I read a post this week that cheered me because it was so fair-minded. It was at Jami Gold's website, about whether we should take sides in debatable issues. Check out the post and read the excellent comments.
It inspired me to talk about something that has bothered me lately--which is the negativity I'm seeing in certain blogs and chat rooms directed at publishers, or at different forms of publishing.
There are blogs to “protect the writer against unsavory publishers” but the end result is a constant stream of criticism and negativity, aimed particularly at new or small publishers. Bashing contracts is one of the favorite activities, such as the incident that Jami discussed in her post.
Small presses are criticized for “lack of distribution” and "horrible contracts that might mean this! Or this! Do not sign this contract!" Whatever scare tactics these bloggers can put out there, they will do it, saying they're simply "protecting the writer" and "providing a valuable service." That might have been the original intention but when it deteriorates into spiteful bashing, it's no longer of value.
There’s one woman and her blog that exists solely to dispense negative information about publishers, and most of it is slanted and some of it is downright false. I would not dare give her name because she has a lot of power and influence online. She would tear me to shreds and probably set out to ruin the good name of my publisher.
I am just fed up with negativity on both sides of the publishing debate. I see a lot of it among self-publishers too, bashing traditional publishing and saying “You're going down sucka!”
And then there's the bashing of self-published books saying that they are lousy garbage in need of editing. (true that some are, but not all of them so why make generalizations?) Try reading Remix by Lexi Revellion, which is one of the best Kindle books I've read, and it's self-published. I found not a single typo or copy edit problem, and it's a wonderfully well-written book.
Like Jami, I am wondering, Why do we have to take sides? Why does there have to be just one right way to get published? And everything else is wrong and evil and stupid.
It's ridiculous to narrow the field to right and wrong publishing methods, because the great thing about being a writer and a publisher in today's climate is that there are so many options!
"Never give up. And most importantly, be true to yourself. Write from your heart, in your own voice, and about what you believe in." ~ Louise Brown
"Write something to suit yourself and many people will like it; write something to suit everybody and scarcely anyone will care for it." ~Jesse Stuart
"A writer's job is to take one thing and make it stand for twenty." ~ Virginia Woolf