"Fiction is the purest art. Commercial fiction is the butter, the darkest chocolate, and the finest malt. That's why we are so addicted to it."--Angie Brooksby-Arcangioli
I love this! And to be honest, I may have a bit of a crush.
I'm a little disappointed he left off Bob Mayer and his specious "consignment store" analogy. Otherwise, perfect. Sorry I missed the "rape or be raped" bit before... okay, I'm not.
Wow, thanks for posting that link. I was unaware of Mr. Buckell and his work. What caught my interest even more, was his post on writing about characters from diverse racial backgrounds.http://www.tobiasbuckell.com/2006/01/13/douglas-blaine-on-shame/
Flawless post is flawless. I followed the blogs of one of those Kings in question for a long time - and linked to it regularly as a resource! - but their whole schtick eventually turned so sour I couldn't bare it anymore.
My comment on a bookstores being a consignment store isn't specious. It's exactly what a bookstore is. Please check your dictionary for both the definition of specious and consignment. Then go into a bookstore and ask the manager when they pay a publisher for books they have racked. They pay a percentage on books when they are actually sold. I do believe that is consignment.I found Buckell's post to be exactly what he's ranting against and less cogent than Stackpole's post that he was referring to. Although I do agree that equating being a contracted author to slavery is way out of perspective.
That is an excellent post. He pointed out my major problem with Eisler and Konrath claiming to be self-published. They're both with Amazon, and I've seen Amazon promote the Detachment on the front page of the site, on the Kindle (it was a smart move, marketing-wise). However, the average person who self-publishes? Doesn't have that ability. No one at Amazon is going to select a random CreateSpace published work and slap it on the front page of the site. (And I say that as someone who self-published a volume of poetry, knowing that poetry is hard to sell. I had nothing to lose.)It is very difficult, as a nameless person, to gain success as a self-published author. It's not impossible, and it depends on what your definition of success is. But without a build-in audience base (like Konrath and Eisler both have, having both had prior deals with other publishers), it is very difficult to a) figure out how to market your product and b) to reach people. Anyway, my point is...I enjoyed that blog very much. Thank you for posting it.
I stopped following both Konrath and Mayer because of their focus on self publishing and the recognition that them self publishing (after several traditionally published books) and me self publishing my first novel is a completely different thing. The other thing is that, as they go on, they sounded more angry and bitter. They spend their blogs inspecting their sales records from before and after and looking at every positive write up on self-publishing, snarking at every negative one, and it felt like they were trying to prove to all of us (and themselves) that they were doing the right thing. Or possibly that they weren't failures for choosing the less traveled path. I wouldn't have thought they were, but blog after blog on the subject and it felt like an issue of protesting too much and I couldn't stand to listen to it any more. Even their writing began to feel like a task secondary to the publishing venue. I just don't have it in me to feel bad for best-sellers. Okay, I'll feel bad for them every now and then, but not weekly when they come by just to tell me they're doing the right thing and why can't I see it the way they do.
Thanks for the link. Great read.
I've followed both Konrath's and Buckell's blogs for years (and yours Ms. Reid). I think all of you have good stuff to say. And I think all of you can get a bit crotchety. But you know what, that's okay. It means there are people who are passionate about what they believe and are willing to go the mat for it. My gosh, I would much rather hear from folks like that, than people who just cruise along, never thinking about the world around them. I can learn from people on all sides of an issue, and won't be unsubscribing anytime soon from any of their blogs.
It's interesting. I've been doing what he's been doing for just as long and I have sales to prove it. And I agree on many points. But I'm still curious about self-publishing, and not because of Konrath or anyone else. I'm more interested in author ownership and control.
I'm still young to the whole writing and publishing world so my view can change on literally a single piece of information sometimes.I think these kings of self publishing have a point to be angry. They have played both sides of the fence and found success on one side that makes the other look like a wasteland. Buckell is right that what works for one person isn't the only way.However Buckell's post seems to be written out of jealousy or some other deep seeded issue. I have read Knorath, and Stackpole's blogs, I also read this one and dozens of others. But this one has some serious issues with DNA tests and ancestral artisans followed by slavery. This is my entry point for Buckell, but he comes off as a bigger self absorbed ass than the kings.If you don't like Konrath, Don't read his blog. Don't blog about his blog. Don't buy his books.
Konrath defenders are nothing if not predictable. Time fora new script, folks. Your logical fallacies are growing threadbare, and the whole "jealousy" accusation was already tired two years ago.
Can't we all just get...Respect for making our own publishing choices? Full on self-publishing isn't for me. I like working with a big six publisher and I also like e-publishing short story collections. That doesn't make me stupid or short sighted.And that's the problem with the 'kings' of the self-publishing hype. It's my career, I won't be bullied or fear-mongered. Call me whatever you want, but respect my ability to make informed choices.
@Bob:consign: to assign to an undesirable position or place; relegatespecious: seeming to be good, sound, correct, logical, etc. without really being so; plausible but not genuineSource: Webster's New World College Dictionary, Fourth EditionMy comment stands.
My apologies Bill, I wasn't in the publishing business two years ago. I just find it hard to take someones rant seriously when their reinforcing argument is that they are not a white male.He asks me to ignore the 'kings' and the same time to ignore people who have to denigrate and insult others. That is all his post does past the second paragraph.
@SBJones...I think you made some excellent, valid points. And I've been around for twenty years.
Was glad to discover that author, he has some interesting stuff on his blog.My concern about the overhype of self-pubbing is that it's pulling in some people who really shouldn't self-pub - at least not so quickly. I have a friend who self-pubbed her women's fiction novel after only trying to find an agent for a few months (and not doing it in a particularly professional way). That would be fine if she had the skills to promote herself, but she does not. I think I may be the only person who downloaded her book. She didn't take the time to look into trad pub because she was persuaded by people who have far more resources and business savvy than she does to dump that route. This all reminds me of the gold rush, where the supply companies made all the money and the miners died of starvation in the Yukon.
Bookstores are consignment stores. If you think it works otherwise, fine. If you want to use a definition that doesn't apply, go ahead. The reality is:"Consignment-- the act of consigning, which is placing any material in the hand of another, but retaining ownership until the goods are sold. This may be done for shipping, transfer of, to auction, or for sale in a store." Sound like a bookstore? Do you believe a bookstore is a pure retailer or wholesaler? Tell me how. I'm more than willing to admit I'm wrong if you can describe to me how bookstores directly purchase books from publishers and then own their inventory and have to sell it.I wasn't aware I sounded angry and bitter? Check my blog post today. I think a lot of people are taking one side or the other and I don't. I think each person has to choose their own path. I've blogged several times about the big difference between having backlist and being a new author and how that affects the choice and path of self-publishing. So accusing me of that is also wrong. Unless you can go to my blog and find where I do.If you prefer an author who curses, rants and castigates a group of people without allowing anyone to comment back, feel free to. I found the post to be immature and exactly the thing he rails against. I stand by my comments on my blog over the years and I think if you'd read them, you'd find most of the comments about me on this blog are far off base.Frankly Clothdragon, whoever you are, you are far off base on the way you describe me. I've been an author advocate for years and think every writer has to choose their own path.To each their own and all the best with whatever path you choose to pursue.
Also, Tobias Buckell proudly announced on his "journal" a while back that he would never do business with Amazon. Ever. Yet his books are listed there for sale. Yet he doesn't have another "journal" entry telling why he's changed his mind. Why he's taking money from a business he said he'd boycott? So he's already gone for the buck when it favored him and dumped his high moral ground.
Please educate me Deb as to what business model you think bookstores use, if they are not consignment. I'm more than willing to admit I'm wrong. And I don't even see why it's an issue. It's a fact. There are good reasons why that business model developed. Hopefully things like the Espresso machine will help bring that outdated business model into the modern world.
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