Thursday, May 17, 2012

The Indies With Attitude

The above video is three years old and from an entirely different fandom, but it feels more relevant to independent publishing with every passing day.

I've mentioned the Indies With Attitude twice before, first in a guest post for another blog and again right here. You probably know the type, even if you never read either post: people who hang out on the blogosphere, jumping on every comment thread they find and preaching the downfall of "legacy" publishing and the rise of the glorious self-publishing revolution. Do they annoy you? Because they annoy me. I mean, Jesus dude, you don't get it? Nobody gives a crap what you think, and everything you've said has been said before, and better, by people who don't insist on jumping in and injecting your opinions into a discussion that was perfectly constructive before you showed up.

Let me back up a minute...

Getting published is hard. I know this because I've tried. A recession makes it harder because A) less-prosperous publishers mean less space for new authors, and B) unemployment means a lot of people who are likely to say "screw it, I'm gonna write for a living." This means a lot of new writers getting a lot of rejections. It gets frustrating. I know this from experience. And it's very easy to blame the publishers. It's very easy to pick up some book off the shelves, be disgusted by its quality, and then rail about how the publishing industry doesn't know what it's doing. I get all this. I don't necessarily agree with it, but I respect the viewpoint. What I don't respect is the creation of pointless 'net drama over it. It's all too common for blog comment threads to be completely derailed by people who want to drag the audience aside and tell them what they think.

For example, take Joe Konrath. I used to follow his blog. Used to. I unsubscribed after about a month because I couldn't stand the guy. I haven't read his books, and they might be very good. His attitude, however, is most certainly intolerable. He's got a chip on his shoulder the size of Gibraltar, and doesn't hesitate to shove it in everyone's face. I can't read more than two paragraphs of a Konrath post before closing the tab in disgust, what with the amount of vitriol he spews.

I'm not saying that authors can't have opinions on the state of the industry. I'm saying that they have better things to do with their time than shout their opinions constantly. Writers should focus on writing good stories, not on sticking it to the man or tearing down the system. And I'd be curious to know how many of these blog-lurking ponces have actually produced a self-published novel. I, with a whopping one book to my credit, have probably released more than half of them. But the Indies With Attitude are more interested in waving their flags around than acting like writers. Yes, maybe a revolution is coming, or in progress, but when that revolution is done, what will your contribution have been? Books people read, or a morass of repetitive blog posts filed away in the massive cabinets of the internet and forgotten?

I end, as I began, with a YouTube embed:

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