The more I hear from the publishing industry and how incredibly asinine they are, the more I’m glad they’re circling the drain.
I read an agent blog this morning wherein two of them had the audacity to defend the “no response means no” policy. They “don’t have time” to send out rejection letters anymore. They’d like writers to believe there’s soooo much going into them now there’s simply no time to spare for the courtesy of a rejection letter *throwwristonforeheadandswoon*.
Now — before I start to RANT here, I want you to click away if you’re solidly convinced in your determination to publish through the gatekeeper system. Click away now, because I don’t have kind things to say about those writers and their way of thinking. I see it everywhere I go on the Internet, so if you’re easily offended and want to believe in that way of being published, get off my lawn. NOW.
Still here? Good, let’s continue.
If you’re still sucker enough to try and bash your way through that brick wall with your face, more power to you. But stop holding your breath waiting for a rejection letter. It’s not going to happen. If you haven’t heard back from them you’re not going to. They’re too good, too important, to address each writer’s life work with a form letter. And they’re damned sure not going to bother giving you a personal one. Why do you keep doing this to yourself? And for the love of all that’s holy, why would you do this and say it’s your “dream”? If you dream about being mistreated, please — pay ME and I’ll do it RIGHT, and on a PERSONAL LEVEL. I’ll mistreat you like you’ll never forget.
Writers, I’ve heard it said more than once now, have the same mentality with their publishing overlords as an abused person has with their abuser. I’ve said it a thousand times, and I’ll keep saying it because I’m sick of seeing the same stupid arguments come back — you don’t need them, THEY need YOU. PERIOD! You have a choice, you have other options. They have to take what writers send them, but writers can go do things a different way. They should do things a different way, for Pete’s sake. If you stop sending them the work they’ve deemed “slush” — it’s not your work, your blood sweat and tears, your time and energy, your creative output and your labor, it’s SLUSH they have to slog through — they will stop being arrogant. They.will.stop.being.arrogant. Don’t you get it yet? You are not going to be “validated”, you’re not going to be “legitimized”, you’re not going to be valued, or cared about, or respected, and you may not even be paid for your trouble. You’re going to be cheated, robbed, forced to do things like marketing and publicity, and travel and do appearances and conferences on your dime. And those are all the reasons most of you are saying you don’t want to self-publish.
But those reasons aren’t legit, and those concerns aren’t either. They’re bullsh!t and we both know it. You have a chance to do things differently and to connect with your readers. And while you’ll still have to make some effort to publicize your work, you can honestly focus on the writing, because that’s the main tool to gain attention in places like the Kindle store and Nook.
Stand up for yourself and stop taking the abuse and theft they’re dishing out (yes, they’re stealing, and if you don’t believe me then you can believe this writer). Do it for yourself, by yourself, and learn a thing or two about the business end of the craft. How’s it going to hurt anymore than learning to write a query letter? You’re all willing to do that, even though that’s a skill which can’t BE learned. It’s different for every agent or editor or publisher. It’s a moving target, you can’t ever pin it down, and you can’t guess the mood or PMS level of the person reading it on the day they read it. Why try? Why bother? Go your own way with it. You can. You should. Your readers deserve that chance, and so does your book.
But if you’d rather sycophant to those ivory-tower a$$holes staring down their noses at you and keeping you licking their boots, be my guest. Just don’t come around here and tell me how it’s just as valid a way and just as valuable. I won’t hear it, and I won’t tolerate it. It’s a lie and you drank the Kool-Aid, not me. I won’t have you vomit that on my blog. Sorry writers. Legacy gatekeeper sycophants need not apply. The bold and brave belong to the future.
And as for the argument of “How many sales do YOU have?” — well, those same people state emphatically and without fail they’re not publishing for the money. They just want to be recognized by “professionals”. Unfortunately, that doesn’t hold water when the first question is “what are your sales like? how many have YOU sold?”
Truth is, with few exceptions on my blog here, I’ve likely sold more than you. For one thing, I’ve been published three times in the last eighteen months. In addition to those sales, I’ve sold a handful of my short story collections, too. Nothing Earth-shattering, for sure, but more than I’d have sold through a gatekeeper’s laziness and stupidity.
And I don’t even have a novel finished yet. When I do, the story may be different, depending on how things go. As with almost all things this way, it’s about luck. You can increase your chances of being lucky by having more books up there to see, to choose from, to be noticed. So write. The focus can, in this business model, be on the writing. No matter what the gatekeepers tell you, that’s not the case in their system.
So think that over.
Oh well, that’s it for me. It’s a long post today, so thanks for taking the time, and have a great weekend!
Copyright DarcKnyt 2011, all rights reserved