If there were such things as “death cats,” there’d be a bunch of ’em gathered at the Big Publishing door right now, mewling and yowling for blood.
If there were such things as banshees, you’d hear their chilling howls echoing through the canyons of the gatekeeper industry.
It’s dying. I’ve been saying so for months and months now, and I’m not alone. I’m not, despite anyone’s thoughts on it, sided with a bunch of nut-job rebels with mullets and tattered denim jackets with the sleeves torn off who hate the publishing industry and wish it out of existence. I’m part of a new movement — well, relatively new anyway — which recognizes and supports that ePublishing and e-SELF publishing in particular are the wave of the future for the print and publishing industry.
And now, Kristine Kathryn Rusch — who has for months been tolling the death knell for the industry also — has provided yet another amazing bit of insight from a business professional in the print and publishing industry. She’s NOT refutable, even if I am because I’m not a million-seller or “traditionally” published. Which I am, and therefore what I say has merit, even if it isn’t “fiction”, because I’ve gone through an agent, dealt with editors, copy editors, publishers, deadlines, and a lot of contract and agreements and yes, payments. But hey — if that doesn’t count because it’s all in the non-fiction realm, fine; good luck dismissing KKR that way.
Most of the writers I see around the Internet, meet face to face, or have as friends or acquaintences, are seeking agents. If they don’t have one yet, they’re trying to get one. This means a bunch of stuff, like how they’re not writing for their readers but for the agent, and now KKR is telling the world how those same agents — which I have openly accused of being gatekeepers NOT established to help you get INTO the industry but there to keep you OUT of it — are actually criminals. Well… maybe that’s harsh. But they’re trying to make rights-grabs on the work of authors and get them to sign away their privieges and powers into perpetuity. Not just for the life of the contract, but into perpetuity. Forever is a very long (and not legally binding) time.
KKR gives specific examples and stories which should curdle the blood of any would-be published author. To me, it’s simply more proof — and yeah, I said PROOF, not EVIDENCE — that the publishing industry is predating on the writers it needs to stay alive.
I can’t stress this enough — let that industry die it’s horrible and well-deserved death. Agents used to be worthwhile… in the 1940s and 50s. Now they’re vampires, sucking the life and blood of their “victims”-cum-“clients”. They don’t and really never have worked for writers. That’s just what they claim, and writers, like dopes and dumb-asses, have been falling for it ever since the inception long ago.
The world is a new world, and you can ePublish your work on your own and have as great or greater chance of getting your book into the hands of your readers than you will of getting an ethical agent who’s worthwhile and will work on a verbal or simple agency agreement. And the odds of you making it to publication if that first hurdle is passed are even longer.
If you’re a writer, what’s the point? So many look at getting an agent as the point, they’ve forgotten why they write. So many look at getting into a publisher as the point, they can’t see the forest for the trees, won’t read the writing on the wall, and a bunch of other well-suited cliches which simply mean they refuse to acknowledge how pathetic and sick this industry is. “But it’s my dream! How can I give up on my dream?” I know it’s hard to do, but writers need to adjust their goals, their dreams, and their business models to accommodate reality, because reality is not going to accommodate the writer. Period. PERIOD.
I had a lot of dreams and I still do, many of them for writing. FICTION. And I’ve adopted my dreams to a new standard — the standard I see presented before me. Do you know my wife hasn’t visited the library in about two and half months? She’s a voracious reader with a huge appetite for books, and yet she’s discovered the joy of eBooks and has never looked back. She decided she wanted a tablet because of reading eBooks. And she’s excited about what comes next with the world of literature because eBooks make a lot of things possible which simply aren’t.
If you’re a writer and you’re not seeing this sort of thing (which isn’t, by the bye, unique to my wife in any way), you’re eyes aren’t open. I’ve seen literally every argument Joe Konrath lists on his blog as excuses to continue banging heads against the brick wall of the gatekeeper system fall out of people I know who write. Almost every one. It’s sad to see how many continue to hang their hopes and dreams on an industry which is parasitical and seeks to screw them, openly, blatantly, and simply shrugs their shoulders and says, “What’re you gonna do about it?”
What you do about it is up to you. For me, I’m finished chasing this corpse, this zombie, this rotted compost pile of vultures who prey on naivete and stupidity drawn by unbridled eagerness.
I’m out. Period.
How about you? If you’re a writer, you’re going to have to make a decision sooner or later… and sooner is BETTER than later. How do you lean?
Copyright 2011, DarcKnyt, all rights reserved.