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Author Topic: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.  (Read 31890 times)  

Offline SLGray

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #100 on: January 27, 2014, 09:10:07 PM »
We don't need someone coming in and telling us to help each other out as though this is an idea that no one had ever thought of and considered. But if someone wants advice and help, they need to ask.

I am not going to force it on anyone and deny it all you like, that is what is being discussed. Hunting down 'inferior' authors who aren't being professional enough for me is not on my agenda for today, tomorrow or any time in the future.


1. Chuck didn't "come in here" and tell anyone anything. I posted the link to his blogpost because I thought it was interesting and I largely agreed with it. I haven't changed my mind about the agreeing, but about the posting of it? Yeah, little bit.

2. Therefore, he wasn't writing the post for members of KBoards, but for the people who regularly frequent his blog. There may be some overlap. There may not but it wasn't a proscriptive sermon for KBoarders. People who are here largely understand that they can ask for help and suggestions and do so. Not everyone who wants to publish their own writing is on KBoards, no matter whether we think they ought to be or not.

3. I really don't know where you get that Chuck or anyone is suggesting "hunting down" anyone. As I've stated, I understand reading things differently. I can even wrap my brain around people reading a call to offer unsolicited advice. But "hunting down inferior authors"? Um. Who called for that? Where?

Offline JRTomlin

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #101 on: January 27, 2014, 09:11:18 PM »
This. I think I'm part of the problem Chuck is talking about. I celebrate hobbyist writers and have blogged extensively about this. I celebrate the 12-year-old who completed NaNoWriMo this year and wants to see her book on Amazon. She's not hurting anyone. Let her publish. I'll be her cheerleader.
I'm with Hugh on this one but I'm tired of the argument so I wish you all a good night.


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Offline psychotick

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #102 on: January 27, 2014, 09:15:37 PM »
Hi,

Card carrying realist? I didn't know there was such a card. Only scars for those who aren't. As someone once said, reality is what trips you up when you run around with your eyes closed!

Cheers, Greg.
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Offline AutumnKQ

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #103 on: January 27, 2014, 09:24:26 PM »
My response....
This is awesome. I agree with most of it. Its just that its not my job to criticize those other indie authors.
I can only take care of my own stuff.

In fact, Im a small business owner. I dont go around critiquing businesses in my same general area of expertise. I might look to them for ideas on what to do and what not to do, but I dont cheer them on or criticize them. Doesnt matter. Im just doing my thing and doing it to the best of my ability. I see my indie pubbing venture the same way.

On the other hand I sincerely appreciate the indie publishing culture and how open it sometimes is. Ive learned a lot from other authors. But still, its not my place to criticize how someone else is running their business. And it doesnt matter to me if theyre doing it wrong. Im not worried that their lack of professionalism might rub off on me. They arent me. Theyre creating content, same as I am, but we create different content. My content makes up my brand. These other authors have nothing to do with my brand.

I also make music, and I never feel like I need to be worried about all those bands recording music in their garages. Its irrelevant. It has zero bearing on my music. Everyone knows good indie music exists at this point in the game. Sure, lots of it might be garbage, but lots of it isnt. And its so exciting when you discover that new gem no one else has heard of. ;) This is where I see indie publishing going.

I dont feel like I need to be a good example, or that I need to consciously work to ensure my contributions elevate the overall quality of the sea of indie pubbed books. I spent months on revisions and hired an editor because I want my story to be the best it can be. I hired a cover artist so my story would get the cover it deserves (within budget, at least.)

I think thats what you say we need more of, so great, but I still dont care either way if other writers choose to self-pub their NaNo novel on Dec 1st, or if they make their covers using Paint. Its irrelevant. The music analogy stands. I honestly dont have to worry about any stigma. Give it five more years. I promise that you and everyone else will forget there ever was one. There will be books worth reading and books not worth reading, and thats it.

Offline Andrew Ashling

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #104 on: January 27, 2014, 09:40:07 PM »
I'm always perplexed (and slightly amused) when someone writes a blog or a post and speaks of "we" this and "we" that.
It always leaves me wondering who this "we" are, and If I'm included and should mend my evil ways.












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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #105 on: January 27, 2014, 10:15:18 PM »
Chuck didn't "come in here" and tell anyone anything. I posted the link to his blogpost because I thought it was interesting and I largely agreed with it. I haven't changed my mind about the agreeing, but about the posting of it? Yeah, little bit.

I agree with most of what Chuck wrote.  So I'm a little surprised by some of the reactions, as well.   

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #106 on: January 27, 2014, 10:21:53 PM »
Yes, I'm a relative newcomer to your little kaffeeklatsch, despite having been self-publishing for over a decade, and being featured in AP articles on the topic back in 2007, before the big Kindle boom.  So are we done "qualification-measuring" now?  

I'm newly active too, but crashing a party has never been a problem for me.  I bust my way in, and I stay in.   8)


Offline RichardWolanski

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #107 on: January 27, 2014, 10:26:47 PM »
I personally don't see why there's this pressing need for an all encompassing arbiter of good for the self-pubbers, but when Taylor Swift wants to publish "Electric Bugaloo 2: The T-Rex edition", there's nigh a peep. And by peep I mean there isn't this gushing clamor about the state of an amorphous industry. Why can't we just write our books the best we can and let readers decide? I'm personally in the camp that believes criticism (honest but not cruel) is necessary to be a better writer.  

However, there are too many people who don't have the perfect presentation (covers) with equal amounts of polish (editing) that are thriving. Honestly, they encourage me to at least try. It's obvious to me that most writers want their work to be good and so they slave over improving it the best they can. I'm not interested in telling somone what they can and can't do. Like someone else in here mentioned, not everyone's goal is the same and guess what------it's okay.

A volcano will not erupt nor with the stars implode if some one doesn't hire an editor. Work on you. Do you. If someone is asking for advice, offer it. What else is there really to say about it?

Peace.

Offline syrimne13

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #108 on: January 27, 2014, 11:03:07 PM »
I read the article and probably a year ago I would have agreed with much of it. It's not that I don't agree with it now, it just doesn't make me go rah rah. Why? I've come to realize that the major difference between traditional publishers and self-publishers is simply one of experience.

It's not a difference of passion, talent, storytelling ability, or anything like that.

Traditional publishers have been making a business of publishing books for years. How many self-publishers have been doing that? There are a few but the majority of us have 2-4 years (or less!) under our belts. Please correct me if I'm wrong on that. The thing is one of the best ways of learning is by DOING. When we published my first novel, let's just say there was room for improvement. Do you honestly think I knew that when I hit the publish button? Of course, I didn't. I thought it was the best thing I could possibly produce. And it wasat that moment in time. Should I not have published it because of it's shortcomings? Shortcomings that I would only be capable of discerning as I continued to gain experience in self-publishing?

Right now, I'm re-working three-quarters of the books I'd published as of December 31 of 2013. Why? Gosh, with the 17 months of experience I now have, I have learned so much! It's kind of mind-boggling. I don't think there's any way I could have learned all that without jumping into the waters. Do I wish the re-releases I'm preparing for the next few months were the original releases. Oh, you bet. But I also can't let things stand that I know, without a doubt, can be improved. Most of these things are publishing decisions. Not writing decisions. PUBLISHING DECISIONS.

So while I guess it's nice to say lets all hold ourselves to higher standards, the thing about self-publishging is it's really self-correcting. Your book flops, gets poor reviews, guess what. Most likely you're going to grow as a self-publisher or quit. So I read a blog post like this, and I'm just kind of meh. People who want to write and self-publish will. The ones who are committed and stick with it will most likely get better.

That's my big understanding. The traditional publishers, they just have experience. But experience is something that can be gained.

Really well said...you pretty much expressed exactly how I feel about it, so thank you!!

Offline ChrisWard

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #109 on: January 27, 2014, 11:19:42 PM »
I got bored after about three paragraphs when I realised it was the same old stuff we've seen a million times before. Lovely. I don't really care what other people are doing, to be honest. Until I'm physically stopped from self-publishing I'll continue to do it in the way I see fit.

And I love the way "kaiju" is now the hip way to refer to a monster. What god-awful movie was that from again? :D

Offline vrabinec

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #110 on: January 28, 2014, 06:05:42 AM »
I thought I posted this last night, but maybe I missed the "post" button in my stupor.  Forgive me if it's a dupe.

I was on deviantart last night, wondering why there are no articles and millions of blog posts calling for artists to call out their own kind for posting "sub-par" work. You don't hear them calling each other out to take some classes and stop dumping inferior product on the market that buries the "good" art. Why do you suppose that is?

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Offline T.K.

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #111 on: January 28, 2014, 06:18:45 AM »
I believe this is Chuck's follow-up post.

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/01/28/follow-up-on-self-publishing-readers-are-not-good-gatekeepers/

He quotes KB member Emily Cantore.

Offline Jana DeLeon

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #112 on: January 28, 2014, 06:23:40 AM »
I thought I posted this last night, but maybe I missed the "post" button in my stupor.  Forgive me if it's a dupe.

I was on deviantart last night, wondering why there are no articles and millions of blog posts calling for artists to call out their own kind for posting "sub-par" work. You don't hear them calling each other out to take some classes and stop dumping inferior product on the market that buries the "good" art. Why do you suppose that is?

IMHO Because artists have been selling as individuals throughout the history of art and definitely since the Internet came about and made digital sales so easy. Writers have only had good options for self-publishing more recently. All these arguments will eventually die out. The bottom line is most readers don't know or care who the publisher is. They only know which authors they like.
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Offline Mark E. Cooper

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #113 on: January 28, 2014, 06:24:55 AM »
I believe this is Chuck's follow-up post.

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/01/28/follow-up-on-self-publishing-readers-are-not-good-gatekeepers/

He quotes KB member Emily Cantore.

He thinks we are not welcoming community here at Kboards and hostile. What does he want, us to agree with everything we read and not discuss? I don't like self-censorship. I don't think discussing something this important to all of us should come down to personalities.

Offline Susan Kaye Quinn

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #114 on: January 28, 2014, 06:29:47 AM »
I thought I posted this last night, but maybe I missed the "post" button in my stupor.  Forgive me if it's a dupe.

I was on deviantart last night, wondering why there are no articles and millions of blog posts calling for artists to call out their own kind for posting "sub-par" work. You don't hear them calling each other out to take some classes and stop dumping inferior product on the market that buries the "good" art. Why do you suppose that is?
+1

And I agree with Jana DeLeon that this "we must FIX THE INDIES" is all just churmoil and will eventually fade away.
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Offline vrabinec

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #115 on: January 28, 2014, 06:39:49 AM »
I believe this is Chuck's follow-up post.

http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2014/01/28/follow-up-on-self-publishing-readers-are-not-good-gatekeepers/

He quotes KB member Emily Cantore.

Hmm, hi Chuck, and welcome.

Here's the problem: not all authors will be as brilliant and talented as Chuck wants them to be. They just don't have the tools in their noggin to produce a work that's up to Chuck's standards. Here's the kicker, they THINK what they wrote was entertaining.  What now? Do we stop them and FORCE them to take a class and get an editor? Or, do we let them publish their work and learn the hard way? Because, I don't think there are more than a handful who push the publish button with a smirk on their faces, hoping to hook a sucker on their halfass work. So, your move. What now. What to do with those who think their stuff is no good? Act like the agents who shot down E.L. James and tell them their stuff is no good. Are we appointing someone to do that?

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Offline Betsy the Quilter

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #116 on: January 28, 2014, 06:44:20 AM »
Folks,

let's not start a war of words between Chuck (who's been a member for awhile here) and our site. 

If you want to discuss the ideas in his blog, please post as if you're having a face-to-face conversation with him.  Less snark, more thoughtful discussion.

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Offline Betsy the Quilter

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #117 on: January 28, 2014, 06:47:10 AM »
He thinks we are not welcoming community here at Kboards and hostile. What does he want, us to agree with everything we read and not discuss? I don't like self-censorship. I don't think discussing something this important to all of us should come down to personalities.

Stepping in here...having "back-read" the thread, I agree that there were comments made yesterday that were far less than welcoming and not the kind of tone we want here.  Debating ideas is fine, but there were some of what I consider an attack.  Let's try to do better today.

Betsy
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 06:50:42 AM by Betsy the Quilter »
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Offline Ros_Jackson

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #118 on: January 28, 2014, 06:51:15 AM »
Chuck's first post seems to imply that there's a stigma to self-publishing. But has anyone done a proper poll of ordinary readers to find out who has been burned by buying poor SP books and then resolved never to buy another? Or how aware people are in general of different publishers, and what their output is like? Or whether they can tell just by looking at the cover which ones are self-published, small indie-published, or traditional? That's the data we're missing to put this debate into context.

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Offline Hugh Howey

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #119 on: January 28, 2014, 06:51:52 AM »
Let's try to do better today.

Betsy

What a noble sentiment! Someone should write a blog post about this!

Wait...
 
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Offline Betsy the Quilter

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #120 on: January 28, 2014, 06:57:51 AM »
What a noble sentiment! Someone should write a blog post about this!

Wait...

Hugh...
 >:(

EDIT:  Perhaps you missed this in my prior post:

Less snark, more thoughtful discussion.

Betsy
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 07:03:16 AM by Betsy the Quilter »
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Offline dianasg

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #121 on: January 28, 2014, 07:04:16 AM »
I tend to agree with everything Emily has been saying. I don't think she's been hostile, merely direct.

If Chuck's post is intended to advocate self-policing (put YOUR best work out there), then I agree with that. We should all do our best -- with the caveat that everyone's best is at a different "level."

My biggest issue is this: when we start telling other writers what to publish, we also start telling readers what they can or can't read. Which is something I think a lot of people at KB would have a huge problem with.

What we're saying, Chuck, is let the readers decide -- and I don't see how that shows "disdain" for them. They are in control right now. In self-publishing, reader is king: FAR more than in trad-pub, where the king (that is, who makes the decisions as to what CAN sell) is the publisher, and his subjects are the readers. They can vote with their money, but only to a degree. For self-publishers, everything is in the hands of the readers. THEY decide what they want. Do I think 50 Shades was pretty much horrendous? Of course. Do I think other writers should have stopped her from publishing? Not a chance. Because clearly, readers wanted her book.

Readers are smart, and there are tons of resources (goodreads, social media, book blogs, email lists like Bookbub) that have sprouted up among readers to help them weed out the crappy books and find the good ones before they purchase. They're not stupid -- they can judge for themselves when a dud is a dud; we don't need to do it for them.

I'm all for advocating professionalism, particularly if someone asks for help here. There have been many threads here at KB where an author asks for help, and KB-ers have no qualms about pointing out that "The writing needs work." Some people take that criticism in stride, and others don't -- but that's not my problem. Ultimately, the readers will send him/her the message they want to send. And as far as self-pub stigma goes? I don't care about that, either: again, readers will buy what they want to buy, regardless of the publisher. So far they've been pretty happy buying self-published books -- and indie readership continues to grow.

In the end, I don't see a problem that needs "fixing." Because readers aren't stupid. They AREN'T getting duped into buying crap! If something's crap, it's pretty easy to find that out before you shell out your $2.99! I wish Chuck would address this idea. I read his follow-up, but all I still see is the attitude that readers are too dumb to figure out how to spend their own money, and that we should be trying to limit or direct how they do it - based on something that's overwhelmingly subjective.

I was on deviantart last night, wondering why there are no articles and millions of blog posts calling for artists to call out their own kind for posting "sub-par" work. You don't hear them calling each other out to take some classes and stop dumping inferior product on the market that buries the "good" art. Why do you suppose that is?

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Offline Hugh Howey

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #122 on: January 28, 2014, 07:04:25 AM »
Chuck's first post seems to imply that there's a stigma to self-publishing. But has anyone done a proper poll of ordinary readers to find out who has been burned by buying poor SP books and then resolved never to buy another? Or how aware people are in general of different publishers, and what their output is like? Or whether they can tell just by looking at the cover which ones are self-published, small indie-published, or traditional? That's the data we're missing to put this debate into context.

I would love to see this poll. My experience is anecdotal, naturally, but my Facebook feed is full of people who primarily read self-published works. They gobble them up the way some people listen to indie rock. These are the readers who are helping so many indie careers take off. And I think for the people who never read self-published books, they don't understand that these readers exist. They can't imagine being one of them. Which is cool, but I think that makes the success of self-published books perplexing to them. And all the positive reviews are baffling. "Who is reading this garbage?" they think.

Well, a lot of people. I interact with them every day.

As for how uninviting KB is, quite a few people here agree with Chuck. One of our members posted this as something worthy to read. They didn't post this and mock it. They thought it was spot-on. There is a mix of opinions here. But I do wish we would keep in mind that the internet is a small place. I can tell you from experience that it's no fun reading a thread and seeing someone bash you as if you aren't in the audience. We're all in the audience. The audience is everyone. *waves at Chuck*

Part of the issue, I suspect, is that Mr. Wendig's piece (correct me if I'm wrong, Chuck) was partly aimed at this community, so of course offense will be taken. I would just like to counter his assertion that damage is done by cheerleading for self-publishing by saying that the emails I get from writers who have taken the plunge represent the positive side of this community. I hear from writers all the time who didn't believe in themselves but finally found the courage from their fellow self-published authors, and now they are having success, winning over fans, hearing from readers around the world, and feeling good about themselves in a deep and spiritual way that they never thought possible . . . and if we have to stomach some mediocre writing (that no one will ever see and won't get in any other author's or reader's way) in order to attain that? That's a cheap price to pay.

Scaring people away from publishing their work (which I think is the likely result and possibly even the aim of Chuck's posts) is not without consequence. Wonderfully talented writers who are crippled by their self-doubt will shove great works back in the drawer. I'd rather promote those people on the edge to publish, publish, publish. One CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES is worth a thousand Snookies. We have to be careful of the unintended consequences of our protestations.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2014, 07:05:58 AM by Hugh Howey »
 
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Offline dianasg

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #123 on: January 28, 2014, 07:06:20 AM »
Scaring people away from publishing their work (which I think is the likely result and possibly even the aim of Chuck's posts) is not without consequence. Wonderfully talented writers who are crippled by their self-doubt will shove great works back in the drawer. I'd rather promote those people on the edge to publish, publish, publish. One CONFEDERACY OF DUNCES is worth a thousand Snookies. We have to be careful of the unintended consequences of our protestations.

So beautifully said.

Offline Betsy the Quilter

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #124 on: January 28, 2014, 07:20:38 AM »
Folks,

I don't want to lock this thread.  You want to continue to discuss the idea of whether or not indies should be policing indies or encouraging better editing or whatever, that's fine.

Posts that engage Chuck on whether KBoards is welcoming or not have been and will be removed...we're not going to allow a war of words between the two sites.

Betsy
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