Sunday, September 20, 2015

Authors Are Smart 2!



A Huffington Post article has been making the rounds, and I figured I'd give my two cents as well. Maybe I missed the boat, because for some reason Internet Time is faster than regular time.

There's been a lot of work in the indie author community and readers to get where we are today, which is balance. Most readers don't care if a book was published by a legacy publisher, they don't care if the book is a New York Time's Best Seller. The only thing that matters to most readers is, "Does the book sound interesting enough to read?" and, "Was it good?"

Indie authors have put in the time and resources to make their books indistinguishable from legacy publishers. It can be time consuming and expensive, but it' worth it, because it gives the reader a premium experience. Today is the day where there is an even playing field in terms of mindshare and marketshare.

The writer of this article wants to change that by imposing a two tier system to define authors. It's the definition of the Us vs Them mentality, whether intentional or not. (Let's be honest, it was intentional)

The worst part of the article is how the writer assumes other people are stupid and can't think for themselves, no doubt because they are nothing but sheeple. And the speed of which the author had to backpedal reveals more than what is said. Here is her reasoning, "The whole point is choice rather than mandate."

It's like seeing a quote by Stephen King on advice to authors, and the gag-reflex is immediately sets off. How can he tell other people what they should or should not do? If this were a cell phone text, this is where we would text back, "Lol wut?"

Advice is just that, advice. Take it or leave it. If someone gives advice to publish four books a year or to make sure to do X, Y, or Z, then why make a counter argument saying don't do those things? It would be dumb, that's why. Advice implicitly assumed the listener can think for themselves and make their own decisions. By telling other people to think for themselves, the speaker insults every listener's intelligence.

Who has the time and energy to counter argument every piece of advice on the planet? If I give advice to someone, does another person have to jump out and alert them that they have a choice in choosing to listen to me or not? It's madness I say, madness. 

Do I set out to publish four books a year? No, obviously. I don't because I made my own decision, and I didn't have to have some other person to tell me I can have that opinion.

I think attempting to write four books a year is great, and every author deserves to try it at least once. It's a phenomenal learning experience. The process is challenging, causing the writer's imagination to constantly push itself. It tests the limits of the person's self-management skills. It invests the writer on daily routines. Who cares if the writer succeeds? It's all about the skills one acquires in the process.

What I like about the four books in a year challenge is that it corrects itself. Authors who can't write, edit and format that many books won't be able to do it. It's not a knock on their writing character, it's just the way it is. I don't write four full novels in a year, because that's not me. I've met people who write far less, and people who write far more than I do.

I don't feel bad about what others can do. I feel bad about not living up to my potential.

The purpose of that article and purpose of my article have completely different points. Mine is a response, it's reactionary, and it's reaction is from seeing nonsense given a platfrom. I am expressing myself against a solid concept, the article. The article is expressing itself against nothing. It insults everyone's intelligence and conscious decision making, with the author in a power position. Let's end this article on a Macbeth quote, shall we?

"it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing."