’t say shit against anyone else (sp/indies) or any thing else (sp) on the internet. Don’t diva out when you get a bad review, or yes people will call you a bitch, and imply that you are crazy. “Authors behaving badly” backlash applies to Commercially published authors as well as indies. Fair is fair.
Look I love JK Rowling, and I know a lot of fellow authors think she’s not all that and the HP series is overrated, and her input with editing made her last 3 books sub-par, yada yada…but I don’t go around attacking everyone who has said that. They are entitled to their opinions. And, it is my choice to just disregard it.
I wouldn’t get a lynch mob together to attack thee that offendeth my queen. *rolls eyes* People need to chill.
And, look…when you’re in the public eye, people are going to say whatever they want. And, it’s not always going to be all “nicey nice.” Period.
We’re not allowed to call ourselves Indie Authors. OMG alert the media! Thousands arrested for using the wrong term to describe their business plan! “It’s the end of the world…armagedon…cats and dogs living together!”
Sorry, but as long as THOU HOLIEST ONES can use the term “legacy publishing” which I think its TOTALLY RIDICULOUS, I will continue to use the term “indie authorship”. sorry. A whole separate blog post regarding this is planned for next week.
You’re not allowed to say that there are bad Traditionally Published books out there. Apparently, The Powers That Be are very adamant about this one, because in their opinion there are more bad SP books than TP, and apparently that negates anything we have to say about that. Sorry no. The Lovely Bones sucks, Twilight sucks. So there.
NOt only that…
You are not allowed to bring up Snookie, or any other celeb-related drivel when you talk about bad commercially published books. as if that were the only trash that commercial publishing houses put out.Do they honesty think that if we can’t bring up those things, then we cannot have anything negative to say? Is that it?
Or is it that they think these books “don’t count.” Sorry they do. They chose to publish them, and give them major attention, to put their marketing dollars behind celebrity crap, instead of all of their other authors who probably could use it more. Celeb names sell themselves, and their fans will flock to their books…
New authors and mid-list authors should be getting that marketing and pr. not Snookie or Paris.
Most bogus and ignorant hindrance to freedom of speech yet:
We’re not allowed to talk about the success of Amanda Hocking, or HP Mallory, or Zoe Winters…or any other successful indie author who is actually a good writer.
Way to totally negate the arguments in favor of indie publishing.
From “Leave Amanda Alone!” rants, to “but Zoe is an exception rather than the norm” commentary, it eliminates TOTALLY our points that not all indie work is bad. That there are good indie books among the masses. That “the cream rises to the top” and the bad books go unheard of. Apparently boasting of one of your online friends’ success is taboo. Posting a glowing review for a fellow indie author’s book–that happens to be really good–also taboo. Shame on us!
Well you know what, I am not going to bite my tongue and kowtow to the nay-sayers. I am going to violate every little one of these imposed “rules” of discussing literature online.
I’m in the US, and I believe in freedom of speech.
You haters cannot take that away from me.
~Write, publish with pride and speak freely!~
disclaimer: This post was made while feeling really sick with what is probably bronchitis, which has added to my crankiness with said issues as well as my moodiness of the past week or so.