WARNING: DINA RANT POST! Butthurt and Entitlement

WARNING: THIS IS A DINA!RANT. It’s long and bloody. There is language and pics and is generally NSFW. Enter at your own risk.

All right, that does it.

I’ve been feeling a rant coming on for awhile now, and until tonight it’s been a minor annoyance, writhing inside me every now and again. Tonight, though, it finally burst forth from my chest like a xenomorph.

Chestburster

I shall not name names of the guilty (except one, because I’m going to link to the annoyance), not because I’m passive-aggressive or fearful of retaliation – I will tell you to your face that you suck if you’re stupid enough to ask me what I think of your asshatery – but to protect the obtuse and because I don’t want them getting any more of the attention they’re desperately trying to attract. No, not even for the purpose of sharing the horror and mockery. Cope.

Onward.

It all started with an obviously clueless author whining about how no one is buying their series despite them doing everything they can to promo it. Ye, gods, the BUTTHURT.

It was furthered by Amanda Palmer’s TED talk on “The Art of Asking.” More on this in a minute.

It was worsened by a poorly-written (and this person claims to be an author and constantly spams everyone in hard-sell fashion to buy their piece of shit?) blog post detailing the evils of corporations and contracts and “big names kill everything and the industry is dying!” then going on to celebrate (I think this was a lame attempt to offer hope to the aspiring) the “indie” spirit by touting crowd-funding and self-publishing.

A link to a particularly annoying, martyrish “thank you” note written by yet another butthurt author that ended up reading like “I appreciate you doing what you can to help but I don’t know what good it will do because no one supports us poor widdle writers no more” was the final push that enabled this xenomorph of a rant to punch through my sternum and shower the room in blood.

Hope you’ve got your waders and rain gear on. Goggles might also help.

Ready?

Let’s address the above one at a time, shall we?

Dear Butthurt Author – GET. THE FUCK. OVER. YOURSELF. There’s a reason writing is called “work,” and there’s a reason not everyone makes it in this business. Clearly you are not cut out to cope with the difficulties of the profession – you know…the word that makes up “PROFESSIONAL” – and should take your toys and go home like you keep threatening to do with each of your martyrish tweets, blog posts, and status updates. I am not surprised that both your personal and professional lives are a complete mess, because you bring the habits of one into the other. I’m done enduring your asshatery. No love, Me

Note that, Aspiring Creatives – keep your personal and professional lives SEPARATE. It takes a certain level of finesse and proficiency to be able to declare your political, emotional, medical or any other issue publicly to your fans and anyone else who might take an interest in you and your work, and if you’re nothing but a whiny asshat, that’s going to color what people think of you. For instance, if you’re a bigoted asshat, there’s them that may take issue with that and not want to work with you.

In a related example, I’m an evil bitch who doesn’t have time nor patience for stupidity in any form, and I’m okay with everyone – both personal and professional – knowing that. In fact, they SHOULD know it before they choose to associate with me, because it’s not a “persona.” I operate on a WYSIWYG system (what you see is what you get), and while I don’t overshare, my personality is obvious in my online presence. You should keep your appearance in mind when you blog, tweet, or Facebook, because if you really AREN’T a desperate clingy bitch who does nothing but whinge about all your problems, then your mouth is talking and you might want to look to that*.

Next!

Ahhhh, Amanda Palmer. Oh, I’m sorry – Amanda Fucking Palmer. That’s the correct way to address her, I believe. If you haven’t listened to her TED talk, go and do that now. Go on. I’ll wait.

Done? Now go read this – http://gawker.com/5989280/when-people-write-for-free-who-pays. It’s okay. I’ll still be here when you get back. But, if you don’t have time right now to read the whole thing, I’ll paste the relevant part of it here:

Wealthy musician Amanda Palmer, who last year raised $1.2 million on Kickstarter to produce and release a record, recently used a TED talk to expand on the idea that artists should be willing to work for free. After relaying a story about how she used to be a street performer, Palmer, who is married to a very successful author named Neil Gaiman, told an audience of people who’d paid $7,500 apiece to be there that musicians shouldn’t “make” people pay for their work, but rather “let” people pay for their work. She also explained that she found it virtuous when a family of undocumented immigrants huddled together on their couch for a night so that she and her band could have their beds, because her music and presence was a fair exchange for the family’s comfort. After about 13 minutes of explaining why she is content with people giving her things, Palmer received a standing ovation.

All in all, the creative landscape is starting to look more toxic than it’s been in our lifetimes: Artists with million-dollar checks in their pockets are telling other artists that they shouldn’t expect to get paid; publications are telling writers that they shouldn’t expect to get paid, either….

From her own website (by the way, very nice fancy website with lots and lots of people taking care of lots of things for her – which they may or may not do for free just for the sheer privilege of being associated with her) This is [sic], meaning all spellings and captializations or lack thereof are hers and hers alone:

DEAR DOWNLOADER of MUSIC,
this store is built on a “pay what you want” philosophy for my digital music.
i firmly believe in music being as free as possible. unlocked. shared and spread.
i believe that in order for artists to survive and create, their audiences need to step up and directly support them. 
honor system.
 no judgment. 
if you’re broke – take it. if you love it, come back and kick in later when you have the money.
if you’re rich, think about who you might be karmically covering if you really love this record.
once you have it, SHARE SHARE SHARE! COPY COPY COPY! SPREAD THE EVIL!!! 
we are the media.
I also release all of my music and writing using the Creative Commons “Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike (CC BY-NC-SA)” license. If you want to understand what this means, google Creative Commons.
LOVE, afp

Okay. Fine. She’s a supporter of filesharing (some of us ’round these parts call that “stealin'”) but that is HER CHOICE to do that. It’s HER CHOICE not to care if people take her work for free. She is also giving people THE CHOICE to pay or not. Good for her. All fine and good. I’m all for people making their own choices. I’m all for sharing things that you’ve chosen to share. I’ve benefited from open source myself, and have contributed to it as well. I’m all for helping people out in the field and so on with no compensation other than the warm fuzzies (totally a lie – everyone knows I don’t do warm fuzzies for anyone but Lord Vader).

What’s NOT fine with me is that she’s foisting her beliefs off on other people, basically telling them that not only should the artist be grateful someone wants their work, taking what they want is okay because that’s the way it should work/works now.

No. No, it isn’t.

I work hard at what I do, and I want to be paid for it. I deserve to be paid for it. It’s a job. Would YOU go to your job and work for free, or for the prestige of being associated with your employer? What? You can’t do that because you have bills to pay and kids to feed and need actual money? No problem! According to Amanda, you can just ask people to put you up for the night or feed your kids for you so you can go do what you want. After all, they’ll get the prestige – nay, HONOR – of putting you up for the night because you’re so awesome, so it works out for everyone! Because the ability to claim that you once put Someone Cool up for the night is what life is all about, right?**

Dude.

Amanda says it herself in her talk – people used to shout “Get a job!” at her when she was doing her street performing. It used to bother her that they didn’t get that her performing was her job. Well, just because I sit at a computer and make words appear on digital paper instead of standing out on the street on a milk crate giving flowers to random strangers (she did this – watch the vid) doesn’t make it any less of a job.

Just like she suggests, I ask people to pay for my work. I do. I ask them to pay the cover price of the finished product. I ask them to pay for it instead of just taking it for free from a torrent site.

Let’s look at this another way. This might be hard for some people to grasp, because they don’t equate digital files/stories/songs as property or the same thing as physical items. This example is hard for some because they don’t see the work I do as having a product they can own, or worse think that because they have a copy of it, they own that work. (Hint: You own the physical object, not the content of it. You own the book, I own the story. Just like you own your car, but Honda owns how that car is designed and manufactured. Get it?) They think digital files are just that. Files. True. But the CONTENT of those files is something that took time, effort, and yes, money to create. Your identity isn’t a physical object either, but people can still steal that, and I’ll bet it would piss you off royal if someone did that, too. But I digress.

Say you’re in the mood for a mocha and go to your favorite local coffee shop. You order your drink, the barista makes it and slides it over the counter for you. You take it and walk out of the store because you don’t have the money to pay for it, but you promise her you’ll pay her when you do. In the meantime, you’ll tell all your friends about how awesome it is and where you got it and give them all a sip of it.

Do you think she’ll take issue with that? If you don’t, go on and try it.

Now, if she’s offering free samples, that’s her choice. You’re welcome to take those and try it. It’s her choice to offer those for free and she doesn’t expect to be compensated for them. She doesn’t even expect you to buy a bigger version of it. She’s just saying, “Here, I made this. You’re welcome to try a little of it and see if you like it. If you do, there’s more available for purchase.”

Again, it’s HER CHOICE to share with you/offer something for free.

Another example for those who don’t get this just yet.

There’s a new book out you simply HAVE TO HAVE. You go to your local bookseller, pick up the book and walk out of the place, telling the bookseller that you don’t have any money right now to pay for it, but you’ll come back when you do, and in the meantime you’ll tell all your friends about it and leave reviews everywhere and go to your local copy shop (that doesn’t charge you to do this – torrent sites allow multiple copies of one file to be downloaded ad infinitum) and make copies of it and give them to EVERYONE.

Do you think the bookseller will have a problem with that? Again, go on and try it. Let me know how that turns out for you.

I have a real problem with people not paying me for my work. There are two words that come to mind for people who do work without getting paid. One is a choice. One isn’t.

Those words are “volunteer” and “slave.”

Amanda Fucking Palmer wants to volunteer her work for availability and pray she makes enough to pay her bills, that’s HER CHOICE. (I’m not even going to address the fact that she’s not a starving artist but still asks you to pay for everything from her plane tickets to appearing with her on stage.)

If YOU choose to download and share her work (you know – do her promo work for her), that’s YOUR CHOICE. It’s also your choice to pay for it or not. If you choose to pay for it, congratulations on being a decent human being who supports artists. If you don’t pay for it because you genuinely can’t, you’re not scum. She gives her permission for you to do just that, so it’s okay. Free. Go on. You’re allowed to do that WITH HER STUFF. HERS. Not anyone else’s stuff. Just hers. That’s the difference, here.

Also, she doesn’t have the right to tell everyone they’re doing it wrong if they don’t make the same choice to do what she has.

She doesn’t have the right to give permission for everyone to take what they want. If she wants to give her work away, that’s fine. More power to her. But she doesn’t have the right to look down on people who choose otherwise. She also doesn’t have the right to encourage people to take from those who don’t do things like she does.

I choose (and want!) to get paid for my work. Someday, maybe, I might offer a short story or an ebook or a “deleted scene” or other freebies (like tea or something I’ve knitted) on my website, but right now I don’t, for a lot of reasons.

The main reason is – I don’t work for free. I’m with Harlan Ellison on this one. You want me to work for you (and believe it or not, the entertainment industry – of which writing is a huge part of – is a luxury, not a necessity), you FUCKING PAY ME. You want me to come to your convention, class, library, book club, writer’s group? You pay me for my time. You’re asking me to provide you with something to benefit you, whether that’s my time, experience or knowledge, then you want me to just give it to you for free? How does that benefit me? I have bills to pay and animals to feed. I have books to write. You know…those books you enjoy reading? Yeah, those take time. It’s my job to make those. Speaking to your book club doesn’t do anything to help any one of those. It’s just a whole lot of work for me and no benefit other than the warm fuzzies for me. (See above about me and the warm fuzzies.)

Now, if I happen to be in a generous mood or it’s a great cause or something, I may volunteer my time/offer my services at no charge. For free. It’s my choice to volunteer my time and effort for things. And I do. Take a look at this blog alone – you’ll see how much time and effort I volunteer for charity. That’s why it’s called “CHARITY.” My time and effort are given without the expectation of return or compensation.

In her TED talk, Amanda Palmer is basically telling people that paying the artist or author for their creative work should be voluntary, not mandatory, because most people are honest and good and will pay for things they like you/if you’re good enough. That creative types shouldn’t expect to be paid, but instead “let” people pay if they want to.

EXCUSE ME?

EXCUSE THE FUCK OUT OF YOU, LADY.

Scalzi FU Pay Me

Damn skippy I expect to be paid! I’m not obligated to do shit for anyone. I don’t have to write stories for publication. I do that because I choose to. You chose to dress up like a bride and stand around handing out flowers to random people instead of doing something else. It was your choice to do that. If I wanted to, I could bang stories out for my friends and family, then put them on the Internet for people to download and share and put out a hat like Miss Palmer says we should all do.

I choose to do otherwise.

That choice doesn’t make me an idiot, and it doesn’t make me a bitch for wanting to be paid to do what I both know how to do and love doing.

Neither are you entitled to my work for free. That’s the real issue here.

People nowadays feel entitled to entertainment. There’s a “culture of free” that pisses me the hell off, and people like Amanda Fucking Palmer and her husband (my former hero and writing god, before he went and did this shit) Neil Gaiman don’t have the right to speak for all of us. They don’t have the right to give people permission to steal. (Sorry, Neil, but downloading a copy of a book from a torrent site is not “like lending” or “borrowing from a library.” I will forever disagree with you on that.)

What’s worse is that many creative types think that they’re supposed to work for free because what they create isn’t worth anything and they believe they should be grateful for any recognition of their work, even piracy. This is simply NOT true. Remember the Hollywood writer’s strike? Yeah? Writing is work, people, and you pay your fucking employees. Your favorite TV shows? Movies? They’re all written. Yes, even the “reality” shows have a script. I’m sorry to burst your bubble, but those are written as well. Don’t argue with me. Just Google it.

Enough about Amanda Palmer and her sanctimonious condescension. It’s really too bad she supports piracy. I think I’d really like her if she weren’t such a fucking hippy.

However, she does provide a nice bridge to my next topic – authors who think that self-publishing is THE WAY IT’S GOING TO BE FROM NOW ON.

No. No, it’s not. Why? Because self-publishing is work, and I’ll get to the part of the rant about how people don’t want to do the fucking work here in a minute. But first let me say that my bigger issue with self-publishing isn’t the piety of its devotees.

My big issue with self-publishing is people thinking that THIS IS THE WAY IT’S SUPPOSED TO BE.

No.

No, it’s not.

No, it’s FUCKING NOT.

I’ve said this before, but it bears repeating because it can never be said enough. MONEY COMES TO THE AUTHOR FROM THE PUBLISHER, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.

Now, I’ve ranted a lot about self-publishing before, so I’m not going to get into all the old points now. I’m a firm, FIRM believer in “stupid should hurt,” and if you’re too stupid not to figure out all the angles and caveats of self-publishing, and realize that it’s expensive, time-consuming and has a dismal success rate for all the work involved, you deserve to suffer your fate.

And you do NOT have the right to whine about it when you don’t succeed.

The success of a self-published (NOT “INDIE”) author is varied and depends greatly on many factors the majority of them aren’t willing to endure. Success stories are the exception, not the rule.

Also, if you’re stupid enough to pay to publish, you don’t get to bitch when you don’t make your money back. There is NO EXCUSE FOR IGNORANCE in this age of information. A five second Google search will provide you with a wealth of information about literary scams and people willing to help you out for a fee, a huge percentage of your “royalties,” whatever. Self-published authors yell and scream about how they’re INDIE and get control of everything and how they get this and that and the other, but in the end, you’re just trading one type of caveat for another.

Sure, the commercial (not “traditional”) way of publishing might not be perfect, but again, it’s MY CHOICE to do it that way. It’s MY CHOICE to seek to employ (that’s right – they do a metric shit-ton of work for the author for compensation from the sales of the author’s book, meaning they’re employed by the author) the services of an agent.

Self-published authors choose not to do that, instead paying their fees up front and hoping they make enough in sales to recoup their expenses.

We’re both paying for something, just in different ways. So…why am I stupid again for choosing to publish commercially?

As long as there are people like me who choose to commercially publish, publishing will never die. Self-publishing is NOT the future of publishing. In my opinion, it’s just another outlet for people who don’t want to put in the work to become professionals. Oh, they’ll say it’s because they want complete control over their work and so on, but in the end, it comes down to nothing but pure ego and frustration.

That’s just my opinion. I warned you this was going to be bloody. Let’s not even get into the part where I think self-publishing is a form of cheating, or cowardice, or surrender, or just plain ignorance. Let’s just say I have very little respect for the self-publishing world with very, very few exceptions, and those exceptions go back to that whole “choice” thing. The people I respect that self-publish (there are some!) understand the work involved and use self-publishing as it’s meant to be used. They don’t do it because they’re frustrated with commercial publishing or want to “prove it to them” (“them” being the commercial publishing industry that rejected them time and time again) that they don’t suck. But again, I digress.

Onward.

Which brings us to my last point in this very long rant. (You were warned it was long.)

I really feel like this part is beating a dead horse, but I’m going to say it again anyway. The publishing world is very, very small and people talk to one another. It gets around who plays nicely and who doesn’t, who is an asshat and who isn’t, who is amazing to work with and who you don’t want to be associated with. Politeness gets you a lot more places than asshatery, and if even saying “thank you” for something that someone went out of their way to do for/help you is too difficult for you to manage without stuffing barbs and passive-aggression into your gratitude, you need to reassess your choice of profession.

See, there’s that “choice” thing again. Funny how everything keeps coming back to that in this rant, isn’t it?

For instance, you’ve chosen to read this far, and I’m appreciative of your time. You didn’t have to read this rant at all, but if you have, thank you.

The xenomorph of a rant has escaped the confines of my ribcage now and is running through the ship to make its hidey-hole and grow up big and strong so it can hunt down the unsuspecting. I’m sure it will appear randomly and tear more heads off before plastering someone to the wall.

I do so love me some xenos.

Xenomorph

*Points if you get the reference.

**I really wonder how many people Amanda Fucking Palmer would let crash on HER couch if they were in town and needed a place to stay. She talks about random strangers hosting her whenever she and her band were in town for a gig. I really wonder if she’d be willing to do the same for other artists needing a place to stay. And don’t even get me started on what Neil Gaiman asks people to pay him for appearances and so on. I wonder if he’d be willing to “let” them pay/offer to pay him his fees instead of charging them.

Note: Comments are always moderated on this blog because I despise spammers, so it might take awhile to show up!

ETA: Someone drew my attention to this form. This might come in handy for some. If you’ve been butt-hurt, please fill this out and send it to:

Joe Mama
6969 Upyour Pass
Eat, ME 54321

Butt-Hurt-Report-Form

31 thoughts on “WARNING: DINA RANT POST! Butthurt and Entitlement

  1. Hello Dina & the Gang,

    Now most of the comments I have read here so far seem to be on behalf of the writer/author or writerly type. Me…. I am a READER. I am the TARGET AUDIENCE.

    I have watched the AFP video I have also read another blog post connected to this over on Chuck Wendig’s site.

    I do not agree with AFP on two basic levels.

    1. People pay what they feel its worth. Hmmm, I already do that. I vote for thing I like by PAYING for it. Music & movies like books require support staff to create a quality piece of work people would want to pay for lyricist (in many cases), a sound guy, distribution, CD pressing fees, Art work etc. Movies require ooh stunt people carpenters, wardrobe, editors for both movie and sound plus much of the above…. that adds up to a lot of people who RELY on being PAID. So how do I pay these other people if I think the movie sucks but the stunts or cgi was awesome…. there is no room in AFP’s idea for this. It pays the “ARTISTE ” wiggling quoty fingers and fake french accent (where i come from that is another word for cock sucker)

    2. Your fan base will help you out for a place to crash pay your bills etc. Hmmm again where I come from this is known as FREELOADING. I pay MY bills, I work hard to do it. I have never been supported by the gov’t not because I couldn’t apply but because I am too damn stubborn and believe in paying my own way. Its not up to others to support my butt for any reason, so why should I support yours because you want to be a “ARTISTE” and not have a back up plan. If you can’t afford it, maybe you shouldn’t do it.

    Now as a reader I agree with much of what Dina has to say. I have read many blog posts by various writers, even did my research to see whether or not the blogger was FOS. To my amazement the writers I enjoy that I support by BUYING their work for the value listed by the publisher is stuff I REALLY enjoy. Stuff I collect. Why? Because its clean, polished, no weird spelling errors for the most part. The artwork. Its a nice neat little package. OMG and its all gone through a publishing house.

    I have read quite a bit of shlock by self pubbers. Usually because someone hands it to me saying what do you think of this. It makes me sad to see some really interesting ideas/storlylines implode under wordiness, storylines being disjointed, random characters that you think are going to reappear (they took so much time with them for one scene) that don’t, basically leaving me with an all over feeling of confusion, discomfort and ultimately dissatisfaction. Now I know that they should have used an editor and probably did not. I also probably won’t read anything by them again unless it comes from a publishing house.

    Buying a published book from a publishing house is a kind of readers guarantee that this is the best THIS book could be. The book may still suck for the reader on a personal level (Wuthering Heights is not my friend) but is still the best polish for the manuscript (many people love this thing so who am I to judge) but I would have hated to see the first couple of drafts on it.

    Consumers already vote with their dollar. Why do we need to refine that even more so for Speshul Snowflakes so their feeling won’t get hurt.

    And as for the Self pubber who comments are woefully hypocritical…where’s your “tip jar” if you believe in this so strongly inregards to the work your currently trying to promote?

    As a reader I respect the incredible amount of work, thought, and creativity that goes into books. Technical and entertainment writing. I couldn’t do it. I know how bad I stress on my own creative ends, and I don’t strip parts of me naked and throw them on the page for others to enjoy/judge.

    Kudo’s to all the writers out there willing to write and put themselves out there, but please be informed and make the right decisions for you to be a better writer, not for how much money it MAY make you and how quickly. Having a long varied career is always better than being a one hit wonder then having to find something else to do.

    • Shannon,

      I’m right there with you, as a reader myself.

      I mentioned how I’ll scarf up the freebies, but they just don’t make it to the top of my reading list (like many other readers I’ve talked to). We seem to migrate to the ones we purchase, and not expected something from.

    • Hello, Shannon! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. Same treatment as everyone else – your comments in italics (provided my formatting tags play nicely) [sic], my responses below.

      Hello Dina & the Gang,

      Now most of the comments I have read here so far seem to be on behalf of the writer/author or writerly type. Me…. I am a READER. I am the TARGET AUDIENCE.

      Thank you for this perspective! It’s very much appreciated.

      I have watched the AFP video I have also read another blog post connected to this over on Chuck Wendig’s site.

      I do not agree with AFP on two basic levels.

      1. People pay what they feel its worth. Hmmm, I already do that. I vote for thing I like by PAYING for it. Music & movies like books require support staff to create a quality piece of work people would want to pay for lyricist (in many cases), a sound guy, distribution, CD pressing fees, Art work etc. Movies require ooh stunt people carpenters, wardrobe, editors for both movie and sound plus much of the above…. that adds up to a lot of people who RELY on being PAID. So how do I pay these other people if I think the movie sucks but the stunts or cgi was awesome…. there is no room in AFP’s idea for this. It pays the “ARTISTE ” wiggling quoty fingers and fake french accent (where i come from that is another word for cock sucker)

      I’m laughing so hard right now. This comment is made of win! I agree. Most people don’t realize almost every single name in the credits at the end of the movie – including the little icons at the bottom saying which companies they used/thanked – were paid to contribute to the movie. They all get a paycheck. I bet they’d take issue with “asking” the filmmaker to pay them. I bet the actors, too, would have an issue with the studio paying them what they thought the actor’s time and effort were worth.

      2. Your fan base will help you out for a place to crash pay your bills etc. Hmmm again where I come from this is known as FREELOADING. I pay MY bills, I work hard to do it. I have never been supported by the gov’t not because I couldn’t apply but because I am too damn stubborn and believe in paying my own way. Its not up to others to support my butt for any reason, so why should I support yours because you want to be a “ARTISTE” and not have a back up plan. If you can’t afford it, maybe you shouldn’t do it.

      I’m all for that cliche line about a “hand up, not a handout.” I’m happy to give you (you, general, not you, personal, as that distinction seems to be an issue here on this post) a hand if you’re in trouble, but I won’t support you if you’re not interested in helping yourself. I’m not your mother.

      Now as a reader I agree with much of what Dina has to say. I have read many blog posts by various writers, even did my research to see whether or not the blogger was FOS. To my amazement the writers I enjoy that I support by BUYING their work for the value listed by the publisher is stuff I REALLY enjoy. Stuff I collect. Why? Because its clean, polished, no weird spelling errors for the most part. The artwork. Its a nice neat little package. OMG and its all gone through a publishing house.

      I have read quite a bit of shlock by self pubbers. Usually because someone hands it to me saying what do you think of this. It makes me sad to see some really interesting ideas/storlylines implode under wordiness, storylines being disjointed, random characters that you think are going to reappear (they took so much time with them for one scene) that don’t, basically leaving me with an all over feeling of confusion, discomfort and ultimately dissatisfaction. Now I know that they should have used an editor and probably did not. I also probably won’t read anything by them again unless it comes from a publishing house.

      This. It’s really sad when a great idea is overshadowed by lack of a proper ability to express it. These are the same people who come to me and say, “I can’t write but have this great idea. You write it and we’ll split the profits!” Um…no…. Not only does it NOT work like that, it’s insulting. I don’t go to a car manufacturer and say, “Hey, I’ve got this great idea for a car, but I can’t build it. You make it for me and we’ll split the profits!” Yeah, that would go over well….

      Buying a published book from a publishing house is a kind of readers guarantee that this is the best THIS book could be. The book may still suck for the reader on a personal level (Wuthering Heights is not my friend) but is still the best polish for the manuscript (many people love this thing so who am I to judge) but I would have hated to see the first couple of drafts on it.

      I agree. My first drafts of…well, EVERYTHING I have out there…are really embarrassing. Same goes for drafts of my unpublished work.

      Consumers already vote with their dollar. Why do we need to refine that even more so for Speshul Snowflakes so their feeling won’t get hurt.

      Because everyone is special nowadays, apparently, and we can’t have hurt feelings. No, no.

      And as for the Self pubber who comments are woefully hypocritical…where’s your “tip jar” if you believe in this so strongly inregards to the work your currently trying to promote?

      That’s what I want to know.

      As a reader I respect the incredible amount of work, thought, and creativity that goes into books. Technical and entertainment writing. I couldn’t do it. I know how bad I stress on my own creative ends, and I don’t strip parts of me naked and throw them on the page for others to enjoy/judge.

      Thank you for recognizing that it’s work, and that writing – no matter the genre – has value.

      Kudo’s to all the writers out there willing to write and put themselves out there, but please be informed and make the right decisions for you to be a better writer, not for how much money it MAY make you and how quickly. Having a long varied career is always better than being a one hit wonder then having to find something else to do.

      Thank you again. And thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with us. I very much appreciate this perspective.

  2. ok, you desperate housewives playing writers and stroking your favorite attention getting controversy.

    no one here makes a living at writing. it is clear by looking at your body of work.
    it is you, the poseur, that is part of the issue… you’re taking up space and are basically a white noise that clouds and confuses the consumer.

    the future is here. it is going no where. yes, there is a future for books… and one, dina insinuates when she talks shit about me selling my work, yes, I sell my work and at the same time offer it up for all to play with and view on the honor system. I sell an edition of my latest work for $500, for $100, for $25 and on the honor system… I offer these options for those who are supporters of the arts and I offer my work within all price ranges, I offer the choice you are all so fond of talking about.

    in order for file sharing to be like a printing press, someone would have to want you and your work. no one does. the numbers are on line and transparent, you can see the amazon rankings, you can see the likes and the algorithms that say, no one gives a flying fuck about you or your vanity publishing enough to run a printing press to bootleg your stuff… virtual or not.

    dina, your argument is full of projection and bullshit – you are so fake and full of shit it’s not funny… this writing you speak of isn’t a business to you, it is something that might set you apart, it’s something to put on a business card so you might be identified as something more than a cashier.

    now, back to the subject of the debate… yea, the real writers have every right to tell you, you are 100% wrong and pushing the wrong info to your ignorant fan base… like any science, when there is a fact being ignored, it is the scientists duty to push back… for the better of humanity.

    you offer no solution, only tears because the curtain on your fake ass existence is lifting and it scares you… and it will destroy you because this is all about ego, it’s not about the craft or art, it’s about ego.

    so, get with the fucking program, add to the solution or sink or, slink the fuck off.

    as far as your cheap ass bullshit of trying to call me out as a bullshit artist, you are a fool and cheap and low for attempting that shit… really, why the fuck would I bullshit over my accomplishments?? when I mentioned the check with contract I received from peter jackson’s film west of memphis is was to illustrate that sharing my work up online has brought me money and a situation I’m very proud to have a small part in helping out… I could care less what you find on line, the fucking film is new, it’ll be on netflix and I severly doubt you’d come back here and admit you were an ass for trying to call me out as a liar… here’s one that you can search and one that will trump any and everything you’ve ever accomplished… jodi picoult and her mention of me in her best selling book house rules… as illiterate as you insinuate I am, this person right here was mentioned in her best selling book, as a writer none the less… my personal story has been covered in at least half a dozen books and yes, I really did get a check from peter jackson and as much as you might want to downplay, erode or besmirch my reputation or these facts or my history as a publisher, it is way more than you will ever have… like, ever. you should respect that and the 25 years plus of knowledge that comes with it.

    I’ll never learn though, the big lesson, never play with those below you, their insecurities and animosity tear you a part.

    now, get this thru your think fucking skulls… we are in a moment that is still evolving… new words are being created and you can add to that or work against it… either way, you really do not matter, it is happening, we are here and it will happen with or without you.

    newspapers are now websites
    magazines are now blogs
    radio shows are now podcasts
    t.v show are now videos on websites
    and so on.

    quit playing games and get the fuck out of the way and let those brave individuals who have dedicated their lives to expression and art and the pursuit of elevating mankind thru art do what they do.

    some other points from this horribly typical thread I’d like to ask and address…

    dina, wtf are you talking about when you say I sell my work thru guilt? I’m sure this isn’t something you’ve harvested off of my personal and private Facebook page only to present out of context, right… so, please explain how or where on my website or public facebook page I am selling something out of guilt.

    and to the bozo who is talking shit about my comment over having to pay $1000 or needing to take an ad out to receive a review is as thick as a brick… get this, once you PAY for a review, it is no longer a review… it is an advertisement. reviews used to work this way… you’d send your work, the editor would look it over and consider his reader, would the readership find this interesting, the editor would then consider if it was easily available for their reader to purchase – that was it… now, in a last desperate act, out of date and dying beasts like the L.A. times charge any moron who will pay, they try to profit from what has been one of the best selling, easiest things to sell, they sell hope, like the lottery or church does… and they sell that shit to suckers…. but enough with the lesson, you’re not listening. you’re only here to talk.

    • *pets the angry troll*

      I will ignore you calling me a bozo, just because… meh. Not worth my time.

      However, in regard to your comment on reviews. You argue about the future in one breath and the past in the next. Yes, in the past when there were a very limited number of books releasing, that is how it worked. There was no self-publishing. There were few small presses or epublishers. Now, there are too many books. No singular publication can keep up. When you pay for an AD, that is an ad. However, those publications have the right to say, you need to support us if you want us to support you, and THEY DO. Whether or not it’s right is irrelevant. They say pony up some ad dollars and we’ll find someone to review your book. That review is a review because they don’t promise a GOOD review. They just promise to get that shit done. Hell, RT magazine doesn’t even guarantee a review with ad-space purchase, but it’s well known that buying an ad increases your chances of receiving a review.

      Also, if you so don’t like the “dying beast,” don’t bitch about how it doesn’t want to play with you by your rules. There are THOUSANDS of book review blogs on the internet. None of them have the readership of the beast, but they exist and review without require your support.

      Anyway, congrats on your success. I–nor anyone else here–ever said you didn’t have the right to succeed your way. The argument (which you seemed to have missed ENTIRELY) was that you (nor anyone else) has the right do decide how someone else should do it. If your path is give it up for free and it works for you, great.

      My momma taught me that it’s pretty rare for someone to buy the cow when they get the milk for free. And, as a reader, I can back that up. You say it’s free? WOOT! I like free stuff. I collect free stuff. (It’s a problem…storage and all) However, saying it’s free and then asking for/expecting money means *gasp* it’s NOT free. Because the implication is “if you can pay and you don’t, you’re an ass.” So either give it away or don’t. Or say it’s up to the consumer. But don’t call it free and then ask for money because that’s an asshole move too.

      Also, I’m pretty sure you’re the one who likes to talk more than read considering you didn’t get the point of the original post AT ALL.

      But have a lovely day anyway. I need to go live my fake existence now. *rolls eyes*

    • Welcome back, Shane! Thank you again for taking the time to stop by the blog and offer us your views on the subject! Now, as before for the readers just joining us, your comments [sic] in italics, my responses below. Ready?

      Here we go!

      ok, you desperate housewives playing writers and stroking your favorite attention getting controversy.

      Opening with an insult! Nice! Oh, please. Mansplain to me more. My pretty little housewife lady brain does not comprehend….

      no one here makes a living at writing. it is clear by looking at your body of work.
      Clearly you didn’t look, because there are several here who do make a living at writing and its various incarnations thereof (editing, layout, design, and so on). Next!

      it is you, the poseur, that is part of the issue… you’re taking up space and are basically a white noise that clouds and confuses the consumer.
      La, la, la, insult, insult, insult….

      the future is here. it is going no where. yes, there is a future for books… and one, dina insinuates when she talks shit about me selling my work, yes, I sell my work and at the same time offer it up for all to play with and view on the honor system. I sell an edition of my latest work for $500, for $100, for $25 and on the honor system… I offer these options for those who are supporters of the arts and I offer my work within all price ranges, I offer the choice you are all so fond of talking about.

      You “offer your work to play with and view on the honor system.” Are we talking about ALL your work, or just your book? Because I really don’t think Etsy lets you buy things on the honor system.

      in order for file sharing to be like a printing press, someone would have to want you and your work. no one does. the numbers are on line and transparent, you can see the amazon rankings, you can see the likes and the algorithms that say, no one gives a flying fuck about you or your vanity publishing enough to run a printing press to bootleg your stuff… virtual or not.

      Ohhhh, yes. I’ve heard this one before. The whole “you have to be wanted to be pirated” thing. (Also, your mouth is talking again – “vanity publishing” is another term for SELF-PUBLISHING. You know…the kind you do.) I’d poke holes in this about how it’s not true about people wanting your work in order for it to be pirated, but you couldn’t (and don’t) want to hear anything over your need to be right, so let’s move on, shall we?

      dina, your argument is full of projection and bullshit – you are so fake and full of shit it’s not funny… this writing you speak of isn’t a business to you, it is something that might set you apart, it’s something to put on a business card so you might be identified as something more than a cashier.

      Can’t have a battle of wits with an unarmed opponent. I mean, you don’t even read the posts, let alone understand them.

      now, back to the subject of the debate… .

      You mean, you remember what we’re talking about?

      yea, the real writers have every right to tell you, you are 100% wrong and pushing the wrong info to your ignorant fan base… like any science, when there is a fact being ignored, it is the scientists duty to push back… for the better of humanity.

      Touche, darlin’. Tou-fuckin’-che.

      you offer no solution, only tears because the curtain on your fake ass existence is lifting and it scares you… and it will destroy you because this is all about ego, it’s not about the craft or art, it’s about ego.

      Um. *points to the rant* There are lots of solutions there and ALL OVER MY SITE. All you’ve got to do is look. And um…ego was part of the rant. I discussed that. You know…if you’d actually read it.

      so, get with the fucking program, add to the solution or sink or, slink the fuck off.

      What program would that be? Paying to publish? Setting out a tip jar “asking” people to pay me for my work? Talk about not offering solutions. You don’t even have a page offering the services you’re so supportive of.

      as far as your cheap ass bullshit of trying to call me out as a bullshit artist, you are a fool and cheap and low for attempting that shit… really, why the fuck would I bullshit over my accomplishments?? when I mentioned the check with contract I received from peter jackson’s film west of memphis is was to illustrate that sharing my work up online has brought me money and a situation I’m very proud to have a small part in helping out… I could care less what you find on line, the fucking film is new, it’ll be on netflix and I severly doubt you’d come back here and admit you were an ass for trying to call me out as a liar…

      You brought it up, I didn’t. I offered you the facts. Facts I backed up with links. You say something, I’m going to fact-check before I reply. I offered you my findings, and they didn’t back up your claims. I never said you were a liar. I said I couldn’t find anything to back it up. If you want to get all butt-hurt (you know, like the rant says) about that, that’s on you.

      Fact: The film is produced by a company called Disarming Films.
      Fact: The film is directed by Amy Berg (not Peter Jackson -it’s HER film, not his)
      Fact: The film was written by both Amy Berg and Billy McMillin.
      Fact: WingNut Films (Peter Jackson’s company) is listed as the second production company, not the first.
      Fact: The movie debuted at Sundance Film Festival in January 2012. Over a year ago. I would hardly call this a “new” film.

      These are facts. There right there for anyone to look up.

      I’ll make you a solemn promise. I will watch the film when it comes out on Netflix and I will watch every second of the credits frame by frame. If your name is there in any form, even as just a “thank you,” I will come right back here and make a post dedicated especially to you. Fair enough?

      Also, you say you had a small part in “helping out.” That implies you did something as a favor, for free, yet you talk about how you got paid for it. I call that a contradiction.

      here’s one that you can search and one that will trump any and everything you’ve ever accomplished…

      Ooo, burn. Just because I don’t feel the need to broadcast my accomplishments doesn’t mean I don’t have them. Might want to back away from that one very, very slowly….

      jodi picoult and her mention of me in her best selling book house rules… as illiterate as you insinuate I am, this person right here was mentioned in her best selling book, as a writer none the less…

      All righty. Let’s look that up, shall we. Ah, here we are! Jodi Picoult, NYT Bestselling Author of 18 novels, including House Rules (2010, Atria). Hmmm. *skim, skim, reading, reading*

      Synopsis:

      HOUSE RULES is about Jacob Hunt, a teenage boy with Asperger’s Syndrome. He’s hopeless at reading social cues or expressing himself well to others, and like many kids with AS, Jacob has a special focus on one subject – in his case, forensic analysis.

      He’s always showing up at crime scenes, thanks to the police scanner he keeps in his room, and telling the cops what they need to do…and he’s usually right. But then one day his tutor is found dead, and the police come to question him. All of the hallmark behaviors of Asperger’s – not looking someone in the eye, stimulatory tics and twitches, inappropriate affect – can look a heck of a lot like guilt to law enforcement personnel — and suddenly, Jacob finds himself accused of murder. HOUSE RULES looks at what it means to be different in our society, how autism affects a family, and how our legal system works well for people who communicate a certain way – but lousy for those who don’t.

      Wait, wait. This is a work of fiction – a crime novel about Asberger’s. You’re sure this is the book you were mentioned in as a writer? Unless you meant you were mentioned in the acknowledgements! Let’s see.

      Hmm. Nope. Not there. Oh, well. I’m sure you were mentioned somewhere I’m just not able to find. I’ll put that one on my to-be-read list. After all, if you’re mentioned, I want to read it!

      my personal story has been covered in at least half a dozen books

      Well don’t be shy! Link them! Share which ones, so I can read them and smile that “Hey, I know that guy!”

      and yes, I really did get a check from peter jackson and as much as you might want to downplay, erode or besmirch my reputation or these facts or my history as a publisher, it is way more than you will ever have… like, ever. you should respect that and the 25 years plus of knowledge that comes with it.

      Respect is earned, not given. Also, you won’t back anything you’ve said you’ve done up with facts. Then you throw things around like “science” and so on. It’s wild.

      I’ll never learn though, the big lesson, never play with those below you, their insecurities and animosity tear you a part.

      You should also never challenge those above you with better skills than you have. Well, unless your name is David.

      now, get this thru your think fucking skulls… we are in a moment that is still evolving… new words are being created and you can add to that or work against it… either way, you really do not matter, it is happening, we are here and it will happen with or without you.

      Is it just me, or does this sound slightly nihilistic?

      newspapers are now websites

      Yet there’s still newspapers.

      magazines are now blogs

      Yet there’s still magazines.

      radio shows are now podcasts

      Yet there are still radio shows.

      t.v show are now videos on websites

      Yet I still get calls every week to sign up for TV service…

      and so on.

      quit playing games and get the fuck out of the way and let those brave individuals who have dedicated their lives to expression and art and the pursuit of elevating mankind thru art do what they do.

      I’m sorry…I can’t hear you over my laughing. This sounds so…what? Art is war and… just….

      some other points from this horribly typical thread I’d like to ask and address…

      Oh, God, there’s more? *sips tea*

      dina, wtf are you talking about when you say I sell my work thru guilt? I’m sure this isn’t something you’ve harvested off of my personal and private Facebook page only to present out of context, right… so, please explain how or where on my website or public facebook page I am selling something out of guilt.

      First, let’s address “personal and private” thing, shall we? You see that little icon on EVERY ONE OF YOUR FB posts? The one that’s right next to the time stamp that looks like a globe? That one? Yeah, when you hover over it, it says “PUBLIC.” Public posts are for everyone to read, whether or not they’re your friend on FB. Anyone searching for you (which according to you is apparently more people than I can count) and landing on your page (say…those reading this post) can see those posts. EVERYTHING you’ve posted on your “personal and private” FB page is available for anyone to see if they look. That’s everyone on this blog, everyone on the internet, anyone who gets the wild hair to go and see if you’re on FB can see EVERYTHING you’ve posted with the “public” setting, even if they don’t have a FB account themselves. Even if they’re not logged in.

      So you see, Shane, your “personal and private” FB page…isn’t. It’s your personal page, yes, that you’ve made for yourself as an individual, but it’s hardly private/”Friends Only” (which you can set it to, if you choose, and no one but those who have friended you can see your posts). I’d think a techy guy like you, so savvy in the ways of the Internet and so on, would be able to set his “personal and private” FB page to…you know…personal and private if he didn’t want the public at large to see everything he’d posted to FB.

      Everything on my “personal” FB page is also public, because I use it as a platform for people to find me. I also have a fan page. Posts there are public, too.

      Now that we’ve addressed that issue, let’s get to your question.

      Putting it out there that anyone should buy your stuff because you’ve [“you” generally speaking not “you” personally, which I think is part of the issues you’ve had comprehending this particular thread, but that’s beside the point] put all this money out for it (either in promo space or to have it printed), have bills to pay, a sick dog, need a new car or laptop, whatever – that’s called “guilting the buyer” or “pity purchasing.” “Buy my book because my kid is sick and I need the money.” < -- example. I'd go and find a perfect example on one of your many and varied FB pages, but I'm a little busy at the moment and have spent enough time answering this comment as it is. Not that you'd click it or get my point anyway, so, I'm not going to waste my breath on explaining something that's not going to be understood. Next! and to the bozo who is talking shit about my comment over having to pay $1000 or needing to take an ad out to receive a review is as thick as a brick… get this, once you PAY for a review, it is no longer a review… it is an advertisement. reviews used to work this way… you’d send your work, the editor would look it over and consider his reader, would the readership find this interesting, the editor would then consider if it was easily available for their reader to purchase – that was it… now, in a last desperate act, out of date and dying beasts like the L.A. times charge any moron who will pay, they try to profit from what has been one of the best selling, easiest things to sell, they sell hope, like the lottery or church does… and they sell that shit to suckers…. but enough with the lesson, you’re not listening. you’re only here to talk.

      — FORMATTING ISSUE HERE THAT’S NOT SAVING MY FORMATTING TAGS – BELOW IS MY COMMENT, NOT THE POSTER’S —

      Me: Submitted without comment.

      And that’s all the commenting I’m going to do on these from now on. Once again, Shane, thank you for stopping by and giving us your perspective on things! (No, really, I totally mean that, and not in a…well…paranoid or whatever way you want to take it. I’m genuinely grateful for your input, because I welcome all sides of an issue, and yours is a very unique perspective, so thank you for your time.)

    • OMG did Shane go bat shit crazy because of us usless housewives?

      Poor baby think he needs a hug…. oooh but again I bet you he thinks he’s an “ARTISTE”.

      Remember you chose to post, she responded, readers were even warned that it was a RANT….look that up in a dictionary there dude, she was not soliciting your point of view. Show Dina some respect, the world, publishing and writing is not ALL about you.

      If you really wanna get an earful I suggest you repost your comments to Dina’s rant on Chuck Wendig’s site. That I would take a day off for, just to watch the commentary fly.

  3. I just couldn’t get through all the comments. Really. I suck terribly, I guess. I just couldn’t read them all.

    I’m stuck on a few things.

    First I agree authors and artists should get paid. Period. They are working and deserve payment. It is an option to give things away for free, and some use that. But there are different levels of free these days as well. (of which that might be a topic for another day)

    As a reader, I’m weary of free books. I wonder if it’s not a good read. Does the author think they aren’t worthy of their work? What’s the catch? And usually end up passing on it. There are deals days. You know them, the first book of the series goes on “sale” for free for a few days to catch your eye and get you hooked. I’m guilty as many others. I take full advantage of these. Why the hell not? You want to give it away, and it’s something I want, I’ll take it. Thank you very much.

    But, the next word to keep in mind… RESPECT. Is it there when items are given away?

    Hmm…Let me use my son for example. When *I* or others buy him items, he plays/uses it, enjoys it. But there is a ‘yea well, I got it’ feel about it. When he was old enough to earn money by chores or realize the importance of Saving to get what he wants, it was taken to a whole new level. He didn’t worry as much about the things GIVEN to him as much as he did when he PURCHASED things.

    I’ve learned it carries through with books as well. I ran a question several months (if not a year) ago asking readers if they read the free books they picked up. Do you want the answer? Majority of them said…No. They pick them up because they are free and no rush to get to them. They read the books they purchased. Hmm, sounds like my son.

    Then there’s Amanda there. Um, I had to stop before the end. She got on my nerves. At first I thought, oh cool. Then she started to tell me how she does get paid. And, well, I’m not as good hearted because there is no way I could take her or her band into my home. Nope. Not me. Sorry, but that’s who I am. Then I did see she was using a Kickstarter to earn money. So, in a way she does get paid. But really, is she going to do this ALL her life? When she’s a crippled wrinkled old woman no one wants to look at? When her voice croaks like a frog underwater with no strength to surface? Really? Sounds to me like she needs to grow up some and take on a bit of responsibility. But, that is her choice, and the choice of those willing to care for her.

    In the end, I guess I’ve got a view in the blinders way of earning money and getting paid. Damn it, authors and artists perform for their pay, and they should NOT be crucified for asking for payment. It’s a service we enjoy which they are paid for.

    And self-publishing…oh boy. Hey, if you can do it, and do it RIGHT. More power to you. I’ve meet a few authors how have done extremely well with it. But they will tell you, it’s a HELL-of-a lot of work, time, and effort. And you can’t spam people while doing it.

    Just a quick thought from a reader.

  4. I’m in the midst of baking the cookies that take forever, so I figured I could comment at length on this. And most of it is in response to comments rather than the original post. (Sorry, Dina!)

    I do not believe (as one commenter seems to) that self-publishing is the wave of the future and will put an end to commercial publishing, book stores, etc. The one point he made that I fully support (and I think Dina does too): people will pay for quality. But that is the very reason self-publishing won’t kill commercial publishing. There is, quite frankly, too much crap that gets thrown on the internet (much of it for free). People are learning that there are publishing houses where they consistently find quality *and they will seek out work from that house*. Self-published stuff is a crap shoot (free or not).

    And the problem with that is there are a large number of people who CHOOSE to self-publish and they hire editors and cover artists in order to put out quality. (I have a few friends who do this and I wish them the best.) They often get buried in the deluge of things available. So I side with Dina that there still needs to be quality control. Not content control, mind you. A lot of books get rejected by New York because there’s “too many” ________. If a person with a really good _______ CHOOSES to self-publish, that’s on them, but they also should be responsible for obtaining quality editing, cover art, etc.

    But free?

    It’s really easy for Neil Gaiman and AFP and Cory Doctrow to go on about how piracy doesn’t hurt. They make a shit-ton of money. (And NG and CD have books in those bookstores that are somehow supposed to go away–they don’t give those away for free, I promise you that.)

    Me? I do not make a shit-ton of money. Money from my book sales goes to pay bills. It goes to my kids so they can have after-school activities and decent clothes and snacks for lunch. Piracy? STEALS FROM MY FUCKING CHILDREN! How is that right? How can anyone defend that shit?

    However, I do give away some stuff for free–I just don’t give most of it to EVERYONE.

    On my website I have a collection of flash fiction that goes with my books. No, I didn’t pay editors and cover artists…because it’s free. It’s stuff I wrote on a whim and figured I should share because my fans wanted more peeks into the worlds I created. I don’t mind giving little peeks like that away for free.

    I also have excerpts on my website–pretty much as big as my contracts allow for. (I like to reserve some wiggle room for other snippets on guest blogs.) It allows readers to taste-test my work for quality *before they buy.*

    I also give away free books on blog tours and blog hops. You want one of my books for free? Follow my ass around and enter those.

    Then there’s charity. Technically not *free* in the sense that you pay nothing, but “free” in the sense that I don’t get paid for it and I pay shipping. Plus you get to do a good deed.

    Reviews. I will send out review copies to people with legit review sites. Don’t try to pull the “I’ll Goodreads review it.” Because that shit doesn’t fly with me. You want to get free books for review? Build a site and grow a following. People will start coming to you.

    Lastly, I’m a big fan of conventions. But they are costly. I pay because I like to go. (I got a check back this year from a con I attended last year and I danced around the house for days. My first speaking fee! WOOT!) I like talking to fans and meeting people who love books. The money I make from my work also helps pay for that. AND I sometimes give away books at my speaking events. (If you’ll be at the Romantic Times con, come to Hero Speed-Dating for a chance at a print copy of “Kiss of Death” or the Gaslamp Tea for a chance at a digital copy of one of my steampunk books.)

    I give away not only my time but books as well. But I CHOOSE to do so in very specific ways.

    AFP wants to give it all away? Good for her. She still can’t sleep at my fucking house. And she has no right to tell me I should take things away from my children in order to give my art away to the world. I’m a better mother than that–and a better artist.

    • Thanks for the visit and comment, Sel! Same treatment as everyone else – you in italics [sic], my replies below.

      I’m in the midst of baking the cookies that take forever, so I figured I could comment at length on this. And most of it is in response to comments rather than the original post. (Sorry, Dina!)

      Hey, no problem! The comments are the real draw now anyway. I don’t even think people are reading my original rant anymore, and that’s okay. Did you say cookies?

      I do not believe (as one commenter seems to) that self-publishing is the wave of the future and will put an end to commercial publishing, book stores, etc. The one point he made that I fully support (and I think Dina does too): people will pay for quality. But that is the very reason self-publishing won’t kill commercial publishing. There is, quite frankly, too much crap that gets thrown on the internet (much of it for free). People are learning that there are publishing houses where they consistently find quality *and they will seek out work from that house*. Self-published stuff is a crap shoot (free or not).

      Yes. Absolutely I believe people will pay for quality. They always have and always will, even just perceived quality (like those silly earphones that cost hundreds when there’s absolutely NO difference in sound quality between them and $5 set except the expensive one has gold plating on a piece). I agree with the rest of your comment, too.

      And the problem with that is there are a large number of people who CHOOSE to self-publish and they hire editors and cover artists in order to put out quality. (I have a few friends who do this and I wish them the best.) They often get buried in the deluge of things available. So I side with Dina that there still needs to be quality control. Not content control, mind you. A lot of books get rejected by New York because there’s “too many” ________. If a person with a really good _______ CHOOSES to self-publish, that’s on them, but they also should be responsible for obtaining quality editing, cover art, etc.

      This. So much this. Yay, choice! Yay, free enterprise! I’m all for choices, as I’ve said. My only issue with all the choices available is the sanctimonious crap that comes with some choices that are made. Like restaurants. “You paid HOW MUCH for that drink when Restaurant B has it for $X?” Well, yeah. I like Restaurant A, and they have the cute bartender. And I want to support the owner. So there! Just because I make different choices doesn’t mean I’m an idiot. I think that’s the point a lot of people are missing in this rant.

      But free?

      It’s really easy for Neil Gaiman and AFP and Cory Doctrow to go on about how piracy doesn’t hurt. They make a shit-ton of money. (And NG and CD have books in those bookstores that are somehow supposed to go away–they don’t give those away for free, I promise you that.)

      Mr. Doctorow and I have our issues as well. And yeah, the hypocrisy isn’t lost on me. Not one little bit.

      Me? I do not make a shit-ton of money. Money from my book sales goes to pay bills. It goes to my kids so they can have after-school activities and decent clothes and snacks for lunch. Piracy? STEALS FROM MY FUCKING CHILDREN! How is that right? How can anyone defend that shit?

      According to one of our commenters here, that argument makes you…what was the phrase? Oh, yes. “The artists who blame their lack of sales on sharing are those who can not adapt… and they will die off.”

      Then there was something about getting on board with the wave of the future and being a clownish hack, but it’s all kind of jumbled and confusing now. “There’s all kinds of twists and cul-de-sacs, it’s wild! – Wash”

      However, I do give away some stuff for free–I just don’t give most of it to EVERYONE.

      On my website I have a collection of flash fiction that goes with my books. No, I didn’t pay editors and cover artists…because it’s free. It’s stuff I wrote on a whim and figured I should share because my fans wanted more peeks into the worlds I created. I don’t mind giving little peeks like that away for free.

      I also have excerpts on my website–pretty much as big as my contracts allow for. (I like to reserve some wiggle room for other snippets on guest blogs.) It allows readers to taste-test my work for quality *before they buy.*

      I also give away free books on blog tours and blog hops. You want one of my books for free? Follow my ass around and enter those.

      I’ll follow your ass around. I’ve seen you in a corset. Grrowr. *eyebrow wiggle* Oh, wait…wait…you meant…*blush*. Sorry!

      I do this too. I give away tea and things I’ve knitted and books and random stuff…all free. Again, my choice to do that, my money to give away, and so on.

      Then there’s charity. Technically not *free* in the sense that you pay nothing, but “free” in the sense that I don’t get paid for it and I pay shipping. Plus you get to do a good deed.

      Don’t use that phrase on my blog, please. I don’t mind language, but when you start throwing phrases like “good deed” around, you’re going to make me really uncomfortable. This is a fami-

      DUDE I ALMOST MANAGED TO SAY THAT WITH A STRAIGHT FACE! Almost. *cracks up*

      Reviews. I will send out review copies to people with legit review sites. Don’t try to pull the “I’ll Goodreads review it.” Because that shit doesn’t fly with me. You want to get free books for review? Build a site and grow a following. People will start coming to you.

      Win.

      Lastly, I’m a big fan of conventions. But they are costly. I pay because I like to go. (I got a check back this year from a con I attended last year and I danced around the house for days. My first speaking fee! WOOT!) I like talking to fans and meeting people who love books. The money I make from my work also helps pay for that. AND I sometimes give away books at my speaking events. (If you’ll be at the Romantic Times con, come to Hero Speed-Dating for a chance at a print copy of “Kiss of Death” or the Gaslamp Tea for a chance at a digital copy of one of my steampunk books.)

      I give away not only my time but books as well. But I CHOOSE to do so in very specific ways.

      And that’s what it’s all about! Choices.

      AFP wants to give it all away? Good for her. She still can’t sleep at my fucking house. And she has no right to tell me I should take things away from my children in order to give my art away to the world. I’m a better mother than that–and a better artist.

      Hear, fuckin’ hear. PREACH, SISTER. *high-five*

      This. This right there. That sums up my nearly 5k word rant in one sentence. I always was a wordy bitch.

  5. *Points if you get the reference.

    How many points do I get for “Cap’n Tightpants of the Serenity”? 😀

    Okay, I’m’a go read the other comments now, may comment more later.

    Oh, tangentially, do you want pics of the pony I’m making for the auction prize?

    • Hell yes I want pics! I will pimp them as awesome!

      You get 50 points for your house and a cookie.

      Because you’re awesome.

      • Whoohoo!

        Many pics spamming your email…probably best to not post them until the bidder has the pony though; seems kind of rude to do so before she gets to see the finished horror.

  6. yes, nice place you have here… clean up? need soap? talk about ego.

    of course you’re going to claw and fight and fight some more, this is your place and what a fine ego it is and how scary it must be to see your gig change so dramatically.

    yes, I have and do publish mine and others work. you might want to try ye’old google if you’d like a link and or to disprove my reality.

    to look to the future and want more and to try and sculpt that future is hardly utopian or in my case and within this argument it has everything to do with reality.

    there is a reality that is happening and it’s been happening well before 2002, a time an place you seem to be stuck it… and it is this reality that I’m speaking of.

    hows artistic stratification working for me… well, if you want to whip out your numbers and be transparent, I’m willing and I’d bet it’s working out just as well for me as it is for you, maybe a tad better. but, with such a long career, I’d say it ebbs and flows but seldom elevates outside of the zipcode I was born or the class that I exist within.

    dina, the pay what you can business model is not going away, neither is file sharing. it would behove artist and writers of all levels to get on board… so you can be transparent with the numbers of ‘hits’ or ‘likes’ you actually have and turn your perceived value into something tangible… or you can continue to use the mystical file sharing is killing my sales argument – right, you’re huge in germany too.

    I have been at this game for 28 years. personal attacks aside, 28 years of living and breathing and surviving… and until very recently, without help from the man, without a second gig or a check from ma and pa. I get it… and I get it on all levels… and I understand just how wrong you are. but I hear your wrong as the death rattle of those who just will not accept the real reality or the fact that their safe and curated job is no more… the boss is no longer the publisher signing your check… it is the public at large, the end consumer, and they have risen up and have proven to be a fickled and in general ignorant beast…

    as far as me putting my money where my mouth is… 99% of the work of mine that has made it on-line is on-line and accessible and with not even a donation button… I usually upload as much of my work as possible to archive.org to be shared and used by who ever wants to use it. the few book like offerings I have listed on lulu are available for free downloads as well… so, get a grip.

    as far as how things are working out for me… well, in the last 6 months, after being paid by peter jackson for some footage I put on-line for all to see and share, I’m now reading over a treatment that is based off of my cooking with a serial killer cookbook and notes. the filmmaker, backed by a large studio, found my book thru sharing… so, I’d say things are working out ok.

    as far as the newest release, we’ve just been invited to speak in portland and I turned down an all expenses paid trip to speak in holland so, I’m no amanda palmer, but, from my perspective, it’s doing ok.

    -don’t let stratification get you down.
    -a layout person isn’t a middle man.
    – my lack of mastery for grammar doesn’t take away my history as a publisher or my need or want to express myself or help others express themselves.
    -yes, book stores should die-off, record stores and news papers should too… good buy, good riddance… they stand in the way of the evolution of writing and art.

    you want a fucking curator – try a library!

    • Whooo hoo! New comment! Second verse, same as the first! Remember what we did last time? Again, you in italics [sic].

      yes, nice place you have here… clean up? need soap? talk about ego.

      Hey, I never claimed not to have an ego. Of course I have one. I just don’t need it stroked like some do.

      of course you’re going to claw and fight and fight some more, this is your place and what a fine ego it is and how scary it must be to see your gig change so dramatically.

      Nope. Not really. Oh, you’ll find a few people running around screaming “THE SKY IS FALLING!” every time something in the publishing world changes, like buyouts and houses merging and so on, but doomsday prophets have always been around, and always will be.

      yes, I have and do publish mine and others work. you might want to try ye’old google if you’d like a link and or to disprove my reality.

      Well you see, Shane dear, I have mad Google-fu. I apprenticed under a master of it, and while I am nowhere near as good as they are, I did search the dark and shadowy corners you seem to prefer and found some…very interesting things, which, to quote Gandalf (you know who he is, right? I mean, you and PJ are buddies….) “I will not utter here.” Not because I’m afraid or anything. Just..you know…ew. You’ve given some VERY interesting interviews and I’ve read them. You are a unique individual, and I respect that.

      Though in my searches, I didn’t find a single link to any publishing ANYTHING you’re associated with other than your self-publishing one. No submission guidelines (how is anyone supposed to contact/publish with you if they can’t a) find you or b) know you’re open to submissions or c) know what genres you take?) Even the most base of self-publishing platforms has *something* online you can find with those things. If I were to suddenly get the desire to leave my corporate slavery behind and join you in your fight against the machine, how would I do that? Just mail you and say, “Hey Shane, could you publish me?”

      Dude.

      I wasn’t able to find anything at all besides your own…uh…”work.” So yes, I’ve Googled. It’s why I asked you for a link. You know…so I could poke more holes – er, laugh at – er,…research your fine organization. See your client list. Your PRICE list. Because you do charge for publication, don’t you? Transparency here. Come on. Don’t be shy. You’re all about sharing. So…share the link, darlin’. I’ll happy post it right here in the comments for ALL to see and potentially use. Hell, you give me the link to your self-publishing platform that contains your price list and packages available and I will quite happily put a permanent link on my Stuff & Things page with a big note saying “I KNOW THESE PEOPLE AND IF YOU’RE LOOKING TO SELF-PUBLISH, I KNOW OF NO FINER PEOPLE TO USE THAN THEY.” But it has to be a legit page, like Lulu.com, Xlibris, or AuthorHouse, complete with price list. packages, and services available.

      to look to the future and want more and to try and sculpt that future is hardly utopian or in my case and within this argument it has everything to do with reality.

      I have seen the future, and it holds Bosnian food. And now I’m hungry.

      there is a reality that is happening and it’s been happening well before 2002, a time an place you seem to be stuck it… and it is this reality that I’m speaking of.

      You’re right. Internet arguments are soooooo 2002. Let’s just go get dinner and settle this like real people. (Apparently, I’m really hungry.)

      hows artistic stratification working for me… well, if you want to whip out your numbers and be transparent, I’m willing and I’d bet it’s working out just as well for me as it is for you, maybe a tad better. but, with such a long career, I’d say it ebbs and flows but seldom elevates outside of the zipcode I was born or the class that I exist within.

      I’m waiting. Oh, wait, you want ME to get naked? Uh, no. No, I thought I made it clear that I don’t share. You’re the one that’s all for sharing everything with everyone. I’d think you’d be grateful for the opportunity to flout how great and successful your model is versus us house slaves.

      No? Well, don’t look at me! I don’t take my clothes off unless there’s money involved, hun. Wait, that totally doesn’t sound right. But, you’ve already pretty much called me a whore, so…well, I can’t argue with that. So, I won’t. Next!

      dina, the pay what you can business model is not going away, neither is file sharing. it would behove artist and writers of all levels to get on board… so you can be transparent with the numbers of ‘hits’ or ‘likes’ you actually have and turn your perceived value into something tangible… or you can continue to use the mystical file sharing is killing my sales argument – right, you’re huge in germany too.

      Sweden, actually.

      And no, it’s not going away. Not when it makes SO MUCH MONEY off people who are willing to “pay what they can.” And no, neither is file-sharing. It’s always been around in some form or other (Remember mix tapes? You’ve been around 28 years – you should remember mix tapes!). I never said it should go away or that it wasn’t reality. I just said I don’t appreciate it and think it’s wrong to steal. There’s this little thing called “copyright….” Ah. Never mind. You’re a publisher! You know all about that! If you want to share your files and give your stuff away, that’s on you. I choose not to do that. That doesn’t make me an idiot.

      Also, not once did I say “file sharing is killing my sales” in this rant. Further proof that you didn’t bother to read it. *eye roll*

      I have been at this game for 28 years. personal attacks aside, 28 years of living and breathing and surviving… and until very recently, without help from the man, without a second gig or a check from ma and pa. I get it… and I get it on all levels… and I understand just how wrong you are. but I hear your wrong as the death rattle of those who just will not accept the real reality or the fact that their safe and curated job is no more… the boss is no longer the publisher signing your check… it is the public at large, the end consumer, and they have risen up and have proven to be a fickled and in general ignorant beast…

      Wait, did you just insult your audience? The people you’re wanting to pay you for your art? The people who you want to GIVE your art to? What, because they not taking what you’re trying to give them, they’re stupid? I’ve noticed you do that a lot. Insult the very people you want something from.

      You know, when people are losing an argument, they resort to name-calling, because they don’t have anything else to offer. I do believe you’ve reached that point in your argument here.

      as far as me putting my money where my mouth is… 99% of the work of mine that has made it on-line is on-line and accessible and with not even a donation button… I usually upload as much of my work as possible to archive.org to be shared and used by who ever wants to use it. the few book like offerings I have listed on lulu are available for free downloads as well… so, get a grip.

      Yeah, that’s not what I saw, but hey…people are free to Google that if they want. I’m not going to argue this one with you, because all I’ve heard from you for the past fuck-knows-how-long is “buy my stuff, here are the links to buy my stuff, how come you haven’t bought my stuff, you all are douchebags because you haven’t bought my stuff….” Speaks for itself, I think.

      as far as how things are working out for me… well, in the last 6 months, after being paid by peter jackson for some footage I put on-line for all to see and share, I’m now reading over a treatment that is based off of my cooking with a serial killer cookbook and notes. the filmmaker, backed by a large studio, found my book thru sharing… so, I’d say things are working out ok.

      *Through. Ah, yes, the Peter Jackson thing. You know, I Googled that too, and couldn’t find a single credit of yours on any of his websites or IMDB. Weren’t you supposed to be credited somewhere? Also, what’s the name of this film he’s supposed to be associated with again? West of Memphis? 2011 Portugal? Yes, I see that Wingnut films is listed as the second production company associated with that film (Disarming Films being the first one). But…where is your name? I’ve scrolled through the entire page, even did a “find” search. Nothing. I see lots and lots of names here, even a couple “thanks” at the bottom, but not yours. Well, at least you’re big in Portugal.

      as far as the newest release, we’ve just been invited to speak in portland and I turned down an all expenses paid trip to speak in holland so, I’m no amanda palmer, but, from my perspective, it’s doing ok.

      As long as you’re happy, that’s what matters. I’m happy with how things are working out for me as well, so we can at least agree on that!

      -don’t let stratification get you down.

      It doesn’t. Also, you keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means.

      -a layout person isn’t a middle man.

      They’re between you and publishing, they’re in the middle, you pay them. Ergo, “middle man.” (Or woman as the case may be.)

      – my lack of mastery for grammar doesn’t take away my history as a publisher or my need or want to express myself or help others express themselves.

      No, it doesn’t. It does, however, help when you’re in a business that relies on communication. Expression is communication. Proper grammar and spelling assist in communication. But hey, you don’t need ANY of those things now! Because now we have self-publishing!

      -yes, book stores should die-off, record stores and news papers should too… good buy, good riddance… they stand in the way of the evolution of writing and art.

      *Bye. “Buy” is what people do in those stores. “Buy” is what people should do when they want to have something like art or a book. And how exactly to they “stand in the way of the evolution of writing and art?” Never mind. Don’t answer that. I’m sure it has something to do with “the man keeping you down,” and I’ve spent enough time on this topic with you today. Too much, actually. I have actual paid work to get to.

      you want a fucking curator – try a library!

      Wait, wait, wait. A LIBRARY? You mean…one of those places that has BOOKS? Books they BOUGHT and LEND to people? Books they PAY TO HAVE?

      You mean the place you’d like to see disappear? Because, that is your camp, is it not? Or did you think that those books they stock their shelves with were also free? Because they’re not. Also, if you think libraries are all about curating (do you even know what that word means?), you clearly don’t understand how they work either. I’d link you to the most awesome article on libraries, but you wouldn’t bother to click it anyway.

      Oh, hell. Why not. On the OFF CHANCE that you might want to educate yourself, here you go.

      Personal attacks, philosophical differences and semantics aside, thanks for your visit. I so enjoy debate and intellectualism, even if we disagree. We should have dinner soon!

      • it was you, in your very first reply to my post who resorted to name calling and personal attacks… re-read.

        yes, I’m honest with everyone, including the folks who support me and I consider anyone I deal with on-line a walking $20. bill… again, I’m honest about that. but, when I say the general public is a fickle and ignorant lot, I’m not speaking about those who support me… the folks I deal with are of the 1%, very rare and ultra smart… and scary too.

        if the folks who purchase your books and contact you on-line believe you’re pals, they are fools and delusional and what a great fan base.

        as far as what I’ve published in the past and what I publish today and you trying to prove, what I don’t know, are you saying I’ve never published? I do not publish??? that I’m lying about publishing??? so, because I do not have a publishing website or choose to solicit the dregs of writing thru submission, that because I would rather find talent to publish and play with somehow makes my existence invalid or my history a lie???

        well, of course, let’s make this about me. and I do love talking about me. and it’s easy to make personal attacks rather than deal with the issue of obsolescence.

        the simple of this is, yes, you have choices… and when progressive artists state that those choices are wrong, that those fighting the future vocally tooth and nail are foolish, I’d almost agree, but after this exchange I’d say more clownish… it is the progressive voice who is trying to clue you in and drag you along, as I have tried here, that I’d say it is the fool.

        the illusion your trying to build that your books and writings are wanted is a hoot… file sharing chips away at the writer, author, artiest and filmmaker who is wanted and wanted in a disney, millions of fans kind of way.

        this argument has everything to do with artistic stratification and your fear of real and true competition.

        what is happening is we are entering an age where art is rising. filmmaking has final become an art, expression thru writing is also becoming an art… it is becoming an art because the tools to create and distribute those expressions are becoming available to more and more creatives. it was the overpriced tools, and, for creative writers the locked down distribution channels that have held back the art of writing and filmmaking for the most part, yes, there are exceptions to this, but it is rare… now, where does this leave the hack writers? well, they, much like you, are crying about file sharing and, not the future, but the here and now of publishing.

        and this is the artistic stratification I’m speaking of and happy to see finally come about… I like the separation between writers and artists, hacks and heros… like I said, writers write technical manuals and the back of toothpaste boxes… artists do not.

        – a copyright has zero to do with sharing.
        – a library isn’t a bookstore. and yes, I understand how they work and even have our new book in a handful of libraries and much like the end consumer who buys an ebook and places it online to share, libraries share the books they buy… a distinct difference between a book store.
        – it’s true, I did in fact get paid for my contribution to the peter jackson produced film west of memphis. for you to call me on that here is almost offensive… but it will be on netflix soon enough and our (the wife and I) name will be in the credits and your on-line pals will have forgotten, so sure, it’s low and perhaps shows how low you will go to try and save face. btw, to the person who spoke of me name dropping, well sure, why wouldn’t I.. it is proof that sharing my hard work, for free payed off and I’m very proud of that… maybe someday you’ll do something to be proud of, but I doubt that, after all, you’re here, talking about name dropping.

        • Name-calling? Where? *looks* I don’t recall calling you anything. Don’t see that I did anywhere, either. I never said “Shane, you’re a douchebag asshat and you’re wrong.” But hey, if you want to take it that way, all yours!

          I’m also going to call tl;dr on this now and let your…special brand of comment speak for itself.

          Last word is all yours, champ! Enjoy! (Does “champ” count as name-calling?)

  7. I’ll tell you something, as someone who has done a bunch of things–I used to do serialized novels on my site, mostly for fun and as experiments, for about five years. Initially I did this because I didn’t have to (also wasn’t allowed) to worry about money. I had a supportive spouse, was in a middle income household. I was all, “Yay, free stories! Here, come read me!” I didn’t need to worry about a financial return. I reached a point where I was homeless a few years after starting, put up a donation link finally but no pressure.

    And…nothing.

    A bit after that, I was laid off of one of my part time jobs (I was working several to get out of poverty–more in a bit). By this point I had several hundred regular readers of my serials who tuned in every month to read a new chapter. I had already given four novels this way and was onto a fifth. So I said “Listen, guys, I was just laid off of my other job, and I can’t afford rent. If you read, if you enjoy, please consider tossing $10 into the pot. There are hundreds of you and added up it could get me through a rough patch.”

    A month went by. Everyone read the comment, it was attached to the latest chapter. And I made $35–one $25 donation and one $10 donation, both from online friends who also happened to read.

    And I lost my fucking mind.

    I closed the community to a select few. I said you don’t want to give back? You don’t get to take from me anymore. You want to keep reading free? FUCK YOU. PAY ME.

    Guess what happened? PEOPLE PAID ME.

    Not a lot. I’d say maybe 10% chose to kick in some pennies. But it brought in a couple hundred eventually, which was more than the NOTHING I was getting previously. The others came back month after month, looking for new chapters but only paying readers got to read. Others came back looking for torrents, which they never found.

    It’s easy to say maybe the work wasn’t good enough, maybe it wasn’t worth paying for, but, you know, I don’t fucking care. If it’s NOT good enough, then great, don’t pay me. I am not entitled to money I haven’t earned by telling a fucking fantastic story. But the people who wanted to read FUCKING PAID FOR IT and the people who didn’t eventually went on their merry way and I do not miss them.

    I stopped serializing work like that. Occasionally I miss telling those stories but I have bills to pay and that wasn’t going to pay them.

    Now, how did I get out of poverty, which I mentioned above?

    I MADE PEOPLE FUCKING PAY ME.

    I didn’t work free. I didn’t work for exposure. I didn’t starve for my art. I figured out what people wanted/needed and I found ways of giving it to them. Someone wants to do the opposite, great, but I refused and I would still be sleeping on a friend’s couch if I did. I said “Hey, I’ll design books covers/logos/posters/whatever–but PAY ME.” I can name exactly four people I will do design work for without them paying me for it (Dina is one). Otherwise, if you want me to do anything for you, get out your fucking wallet and pony up.

    There is no dignity, no romance, no glamour, in not being able to provide for your dependents. In working for the sheer pleasure while your stomach rumbles because you don’t have enough food. In letting people walk all over you and take because they feel entitled to your blood, sweet, and tears, while the dog you’ve had ten years gets sicker and sicker.

    While it may seem to take a very low view of human nature to assume that if you don’t require payment for services you will starve, that is the reality for many artists of many types. Accolades for my work don’t keep my heat on. Fan mail doesn’t appease my landlord when rent is due. But busting my ass and expecting payment for it DOES. And while it’s nice when people have success busking, just as many people don’t.

    And if you are in a position of privilege that allows you to experiment, to invest out of pocket without concern about return, and to enjoy a focus on Being An Artist (TM) with little worry about money, at least fucking recognize that it IS a privilege (which I never did at the time) and not the reality most people live in.

    I could continue to rant but, oh gosh, I have WORK TO DO THAT PEOPLE PAY ME FOR, which I really must get to…

  8. I don’t know if you’ve seen the following two posts that AFP and Neil Gaiman made, but if you haven’t read them, you might be interested: http://blog.amandapalmer.net/post/23551030051/where-all-this-kickstarter-money-is-going-by-amanda

    and also this: http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2010/05/political-football-in-teacup.html

    Art does require money to produce, but it also behooves us to connect with one another on a personal basis, if art is to be anything other than just so much more fast food. Look, you’re blogging– isn’t that writing for free?

    • Thanks for the links; I’ve seen them before, but I’ll give them another look just in case I missed something.

      To asnwer your question, no, blogging isn’t “writing for free.” As the article I linked by John Scalzi states: “When I write here, it’s me in my free time. When I write somewhere else, it’s me on the clock.”

      Again, there’s that “choice” thing going on here. I CHOOSE to blog (okay, rant). It’s my space, my time, my everything. There are plenty of ways to connect with people on a personal basis without and I exploit them all. I have made many, many friends and contacts through such mediums, and not one of them expects me to do anything for them for free. I really don’t want to get into another rant here, but I also know several douchebag “authors” who can’t GIVE their work away, not because no one wants it, but because they’re douchebags about it.

      I also really don’t see how torrenting/downloading/self-publishing/the hard sell is “connecting with one another on a personal basis.” Look at us right here! We’re connecting, aren’t we?

      • I feel that you and AFP are saying similar things in different clothes. “Fuck you, pay me” is sort of the flip side of “I let people give me money/things/etc in exchange for my art”. Both are saying, “I value my art, and if you want it, you’ll pay me for it in one way or another.”

        You’re doing something for me (for free) by composing your original blog post and responding to my comment. You’re educating me about your views, you’re teaching me about the publishing industry, and you’re providing a public forum for connection and discussion. You rightly pointed out that we’re connecting right now. To me, this is similar to how I feel attachment to people who post their songs, stories, and other works online for audiences to download and share. Other people link back to your blog and quote you, and they’re sharing your work. Just because you choose not to charge us for the reading of it doesn’t mean that people who do choose to are bad, or entitled, or wrong. I would not find it unreasonable if you discreetly had a tip jar link on your blog. I wouldn’t say that you’re begging or trying to guilt me into anything, nor would I say that you’re acting out of a sense of delusional entitlement. I’d find it reasonable. Just like I find it reasonable that you choose not to do so!

        I loved what Scalzi said about the litmus test for finding out about whether he would write for free– “Are you me?”. Different strokes. It’s so important to me that people can have the freedom to choose how to convey their work to the world without being excessively condemned for taking one path or the other.

        I know of situations where artists have been posting their work online for free, only to be told by their fans, “Please put up a link, I want to pay you!”

        I would absolutely never presume to tell either you nor AFP that you’re wrong. I agree with parts of what both of you are saying. I believe that artists like yourself and artists like AFP can coexist in harmony. Your points about politeness, and “playing nice”, sound similar to what Palmer says about the importance of expressing gratitude, and about reasonable exchange.

        You mentioned getting coffee. There are pay-what-you-want (or can) restaurants now. Even major chain ones like Panera.

        I’m intrigued by people who choose to offer their work for free download and have linked to a tip cup on their sites because typically it seems to me like this conveys a bond of trust to others. That is the connection I am talking about. It’s a different connection than simply talking back and forth here. You interpret this as “guilting” others into giving up their cash. I see it as involving one’s audience in one’s work on an intimate level (same with Kickstarter funding). I’m being overly optimistic, but it’s possible that you’re being a little too cynical. Of course I feel connected to a writer when I buy their traditionally-published book, or pay to see their live talk, or whatever. I think the publishing industry is going to have to be okay with both types of artist coexisting. If people call authors who publish in conventional ways greedy, maybe that’s just the flip side to Palmer being told to get a job and grow up. I don’t want to privilege one way of doing things over the other. I don’t want to see people being exploited either way. I don’t believe that Palmer is saying that she wants to enforce her way of working on everyone else. I just know that both types of artist feel threatened as hell, and they’re hoping desperately that their way of doing things will become the Official Right Way, and that’s depressing.

        • Holy crap, a literate and reasoned response to my rant! Bless you, Minka, whoever you are! Thank you for taking the time to stop by and comment.

          Same treatment as others. You in italics [sic], my responses below.

          I feel that you and AFP are saying similar things in different clothes. “Fuck you, pay me” is sort of the flip side of “I let people give me money/things/etc in exchange for my art”. Both are saying, “I value my art, and if you want it, you’ll pay me for it in one way or another.”

          Fair enough. I even agree with her on some points. She seems an intelligent woman. And yes, we both have a similar desire, except I take issue with her and her “I firmly believe art should be free” thing. I believe my work has value, and it’s just that. My work. I want to be paid for it. I don’t believe it “should be free.” I just don’t.

          You’re doing something for me (for free) by composing your original blog post and responding to my comment. You’re educating me about your views, you’re teaching me about the publishing industry, and you’re providing a public forum for connection and discussion. You rightly pointed out that we’re connecting right now. To me, this is similar to how I feel attachment to people who post their songs, stories, and other works online for audiences to download and share. Other people link back to your blog and quote you, and they’re sharing your work. Just because you choose not to charge us for the reading of it doesn’t mean that people who do choose to are bad, or entitled, or wrong. I would not find it unreasonable if you discreetly had a tip jar link on your blog. I wouldn’t say that you’re begging or trying to guilt me into anything, nor would I say that you’re acting out of a sense of delusional entitlement. I’d find it reasonable. Just like I find it reasonable that you choose not to do so!

          Yes. Yes, I am doing something for you for free. But that’s my choice to do that. I choose to spend my time doing these things, and I’m happy to do them for people like you who want to know all the sides to the story, educate themselves, learn, what have you.

          I must disagree on the “exposure” argument you’re using, though. Downloading something isn’t exposure. I linked this in my rant above, but I’ll link it here again for convenience. Filesharing/downloading doesn’t help the author – not one little bit, despite arguments to the contrary. Also, it’s about choice, and that’s my biggest issue. If I want to share my work, it’s my choice (or rather, it should be) to give it away or not. Amanda Palmer gives her permission to download her work. I don’t. This blog is free and I don’t feel I should charge for what I say here. I don’t feel I should put out a tip jar, either. Not because I’m embarrassed to or anything, but because it’s my choice to share my (dubious) expertise and thoughts and opinions, and it’s your choice to not read them, disagree with them, or link them on your own blog if you think they have value.

          What’s NOT okay is if you were to take my blog posts and put them up on your site as your own work, claiming that you wrote it. I will take issue with that, as this blog is mine. These words are mine. There’s a little thing down at the bottom of the page that says so. I take issue with pirates doing the same thing (and yes, this has happened, both to me and to countless other authors I can link to).

          I loved what Scalzi said about the litmus test for finding out about whether he would write for free– “Are you me?”. Different strokes. It’s so important to me that people can have the freedom to choose how to convey their work to the world without being excessively condemned for taking one path or the other.

          Concur.

          I know of situations where artists have been posting their work online for free, only to be told by their fans, “Please put up a link, I want to pay you!”

          Yes. I know of them, too. I also know that the artists usually say something like, “thank you, but donate to this cause in my name instead,” or “thank you, but it’s free,” or “thank you, I appreciate your willingness, but your support is enough.”

          Many artists – myself included – only want to be paid for worth we feel has value. Work that is worth paying for. Most of us are exceedingly grateful to our fans for their support of us and like to try and give a little something back to them to express that gratitude. Blog posts and free ebooks and so are are our way of showing that.

          I would absolutely never presume to tell either you nor AFP that you’re wrong. I agree with parts of what both of you are saying. I believe that artists like yourself and artists like AFP can coexist in harmony. Your points about politeness, and “playing nice”, sound similar to what Palmer says about the importance of expressing gratitude, and about reasonable exchange.

          I never said she was wrong. I said I disagree with her for the most part. I’m sure she and I can agree on many things and find common ground on many issues. I just take exception to people like her and her husband telling their legion of fans that it’s okay to do things that are illegal (file-sharing/torrenting) because it really helps the artist.

          Uh, no. No, it doesn’t.

          You mentioned getting coffee. There are pay-what-you-want (or can) restaurants now. Even major chain ones like Panera.

          Again, that’s about choice. That’s what they do, and what they choose to do, and that’s on them. Just because they do it doesn’t mean it’s right for everyone, and everyone shouldn’t expect the same type of services from other restaurants who choose to do it differently.

          I’m all for choice. If you choose to patronize a pay-what-you-want (or can) establishment, fine, but don’t go to the restaurant down the street and get upset because they don’t do it the same way. That’s my point.

          I’m intrigued by people who choose to offer their work for free download and have linked to a tip cup on their sites because typically it seems to me like this conveys a bond of trust to others. That is the connection I am talking about. It’s a different connection than simply talking back and forth here. You interpret this as “guilting” others into giving up their cash. I see it as involving one’s audience in one’s work on an intimate level (same with Kickstarter funding). I’m being overly optimistic, but it’s possible that you’re being a little too cynical. Of course I feel connected to a writer when I buy their traditionally-published book, or pay to see their live talk, or whatever. I think the publishing industry is going to have to be okay with both types of artist coexisting. If people call authors who publish in conventional ways greedy, maybe that’s just the flip side to Palmer being told to get a job and grow up. I don’t want to privilege one way of doing things over the other. I don’t want to see people being exploited either way. I don’t believe that Palmer is saying that she wants to enforce her way of working on everyone else. I just know that both types of artist feel threatened as hell, and they’re hoping desperately that their way of doing things will become the Official Right Way, and that’s depressing.

          I’m not cynical. I’m an evil bitch. I’m a realist. I’m not an altruist and I don’t have a lot of faith in humans as a species. I like individuals, not people as a whole. I’m antisocial. You get it.

          I agree that there’s room for both types of publishing. What I don’t agree with is the categorical “you want money you suck” philosophy so many proponents of piracy (because that’s how I classify AFP and her husband now) espouse. I don’t agree with the “information wants to be free.” Um, my little novel about hellhounds and werewolves isn’t “information,” and it really, really doesn’t want to be free. But that’s just my take on things.

          Here’s another take that I really like.

  9. I don’t know dina.
    this rant and ones like it seem so 2002

    I was the first small publisher to jump on-line… I wouldn’t have a computer in my house, I was against having a mic and camera willingly embedded in my home making it too easy for the man to surveil me.

    back then, people related to what I was saying, they were just as freaked out and yet, I knew there was no reason to fight the future, I needed to adapt and overcome and I jumped on line and became the first small publisher on-line.

    the artists who blame their lack of sales on sharing are those who can not adapt… and they will die off.

    the deal is, and remember, I’ve been on all sides of these, published, self-published, and have published others, so, the deal is, the publisher exploits and the writer submits.

    I’m not one who thinks the writer or artist should HAVE to submit. it’s a good thing to have choices… and that’s just what self-publishing and crowd funding gives… choices.

    the middle man is no longer the be all end all, they no longer have all of the control. now we can choose to hire a layout person, an editor and so on… so what if self-publishing is more work. work is work. if you want it to be less work, work harder and be successful or take a hint and quit working so hard at it and get a job that is a simple 8hrs with benefits.

    all technology and file sharing has done is opened up the game to stratification… now, the artist can reach their own level, this is still in the works and things are still in a state of flux, but artistic stratification will be the future, once more book stores and meaningless print publications are killed off… once the herd gets hip to the future… a future where the person who appreciates and consumes art can and will buy direct from the artist and that’s a good thing, it makes entertainment and art less expensive for the end consumer and the artist makes more money… and yes, it’s great if you’re writing can employ a layout person and others you might need to craft your work… but to sing the praises of a publisher and all their hard work is funny to me… a publisher has and holds one thing and one thing only over the authors head – their ONLY worth is their distribution connections.

    the biz you speak of holds back quality and innovation.

    let’s take the l.a. times for example… for a self published author to get their book reviewed the cost is $1,000. and why? well, the l.a. times will tell you it’s because publishers and their distributors buy ads and it wouldn’t be fair to them to let a self-published author be reviewed without making them pay.

    how fucking ridiculous… our society should be filled with quality, and intelligence, and beauty not who can pay their way in.

    this nonsense about self published folk paying to play is just that, nonsense – there is NO cost to publishing a work thru lulu.com… or, no more than you, the paid author pays, by letting a publisher define your value.

    think about it… if you consider your writing WORK and it has VALUE, then when you give it to a publisher you too are paying to be published… I very much doubt your perceived value is being met, and when authors are paid royalties it’s just another word for piece work and that shit belongs in a sweat shop where you sew the ends on socks not create a work that could live for quite a long time… payment thru royalties isn’t getting paid and the pittance you might receive up front for your WORK isn’t a fair value… it’s the value a publisher puts on it before they exploit it.

    so, if you were to SHARE your WORK and, build an audience of loyal fans, your perceived value might have an actual value and not a value given it by the person harvesting the talent.

    you see, we’re in a new time… where stratification among the arts will prevail and if people like your work, you will be rewarded… or you will WRITE technical manuals for the next cool electrical gadget that makes it easier to share or create and poof, you will be paid for your WORK, by the word and the competition will be thick.

    and that’s the real issue now, the real reason sales are down… we have more and more individuals who are playing broadcaster, more and more individuals have their very own channel, be it on youtube or Facebook, these folks have become the news, the authors and, the artists… our community of communicators is growing each and every day… and they emulate their favorite artists and they are struggling to find themselves thru creative and expressive means just like you or others did… and, if you are a writer, nothing more, nothing less, you just write what the boss wants, there probably isn’t much of a future for you, or at least not a great one, hell, there are well trained slaves and student in abundance who understand the art of writing and grammar and will do it for less every time… we are entering a global economy, so you will compete with the global job pool. imagine that.

    I’d say sharing your work is the best way to assure you have troops that will back you and ultimately employ you to continue to do what you do and as an added bonus, they’ll treat you like you’re special for doing your WORK.

    • Whoa! Hello long comment! Okay. *takes deep breath and a sip of tea* I’m going to go through this line by line so I don’t miss anything! You took the time to write this, I’ll take the time to respond to it.

      However, this is my house, and you came into it, you were warned, you posted this with the intent for it to be read, so…yeah. Fair game. Get some Lava soap and an SOS pad. You might need them to clean up. Ready?

      Here we go! You in italics, all [sic].

      I don’t know dina.
      this rant and ones like it seem so 2002

      Well maybe if the issue would change, the rants would, too. If people are still screaming about this, then maybe the problem still exists.

      I was the first small publisher to jump on-line… I wouldn’t have a computer in my house, I was against having a mic and camera willingly embedded in my home making it too easy for the man to surveil me.

      I’m trying to decide if this comment is a joke or not. I’ll just leave that one there.

      back then, people related to what I was saying, they were just as freaked out and yet, I knew there was no reason to fight the future, I needed to adapt and overcome and I jumped on line and became the first small publisher on-line.

      So…you were being serious about not having a computer because you were fearful of being under surveillance by…whom? The Man? Again, I’ll leave that one where it’s at. You became the first small publisher online? Meaning…self-publishing? I’m going to need a little more than that here. What was your imprint? The URL? What books did you publish (that you didn’t write)? What were your submission guidelines? I’m actually interested in your perspective here, since you were the first small publisher online.

      the artists who blame their lack of sales on sharing are those who can not adapt… and they will die off.

      I’m trying to make sense of this comment. Are you trying to say that people who bitch about their work being stolen (because that’s what you mean when you say “share,” right?), who actually want to be paid for the work they do, are going to die off because they don’t work for free? That’s like saying “people who don’t print their own bills will starve.” But last I checked, printing your own money was illegal (called “counterfeiting”).

      You and I clearly have very different ideas about ownership, property, and adaptation. It’s not even about adaptation, either. Many, many authors and artists adapt just fine to the inevitable changes in the creative world without using the platform of piracy.

      the deal is, and remember, I’ve been on all sides of these, published, self-published, and have published others, so, the deal is, the publisher exploits and the writer submits.

      We all answer to someone, Shane. Could be the publisher, the fans, the printer, someone. In any medium, you pick your poison, and that’s the part about choice I was talking about. I choose to do what I do and how I do it, and I don’t appreciate being told I’m stupid for exercising my right to choose how I work.

      I’m not one who thinks the writer or artist should HAVE to submit. it’s a good thing to have choices… and that’s just what self-publishing and crowd funding gives… choices.

      Agreed. And no one HAS to do anything. Again, it’s about choices. As you say, choices are good. If you choose to self-publish, that’s your choice, but in making that choice, you accept the consequences. You live with the results. You don’t get to guilt people into buying your book because you have bills to pay and need to make money as you spent all you had on publishing a book no one wants to read or buy.

      In my opinion, self-publishing and crowd-funding have their uses, but like anything else, can and are abused profusely. Again, anyone who chooses to use them for whatever reason has that right, but then they don’t get to bitch about it when they fail.

      the middle man is no longer the be all end all, they no longer have all of the control. now we can choose to hire a layout person, an editor and so on… so what if self-publishing is more work. work is work. if you want it to be less work, work harder and be successful or take a hint and quit working so hard at it and get a job that is a simple 8hrs with benefits.

      The problem with the above is just what I said in my rant (which you’d know if you’d actually read it) – most people aren’t willing to put in the work. Hell, most people aren’t even aware they need to hire a layout person, editor and so on, and if they do become aware of it, they don’t want to pay those people for their services. We’re all paying for something somewhere. You bitch about middle men then turn right around and talk about hiring one. Though I guess since hiring and paying those people are voluntary, there’s a difference. I don’t see it, but it’s early and I haven’t had much tea.

      all technology and file sharing has done is opened up the game to stratification… now, the artist can reach their own level, this is still in the works and things are still in a state of flux, but artistic stratification will be the future, once more book stores and meaningless print publications are killed off… once the herd gets hip to the future… a future where the person who appreciates and consumes art can and will buy direct from the artist and that’s a good thing, it makes entertainment and art less expensive for the end consumer and the artist makes more money… and yes, it’s great if you’re writing can employ a layout person and others you might need to craft your work… but to sing the praises of a publisher and all their hard work is funny to me… a publisher has and holds one thing and one thing only over the authors head – their ONLY worth is their distribution connections.

      “Once more book stores and meaningless print publications are killed off.” Wow.

      Wow. You totally just insulted me and my ENTIRE profession with that. If that was your intent, congratulations.

      Also, if you think that a publisher only holds one thing over authors heads, you clearly have no concept of what publishers really do. Oh, wait! Weren’t you a publisher once?

      the biz you speak of holds back quality and innovation.

      I wouldn’t say “holds back.” I would say “filters for.” As my dear friend (and author) Skyla Dawn Cameron says, not everyone is meant to be a ballerina. The very qualities you praise self-publishing for are the qualities I despise in it. I believe there should be filters. There SHOULD be standards of quality. As I said in my rant (which again I’m beginning to suspect you didn’t actually read, but skimmed to see if my thoughts and opinions matched your own, which they clearly don’t on this issue), the system isn’t perfect – no system is, not even self-publishing – but it’s what I choose to do. It might have its issues, and yes, there are both people who should be commercially published who aren’t, and people who are who shouldn’t be (*cough*StephenieMeyer*cough*ELJames*cough*), but no one ever said the system was fair.

      Neither is self-publishing. There isn’t a lot of “quality and innovation” in self-publishing in my opinion, but having said that, there are a few people I know who do it right.

      let’s take the l.a. times for example… for a self published author to get their book reviewed the cost is $1,000. and why? well, the l.a. times will tell you it’s because publishers and their distributors buy ads and it wouldn’t be fair to them to let a self-published author be reviewed without making them pay.

      So…you’re taking issue with the fact that they’re…treating everyone equally? Self-published authors want to be treated like professionals, and the professionals are represented by houses that pay the fees they charge to get their book reviewed. I’m not seeing the problem here.

      how fucking ridiculous… our society should be filled with quality, and intelligence, and beauty not who can pay their way in.

      Ohhh, THERE IT IS. Uh, yeah. We do not live in a “should be” society. The bills are not paid with how things “should be.” This is a capitalist, free-enterprise society, and I prefer (and deal with) reality.

      The reality is, publishing is a business like any other. Self-publishing is also a business that, in my opinion, preys on the hopeful and the ignorant. There’s a reason it’s called “vanity press” and “pay to publish.” Because you pay to do it. I pay someone else to do it for me.

      this nonsense about self published folk paying to play is just that, nonsense – there is NO cost to publishing a work thru lulu.com… or, no more than you, the paid author pays, by letting a publisher define your value.

      Oh, there isn’t a cost to publishing a work through (note the spelling, there – “thru” is a place you drive to get food – and you were supposedly a publisher?) lulu.com? No? While it is true that you can upload your work to Lulu and many other sites for free, if you want any additional services – like a print version of your opus, editing, layout, cover art, binding, promotion on their sites, etc. – you have to pay for those. Some sites even stipulate that in order to use their service, you MUST buy a portion of the work you upload. 50 copies on one particular site.

      So the THEORY is, you upload it, you share the link for people to buy it, you profit. Right? How’s that working out for you?

      think about it… if you consider your writing WORK and it has VALUE, then when you give it to a publisher you too are paying to be published… I very much doubt your perceived value is being met, and when authors are paid royalties it’s just another word for piece work and that shit belongs in a sweat shop where you sew the ends on socks not create a work that could live for quite a long time… payment thru royalties isn’t getting paid and the pittance you might receive up front for your WORK isn’t a fair value… it’s the value a publisher puts on it before they exploit it.

      Again, you clearly didn’t read my rant. I admit right there in the article that yes, I too am paying to publish in a way. It’s my choice to do that, and yet again you insult me by telling me that because of the choice I’ve made, I’m doing it wrong.

      It’s statements like the one you just made about “pittance” and “perceived value” that is exactly the butthurt I’m addressing in this rant you clearly didn’t read. You’re making the exact same argument the Self-published Pious make – “Fight the Man! Evil money-grubbing gatekeepers keep everyone down! How dare they assign value to my opus!”

      So…you’re not assigning a value to your own work? *cough*Etsy*cough I could link article after article here from people using this exact same argument, and their counter-arguments. I’m really not in the mood to argue right now, especially when the logic you’re using is an epic brand of special.

      so, if you were to SHARE your WORK and, build an audience of loyal fans, your perceived value might have an actual value and not a value given it by the person harvesting the talent.

      You see, Shane, when you sign a contract to be paid for your work with a publisher, they outline the terms they’re willing to offer you. An advance against royalties, royalty rates, and so on. If you don’t like those terms, you can renegotiate them or not accept them, so that “value given to it by the person harvesting the talent” is um…yeah, I don’t understand what you mean by that. I’m sure it’s some wonderfully paranoid and conspiracy-fueled anti-“capitalist pig-dogs” free-love/culture of free indie reasoning, but that sounds like a personal issue to me and I’ve devoted enough of my time to this epic comment already.

      you see, we’re in a new time… where stratification among the arts will prevail and if people like your work, you will be rewarded… or you will WRITE technical manuals for the next cool electrical gadget that makes it easier to share or create and poof, you will be paid for your WORK, by the word and the competition will be thick.

      How’s that stratification working out for you?

      The competition is already thick in the artist community. It always has been. Authors, actors, dancers, singers, writers – there’s always been fierce competition for the top spots, and people have always worked hard and been willing to compete for those spots. To “make it.” Some get frustrated and discouraged at constantly being told “no,” and nowadays they can turn to the Internet to soothe their butthurt in a variety of ways. They can self-publish and “prove to the man” that they were wrong to keep him down/tell him no. They can go to Facebook and Twitter and bitch about how they’re being kept down and that people should buy their shit because they’re really awesome and they’d prove it if they were just given the opportunity. They can go to a crowd-funding site and say “Hey, I’m trying to publish my book but no one wants me so I’m doing it myself but that costs money so could you please give me some so I can share my brilliance with you? I’ll be your friiiiieeeend!”

      That which can be used to help a creative out can also be used to harm.

      and that’s the real issue now, the real reason sales are down… we have more and more individuals who are playing broadcaster, more and more individuals have their very own channel, be it on youtube or Facebook, these folks have become the news, the authors and, the artists… our community of communicators is growing each and every day… and they emulate their favorite artists and they are struggling to find themselves thru creative and expressive means just like you or others did… and, if you are a writer, nothing more, nothing less, you just write what the boss wants, there probably isn’t much of a future for you, or at least not a great one, hell, there are well trained slaves and student in abundance who understand the art of writing and grammar and will do it for less every time… we are entering a global economy, so you will compete with the global job pool. imagine that.

      I just write what my boss wants. Huh. Uh, no. No, professional writers kind of take exception to that. Sure, you’re writing to a deadline (which can be extended if you need it to be) and a contract (which you get to approve before you sign it, just like a TOS on a self-publishing site), but I wouldn’t call it “writing what my boss wants.”

      Again, you seem to have a very, very different (jaded, disenchanted, butthurt, choose your adjective) view of how commercial publishing really works, so you just go on and play with your self-publishing toys and leave the writing business to the professionals.

      Your own statement above is exactly the same argument I make, however. The real issue is, as Harlan Ellison said (which, if you’d bother to have read the above and clicked the link to the vid you’d know), amateurs are the problem. “…There’s so goddamn many writers who have no idea they’re supposed to be paid every time they do something, they do it for nothing….. I get so angry about this because you’re undercut by all the amateurs. It’s the amateurs who make it tough for the professionals.”

      So yeah. There will always be people willing to offer you a lower-quality product for cheap. By the same token, there will always be people willing to pay higher prices for shit that’s actually worth having. You know…for professional work.

      Publishing has always been global. Again you show your lack of understanding about how the business (BUSINESS! WITH PHONES AND OFFICES AND SECRETARIES AND EVERYTHING!) works. There are people who work in the business whose sole job is foreign rights and handling international sales and so on.

      I’d say sharing your work is the best way to assure you have troops that will back you and ultimately employ you to continue to do what you do and as an added bonus, they’ll treat you like you’re special for doing your WORK.

      How’s that working out for you? Oh, wait! You charge for your…well, everything. If you’re so confident in this model, why not put your money where your mouth is and refund the people you guilted into buying your book? I mean “charged.” Share it! Completely free. Oh, I know, you’re putting it up in chapters for people to download free and pay as they want. How’s that going? What about all your art? Why not put that up for free? No? You want money for it? You assign a value to it? How dare you! It should be free and people should pay you what they want/think your art deserves!

      And you’ve just summed up your REAL argument in that one sentence. Self-publishing for you isn’t about money or creative control or fighting the man. Self-publishing for you is nothing but pure ego. You want – you NEED – to feel special. To feel important. To be “the first” to do something. To be seen as an innovator and instigator. Yet this is contradictory, because you want so, so badly to be independent but crave that pat on the head.

      Yeah, those aren’t reason to write OR to publish. Well, not professional reasons anyway. Sounds like a WHOLE LOT of deep, personal issues to me, but those are between you and your therapist.

      Remember what I said above about personal issues? Oh, wait! You didn’t read my rant! Well, that’s okay. I had a nice time during your visit.

      You see how the idea of how something should work and the reality of how it works are different?

      Utopia is a nice idea. It is. In reality, it’s shit.

    • *let’s take the l.a. times for example… for a self published author to get their book reviewed the cost is $1,000. and why? well, the l.a. times will tell you it’s because publishers and their distributors buy ads and it wouldn’t be fair to them to let a self-published author be reviewed without making them pay.*

      Just as a heads up, *everybody* pays. The cheapest print ad (we’re not talking classified, but a real ad) in the LA Times (I looked it up) Books & Art (or whatever it was called as I closed the window already) is $798. That’s the *cheapest*. They go up from there to about $1500. (Two column versus three column and something in between that was a different price–I’m guessing due to height.) Pretty sure it’s more if you wanted color, but I didn’t bother looking.

      Because the point is, the cheapest option is still $798.

      If a publisher buys an ad once a day/week/month, they are paying for reviews. This is *common* in any print publication. You want to guarantee a review in Romantic Times? Buy an ad. I know others are the same. When publishers do this, they put up a bunch of books and–*gasp*–not all get reviewed. They buy five pages (PAGES) of ads and they’ll get so many reviews per page.

      This isn’t sticking it to self-published authors. It’s treating them just like every other author out there. The difference is a commercially published author might get that ad space paid for by their publisher–which is one of the things said publisher uses their share of the profit for.

      Commercial publishers provide distribution, yes. But they also provide high quality editing, professional cover art, marketing… I could go on and on. Yes, the author is still responsible for marketing too, but they have a jump-start on the self-published because the publishing house is putting in money…as well as their name. There are readers out there (especially with regard to small print publishers) who buy *everything* that publisher puts out because they know what the quality is like. They have confidence in the content.

      I’ll comment more on my own later, but please don’t argue that you’re a professional too and then say you want to be treated as more “special” than the other professionals.

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