Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Defending The Sinking Ship?

Ugh. I used to like Jodi Picoult. I just lost a ton of respect for her.


From her interview:

What advice would you give to an aspiring author?

Take a workshop course. You need to learn to give and get criticism and to write on demand. And DO NOT SELF PUBLISH.

/Rant on:

Yet another traditionally published author who has drunk the koolaid of the publishing industry and their need to hold onto the crumbling paradigms that used to work for them.

Self-publishing was the best decision I have ever made. It has allowed me to reach readers, gain feedback, and do what I love on my schedule. Instead of waiting for some drone in a over worked publishing house to "bless" my book or not - I am already published and gaining critical experience.

100 Amazon reviews with a 4.7 out of 5 Star average for my True Romance / Erotica series. Why exactly should I have not self-published again?

/Rant off


  1. Summer, I totally agree with you. I don't have as many reviews as you have, I love your series by the way, but I've already made more money than I would have with a publishing contract, and I'm publishing the books that I want to, not was someone else tells me I have to. What was it Jodi said, we must learn to write on "demand". I don't want to write on demand I want to write what I want when I want to.

    Thanks for the interesting post.

    1. Thank you woolfcindy - I appreciate your comment about loving my series.

      A series that most likely would have never seen the light of day via traditional publishing.

  2. Very interesting post. I continue to flinch every time I hear one of the snobby writers who chose to take the traditional publishing route spout off their ridiculous rhetoric. I have chosen to go the e-publishing route, and so far, I couldn't be happier. I would NEVER bad mouth another person's path to publication. To each his own.

    1. Exactly! Support one another and "to each his own."

  3. I didn't get into writing because I thought I'd be famous and get a big publishing deal. I got into it because I liked doing it. And "self-publishing" allows me to tell the stories and make the books the way I want to. I personally think some of these people hear footsteps.

  4. lol... summer, you tell em, girl!

    i've seen picoult's name on a number of books in the 'bestseller' racks, never impressed by her titles, or the platitudes she's garnered...

    i'm guessing most are by folk who have no time to actually READ her stuff, but were asked for 'comment'...

    they are too busy writing their own stuff

    that's not to poo-poo all paperbound publishers, some actually release worthwhile titles, now'n then...

    economies being what they are, writers need all the income they can get; if e-books add to that, or are the sole source, more power to them!

    i say, let the readership decide the what and how of a writer's tales...

    love your koolaid comment, btw!

    -tony [pals on fb, different wolf as avatar]

  5. I find that these authors that get "discovered" and their first book is good, well the following books are trash because they've had to write "on demand" and they don't write well that way. In my opinion I would rather write the books at the pace my muse sets and allow good quality stories that don't let me readers down. Yes, it takes a lot of work, but all the marketing and pr you do as a self published author you'd be doing traditionally published as well, you'd just not be reaping the benefits.

    While there are some authors that will only believe that traditional published books are "real" books, we self-published authors will be one day laughing, all the way to the bank. But mostly we will be able to have control over our stories, characters, and plots without someone "in a cubicle" making those decisions for us.

    Hurrah for self-publishing!

    Lorena Bathey

    1. Hurrah indeed Lorena!!

      It simply stuns me that some still have the mindset that there is no other path to being "a real author" than traditional publishing. I think there are simply WAY too many examples at this point of those who would prove this wrong.

      Someone suggested on one of my Facebook posts about this that perhaps she is simply trying to stir up some controversy in the vein of "no press is bad press". Perhaps - but I still feel she is simply misleading a lot of talented young authors who probably see her as somewhat of a role model.

  6. That is the worst advice I've ever heard. Why should any of us put 110% into writing a book only to send it away to an a**hole "gatekeeper" who may take between 6 months and a year to respond--if they decide to respond at all. Instead, write a great book, have it edited (by someone besides yourself), publish it and make some money. If the work is good, agents and editors might come to you. Even if they don't, the book is still in the hands of the most important people--the readers.

    1. Well said Donna - and that is most important to me as well - reaching readers.

      I am light years ahead in terms of "getting started" than I would be if I had chosen to try to get published traditionally.

  7. Look, I think it's fine if people go the traditional route. I'd have done it myself if dozens of editors and agents hadn't told me no again and again over a period of 20 years. And this still can be a fine path for some people. But it isn't the *only* path, and for many people, it's far from the *best* path.

    I'm sure this is just ignorance on the part of a legacy writer with a legacy contract, but it sure raises my hackles.

    1. Michael - I think you are being modest. Congrats on your deal with Thomas and Mercer. Well deserved.

      I agree with your points of course. Legacy writer stuck in a legacy mindset. I wonder at what point the rats start to leave the sinking ship?

  8. It does seem a bit odd for her to feel so strongly about one-size-fits-all advice. Perhaps she's known some people who've suffered from self-publishing ... though I can't see how it can do anyone harm. If anything, it's a master-class in everything from A to Z. I've learned more in a few months of self-pubbing than I did in any classes or workshops.

  9. I've given this no small amount of thought in the last several months. I was hospitalized in October for severe, suicidal depression and while I was there I reached the decision that I had exhausted any excuse for not finally giving in and trying my hand at being a writer. I took part in NaNoWriMo, and though I did not complete my draft in time, I did stick with it until it was finished. I'm about to begin the process of revisiting and rewriting.

    I have thought long and hard about what to do with it once I feel it's ready. I've e-published a short story via Smashwords (written in the immediate wake of being discharged from the hospital), and I'm comfortable going that route.

    Still, I have to admit that there's something appealing to me about the external validation of a publisher saying, "You've written something we think is good enough we can sell." Philosophically, I know I shouldn't need their say-so. I also recognize that there would be tremendous validation in actual sales and favorable reviews from potential readers, and I hope to enjoy both. I can't shake the feeling, though, that selling to an actual publisher would solidify my sense of myself as a writer.

  10. I'm not sure why anyone would not want to self publish! I can put out what I want when I want and have full control over the content with no hoops to jump through. I really feel that traditonal publishing is becoming a thing of the past. Self publishing is where its at!

    Nice blog post!

  11. I'll never drink the Kool-Aid. Unless it's spiked.