Thursday, March 21, 2013

Grow up or go away

Today was not one of the stellar days in my world, in business terms a lot was going on that should never happen in a solid publishing house. Much has been said, and many egos have been bruised by harsh truths and realities. I’ve decided to take this to my personal space, not continue attempting to speak on the business list of the publisher in question. At the end of the day, a few voices have entered the crazy to return things to a reality most professional authors recognize and respect.

This is not an easy business we are in. In the midst of literally thousands of authors in countless publishing houses, we are each seeking to be heard and noticed. Ego is misplaced to think you are anything “special” to have a published book to your credit. That part these days is the easiest part of the business. The real work is the dedication and time that is required to build presence, brand, and reputation. There is no magic trick that makes you better than your peers except honest talent. Some people are born to tell stories, others have to tear them from their minds piece by piece. There are no right ways or wrong ways to do the writing. There IS a wrong way to conduct yourself afterward.

Many of the experienced authors who are at mid-level success are getting more and more exasperated and frustrated with the new generation of people coming into this business. Not because of the competition, but because of the general disdain and lack of class or manners that comes with the new breed of author. Public image is a hugely important thing in a public presence job. Those little hissy fits you throw, they tarnish your credibility. The artist you are rude and arrogant with–people hear about that. Readers don’t warm to anyone who abuses their peers, and you’d have to write something Pulitzer worthy to undo the damage your misplaced ego will do to you if you can’t learn a little humility.

A publishing house has the right to expect you to work for your mutual success. They invest time, resources, and money in every book they publish. To let that book sit on a website while you twiddle away your time on Facebook playing games is not only detrimental to your sales, it’s highly unprofessional and shows a complete disregard for the trust your publisher has placed in you. Respect is earned, and if this is your attitude, you will get precious little from any publisher you are privileged to work with again, now or in future.

I don’t intend for this to become a rant, so I’m going to close it with an observation that might bear consideration for more than a tenth of a second. The day you accept responsibility for your failures as well as your successes, you just MIGHT begin to be a writer with a future. Until then, you would be better served to take your toys and find a play group with a nice sandbox where you can all bitch about how nasty the real writers are to you. None of us are threatened by your brilliant talent, but I know I can speak for many when I tell you this–we ARE damned tired of your excuses, your abuse of this professional, and your self-absorbed grandiose perceptions of your importance.

Grow up or go away. It really is that simple.

1 comment:

  1. Once again you have put the truth out there from the perspective of a professional that has been in this business for quite some time. You've seen the high's and the low's and for those who are too arrogant to see beyond their fantasy-well too bad for them. They'll never sell one book and will forever be blaming someone for their own stupidity.


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