Some Authors are Out of Touch

Scott Turow. Now Jodi Picault. Boy. I’ve had to HERE (look way, way, up) with this.

Turow is the current president of the Author’s Guild and he has been all over the media with spectacularly ill-informed and self-serving opinions about Amazon and, really, by default, self-publishing. And now Jodi Picualt is advising the rest of us not to self-publish.

Shall we Occupy Best-Selling Authors? Jesus H. Ffing Christ.

Fact: By the Author’s Guild’s own survey some time back, in the days before Amazon and self-publishing most authors made about $5,000 a year. We had day jobs because you can’t live on $5,000 a year.

Fact: In all the years I’ve been traditionally publishing (since 1987) I have NEVER EVER ONCE been able to think anything but that it would sure be nice to write full time. It wasn’t until I signed with my current agent that my traditional writing income was more than $5,000 a year. Those first deals she made for me in 2008 have have only now started to earn out. There have also been foreign rights sales. My agent is amazing. But there was still no chance that I’d be writing full time anytime soon.

Enter self-publishing in 2011.

Dear Mr. Turow and Ms. Picault: In 2011 my writing income was almost as much as I make in my day job. I work in high tech. My salary is not peanuts.

Do NOT tell me Amazon is evil.

Do NOT tell me not to self-publish.

You people have no idea how self-publishing has transformed everything for authors who aren’t NYT bestsellers.

And Mr. Turow, you are SERIOUSLY derelict in your duty to authors and what is best for us. The Author’s Guild is supposed to serve the interests of authors. Not traditional publishers. Take another look at what’s happening and explain to me why I should consider for even a minute turning away from writing income that makes me think full-time writing is a short term goal, not a long range plan.

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6 Responses to “Some Authors are Out of Touch”

  1. Bonnee says:

    It’s a bloody conspiracy from the sounds of that! I’ve been following writer/writing blogs for a few months now and I have heard SO MUCH good stuff about self-publishing, and certainly nothing bad about Amazon. This old mate sounds like he needs a bit of a kick.

  2. L.K. Rigel says:

    Self-publishing is wonderful, and Amazon has set writers – and readers – free.

    Turow and Picault live in the 1% mindset, and we self-publishers and readers of self-published work are messing with their paradigm.

    We’re supposed to adore them from down here in the 99% muck, dontcha know?

  3. These 2 authors clearly do not understand self-publishing. It doesn’t mean that all authors put out sub-standard work. There are thousands of wonderful self-published authors who have entertained readers with their books.

    As a self-published author, we do everything – write the story, hire an editor, hire graphic artist for the cover, format the book and upload, plus do all the marketing for our books. Tell me how that doesn’t make us professional authors? It’s really sad to see some traditionally published authors not supporting their fellow authors, no matter how they publish their books.

  4. Stephanie says:

    Thank you! I’m not the only one! Bravo!

  5. Katherine Bolton says:

    I totally agree with you. I’m not done yet with my book(s), but even at this point, I’m seriously considering just going indie. Especially if I can get more than one book done before hitting the “publish” button. I just don’t want to give up such a high percentage of the money, whatever money there is, or live by some corporation’s deadlines and priorities. Because I suspect I’m not going to BE one of those priorities.

    Changing the subject: I bought “Free Fall” (I don’t “own” a kindle, so I can’t borrow books). Then I started buying the rest of that series. ATTENTION WALLET: GLOM ALERT!!

    Katherine, grumpily

    • Katherine:
      Best of luck with your writing, whichever way you go. I’m not even sure which way to encourage you. At the moment, there’s a lot to be said for doing both, traditional and self-pubbed.

      And thanks! I hope you enjoy Free Fall, and the rest of the series.