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More from Sue Grafton on Publishing & Indie Writers

August 15, 2012
By

Dear Readers,

Chances are good that if you’re not from the Louisville area and you’re following this blog, you already know about the uproar Louisville author Sue Grafton provoked a few days ago.   If you’re a regular reader who isn’t interested in books, it’s possible you didn’t even notice.  Maybe you just read a nice interview with famous author who happens to be a local lady, and moved on to something else entirely.

Well, authors did notice.  I’ve personally seen the interview discussed at length on websites across the blogosphere and the Twitterverse to the point it became overwhelming to look.  Publishing is in a state of grand flux right now, and Grafton’s comments from the interview in question were quoted at Forbes.com to perhaps the widest audience thus far–the business community-at-large.

Sue Grafton

Sue Grafton

Ms. Grafton approached me for advice about responding to the ire, and what followed was a lengthy back-and-forth via email.  I hope that if you were one of the many authors who took offense to her remarks you will read her clarification, which follows:

I’d appreciate a chance to clarify the remark I made in the recent interview you posted.  I meant absolutely no disrespect for e-publishing and indie authors.  I came into the business in the 1960′s with the publication of Keziah Dane…1967 and The Lolly-Madonna War in 1969.   In those days, a writer’s only hope for a writing career was to be accepted by a traditional New York publisher.  I wrote three novels that were routinely rejected before I stuck them in a drawer.  The fourth full-length novel I wrote, I submitted to what was then called The Anglo-American Book Award contest, which I did not win.  I did receive an offer from a British  publisher for 375 pounds (roughly 375 dollars in those days) pounds for the publication of Keziah Dane.  On the advice of an old war horse screen writer in Santa Barbara, I used that offer to acquire an American agent who then found me an American publisher.  The subsequent novel I wrote was deemed too violent for American audiences and it was published in England only.  The sixth and seventh full-length novels I wrote were never published and the eighth was ‘A’ IS FOR ALIBI.

I report this in some detail because as a result I have five unpublished novels still packed away in cardboard boxes, assuming I could lay hands on them which I’m not sure I can.  In the ’60′s and 70′s, self-publishing was done through vanity presses which were not highly thought of.  Like mystery novels, self-publishing was dismissed as second rate…a non-starter if you were serious about a so-called literary career.  It was in this context that I tossed out that ill-fated comment about self-publishing being as good as admitting a writer was ‘too lazy to do the hard work.’
 
The responses to that quote ranged from irate to savage to the downright nasty.  Indie writers felt I was discounting their efforts and that I was tarring too many with the same brush.  I wasn’t my intention to tar anyone, if the truth be known.  Several writers took the time to educate me on the state of e-publishing and the nature of self-publishing as it now stands.  I am uninitiated when it comes to this new format.  I had no idea how wide-spread it was, nor did I see it as developing as a response to the current state of traditional publishing, which is sales driven and therefore limited in its scope.  I understand that e-publishing has stepped into the gap, allowing a greater number of authors to enter the marketplace.  This, I applaud.  I don’t mean to sound defensive here…though of course I do.
 
I don’t understand the mechanics of e-publishing and I still don’t understand how you can earn money thereby but I realize now that many indie writers are doing well financially and netting themselves greater visibility than I had any reason to believe. 
 
My remark about self-publishing was meant as a caution, which I think some of you finally understood when we exchanged notes on the subject.  When I’m asked for advice I warn many writers about the charlatans lurking out there.  I warn about the risk of being taken in by those who promise more than they actually deliver and do so at a writers expense.  My other point, which I didn’t delineate in that interview, was that the struggle is what teaches us.  Learning to be resilient, learning to have courage, learning to take rejection in stride…these are some of the ways the system schools us as painful as it is.  It’s clear to me now that indie writers have taken more than their fair share of hard knocks and that you are actually changing the face of publishing.  Who knew?!  This is a whole new thrust for publication that apparently everyone has been aware of except yours truly.  I still don’t understand how it works, but I can see that a hole has been blasted in the wall, allowing writers to be heard in a new way and on a number of new fronts.
 
I will take responsibility for my gaffe and I hope you will understand the spirit in which it was meant.  I have always championed both aspiring writers and working professionals.  I have been insulated, I grant you, but I am not arrogant or indifferent to the challenges we all face.  I am still learning and I hope to keep on learning for as long as I write.      

Hi.  Leslea again, here.  This is a blog, so don’t mind me while I get personal for a moment.

It occurred to me in the course of this week that being asked the same questions by those who are working their way up in your field must become repetitive, over time.  With every book launch comes another bevy of features writers asking the same questions.  Sure, it’s a small price to pay for great commercial success, but no one’s perfect, either.  A fellow writer sent me the following link to an interview on indie author Diane Capri’s site completed in 2003, in which Ms. Grafton gives more involved answers & writerly advice.  I recommend you check it out if you are a young writer, or an old writer trying your hand at fiction and not yet finding the success you want.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the earlier interview, and thanks to Sue Grafton, a true inspiration to writers everywhere.

To quote fellow Hoosier author Cheryl Shireman:

“The bottom line is we are all writers. We all dreamed the same dream. We all labor over words – agonizing when the writing is not going well and rejoicing when the words are flowing. I used to love and respect traditionally published writers. I still do. In fact, I love all writers. No matter how published.”

Readers, if you know an author who deserves to shine in the Local Author Spotlight, please get in touch.  Either side of the river is fine–we speak Southern Indianaese, too!  Books about relevant local subject matter are encouraged, as well.  Email RedTashBooks@gmail.com and please put “LouisvilleKY.com Author Spotlight” in your email subject.  Thanks!

Stay tuned for more local author news.  I hope you’re discovering some fantastic new reads, from names new and old on the literary scene.  If you learned a little bit this week about publishing, that’s awesome, as well.

Leslea Tash is a Southern Indiana journalist-turned-novelist.  Formerly a freelancer best known for Guerilla Mothering, she now writes dark fantasy, horror, fairy tales, and other fun stuff including the 5 star Young Adult Adventure fantasy Troll Or Derby under the pen name Red Tash.  She always welcomes your feedback on this column on the LouisvilleKY.com site, on Facebook, on her websites or twitter.  Just about anywhere works.  Get in touch!

 

Leslea Tash

Leslea Tash has been a freelance journalist in the Louisville/Southern Indiana area, as well as writing for a national audience professionally for such outlets as CNHI newspapers, CafeMom, Current Magazine, Kentuckiana Family, Today's Family, Today's Transitions, the Courier-Journal, and more. She is perhaps best known for her Guerilla Mothering column, which she plans to revamp into a novel; as well as for her work as a food allergy awareness advocate for children. She now publishes fiction under the pen name Red Tash.

http://lesleatash.com

32 Responses to More from Sue Grafton on Publishing & Indie Writers

  1. Catherine M Wilson on August 15, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    I think what most indie authors objected to in Sue Grafton’s remarks was being characterized as lazy. Since we not only write the books, but also do all the work that a traditional publisher does for their authors, lazy is very far off the mark.

    Add to that the fact that we all had to overcome that self-publishing “stigma” thing, where the knee-jerk response to “self-published” is “crap.” Hearing that repeated by a respected author who clearly has no idea what kind of books are being self-published nowadays raises hackles.

    And then there are those of us who write for niche audiences or whose work deals with controversial themes. Traditional publishing currently is looking for the safe bet and the blockbuster. How can we convince the trad pubs to take a chance on us?

    The good news is that we don’t have to.

  2. Phyllis Zimbler Miller on August 15, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    Sue Grafton’s quoted remark in the Forbes article about self-published novelists not “bothering to read, study, or do the research” is so off the mark.

    For my novel MRS. LIEUTENANT, which takes place in 1970 at Ft. Knox, I spent years and thousands of dollars reading books, hiring an editorial book consultant, taking writing courses at UCLA Extension, starting the Los Angeles Chapter of Sisters in Crime, etc. in order to make it the best novel I could.

    In fact, at the same time I was in the midst of self-publishing, the novel was selected as a 2008 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award semifinalist.

    But back then agents and editors in New York did not understand a story about army wives. In fact, one rejection said the women would have to meet through their own jobs — maybe at a law firm — and not through their husbands. Another rejection said there was no more prejudice in the United States.

    On August 20 and 21 MRS. LIEUTENANT will be FREE on Kindle as part of Amazon’s KDP Select program. You can download the ebook for free at http://amzn.to/OXrBhh and see what New York editors did not understand. (If you do not have a Kindle, you can download free Kindle apps at Amazon.)

    Please tell a friend about the FREE download of MRS. LIEUTENANT. (The story is a slice of women’s social history right before the start of the women’s liberation movement.)

    P.S. Louisville is in the story — my grandparents lived in Louisville at the time of the novel, which is based on my own experiences as a new Mrs. Lieutenant during the Vietnam War.

  3. Peter Smalley on August 15, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    An excellent follow-up piece. I’m glad Ms. Grafton was given a chance to expand on her previous comment, and I hope it will change the tenor of the current industry-wide discussion of indie publishing and its role within the broader community of writers. While I might find it deeply surprising that any writer at such a stage in her career would be so out of touch with the state of her own industry, I will take her expanded comments at face value and welcome her back into the fold. As she says, we learn by struggling – and I do hope the struggle represented by this gaffe will do both Ms. Grafton, and the writing industry as a whole, a worthy service.

  4. Dan DeWitt on August 15, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    That’s some interesting damage control for one small quote, Sue. Now address the second paragraph:

    “The self-published books I’ve read are often amateurish. I’ve got one sitting on my desk right now and I’ve received hundreds of them over the years. Sorry about that, but it’s the truth. The hard work is taking the rejection, learning the lessons, and mastering the craft over a period of time. I see way too many writers who complete one novel and start looking for the fame and fortune they’re sure they’re entitled to. To me, it seems disrespectful…that a ‘wannabe’ assumes it’s all so easy s/he can put out a ‘published novel’ without bothering to read, study, or do the research. Learning to construct a narrative and create character, learning to balance pace, description, exposition, and dialogue takes a long time. This is not an quick do-it-yourself home project. Self-publishing is a short cut and I don’t believe in short cuts when it comes to the arts. I compare self-publishing to a student managing to conquer Five Easy Pieces on the piano and then wondering if s/he’s ready to be booked into Carnegie Hall. Don’t get me started. Oops..you already did.”

    That’s not a “gaffe,” Sue. That was a carefully-crafted condemnation of the untalented, lazy hacks who chose to go the self-publishing route. You went to great lengths to make sure people realized the extent of your disdain.

    Can we expect a second “clarification” in the near future?

    • Hugh Howey on August 16, 2012 at 6:15 am

      Exactly. This response makes her look worse.

    • Joan Szechtman on August 16, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      Sorry to say that I agree with you, Dan DeWitt.

  5. Dan on August 15, 2012 at 10:32 pm

    from selfpublishingsuccessstories.blogspot(dot)com

    The “200,000+ self-published ebooks sold” club:

    Barbara Freethy – over 2 million ebooks sold (April 2012)
    Amanda Hocking – 1,500,000 ebooks sold (December 2011)
    John Locke- more than 1,100,000 eBooks sold in five months
    Gemma Halliday – over 1 million self-published ebooks sold (March 2012)
    Michael Prescott – more than 800,000 self-published ebooks sold (Dec 2011)
    J.A. Konrath – more than 800,000 ebooks sold (April 2012)
    Bella Andre – more than 700,000 books sold (May 2012)
    Darcie Chan – 641,000 ebooks sold (May 2012)
    Chris Culver – over 550,000 (Dec 2011)
    Heather Killough-Walden – over 500,000 books sold (Dec 2011)
    Selena Kitt – “With half a million ebooks sold in 2011 alone”
    Stephen Leather – close to 500,000 books sold (Nov 2011)
    CJ Lyons – almost 500,000 ebooks sold (Dec 2011)
    J.R. Rain – more than 400,000 books sold (Sept 2011)
    Bob Mayer – 347 sold in Jan to over 400,000 total sold by year’s end (Dec 2011)
    Rick Murcer – over 400,000 ebooks in one year (May 2012)
    Tracey Garvis-Graves – sold more than 360,000 copies of her first novel
    Tina Folsom – over 300,000 books sold (October 2011)
    J Carson Black – more than 300,000 books sold (November 2011)
    Terri Reid – 300,000 sold (May 2012)
    Marie Force – 300,000+ sold (June 2012)
    Liliana Hart – “my total sales for one year have now exceed 300,000 books (June 2012)
    T.R. Ragan – 293,202 books sold (May 2012)
    B.V. Larson – over 250,000 books sold (Dec 2011)
    Kerry Wilkinson – more than 250,000 books sold (Feb 2012)
    M. R. Mathias – “I’m up to nearly 250k (in just two years) (June 2012)
    H.P. Mallory – more than 200,000 ebooks sold (July 2011)
    Scott Nicholson – Just guessing, I’d put my worldwide sales total between 200k-250k
    David Dalglish – more than 200,000 (May 2012)
    Antoinette Stockenberg – total sales stand at 216,686 (June 2012) – private email
    Cheryl Bolen – 200,000 sold (June 2012)
    Jennifer Ashley/Ashley Gardner – 200,000 sold mark in early June 2012 – private email
    Nick Spalding – “I’m lucky enough to be in the 200,000 + total sales club now (June 2012)”
    Catherine Bybee – nearly 200,000 of the novel Wife By Wednesda (Jan 2012)
    Jamie McGuire – hundreds of thousands of copies sold of Beautiful Disaster
    Hugh Howey- crossed the 200,000 sold mark in June 2012
    Colleen Hoover

  6. RD Meyer on August 16, 2012 at 12:18 am

    The most grating thing in her words was an undercurrent of “it’s good if it’s traditionally published, and you just don’t have enough talent yet if your work had to be indie published.” Having seen what passes for “good” in the traditionally published world, the implication made my skin crawl. Not to say that a lot of indie published stuff isn’t terrible, but her brush was way too broad.

    The comments came across like a haughty typewriter salesman saying, “Those computer thingies will never sell.”

    • Joan Szechtman on August 16, 2012 at 2:56 pm

      “The comments came across like a haughty typewriter salesman saying, ‘Those computer thingies will never sell.’”

      ;-)

  7. Stephen Knight on August 16, 2012 at 8:06 am

    Inconceivably, her follow-up explanation was almost as annoying as the original post. At least she’s consistent.

  8. Donna White Glaser on August 16, 2012 at 9:21 am

    I’ll take the olive branch. I think her comments, both earlier and this statement, show a lack of understanding of the new edge in self-publishing. But she’s acknowledged that. I hope she goes on to study the movement more, although perhaps Putnam might dissuade her from that. 70% of A-Z might look very tasty to Ms. Grafton.

  9. Tony Hursh on August 16, 2012 at 9:49 am

    “I still don’t understand how you can earn money thereby”

    1) Upload ebook file.
    2) Click “publish”.
    3) Wait for Amazon and/or Barnes & Noble to deposit your royalties.

    It’s not really all that complicated. :-)

    Maybe she should try it with some of those novels she wasn’t able to sell, particularly the one that was rejected for being “too violent” rather than writing quality.

  10. Perrin pring on August 16, 2012 at 12:07 pm

    What upsets me about Ms. Grafton’s original post, is the ‘I suffered, so you should have to too’ attitude. Grafton seems to think that because she had to shelve multiple novels, and that because the traditional publishing industry constantly rejected her, but finally embraced her, she earned a badge that self published authors don’t. I hate that kind of attitude. The traditional publishing industry is dying because self published authors aren’t putting up with their crap anyone. Us self published authors shouldn’t be looked down upon because we opted to remove ourselves from a nasty, unfair cycle. Being rejected for years isn’t good for anyone, especially when one seems to so easily forget how cutting words can really be. I’m not lazy. I think outside the box, which is why I self publish.

  11. Lola on August 16, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Reason #4825 it’s great to self-publish: When you say something you mean, you don’t have someone who signs your royalty checks pressuring you to apologize or make excuse for your opinion.

  12. Meb Bryant on August 16, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    I’d be happy to help Ms. Grafton indie-pub a book, if she helps me get a traditional contract. I’d be happy for her to mentor me, and maybe we can bridge the gap between our worlds.

  13. Alex on August 16, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Best keep strong opinions to yourself if you are not well informed, else you risk looking like a fool.

  14. Mitzi Flyte Reinbold on August 17, 2012 at 5:52 pm

    Her comment that she doesn’t understand “the mechanics of e-publishing” or how anyone can make money on it is astounding. She doesn’t keep up with the advances and changes in her industry. Hmm….sort of like Bethlehem Steel?

    Bob Mayer says it best: Lead. Follow. Or get out of the way.

  15. Jeff Currie on August 21, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    Bottom line: An author who places herself in the ” well- researched , hard working” group of writers should herself “read, study, and do the research” before making an all encompassing, scathing remark like she did .I , too, was bothered by the recital of her struggle to get published prior to making an apology. It seemed another attempt to draw attention her “elite” status-but maybe it’s just me. I’m glad she did. I hope she has been educated. I hope she will approach iself-published writers with a more open mind. And, for her sake, I hope she gets in touch with what’s going on in her industry, and soon.

  16. J S on August 21, 2012 at 5:46 pm

    Kind of shocked at SG’s initial statements and some surprises in the attempted flame dousing but here’s the solution:

    Redeem Yourself! Self Publish!

    The best response possible is if SG locates one of those five books she did so long ago and edits it using her latest writing skills (she’ll find things she wants to fix and that’s ok), get a cover put together, and then indie-publish it.

    I am even offering to help her wend her way through the minefields so she can get her ebook published in the best light possible.

    All SG has to do is try indie publishing once and she’ll be hooked. Remember that Stephen King’s book Carrie was rescued by his wife from the trash after a string of lousy rejections, he later sold it and made his career. Those ‘trunk books’ of SG’s likely have the same luster.

    .

  17. Airam on August 23, 2012 at 2:56 pm

    This not an apology. An apology has the following words at least once and her email doesn’t. There is no ‘Sorry’, I was ‘Wrong’, I ‘apologise’, I hope you can ‘forgive’ me for being an over opinionated writing snob.

    It is however full of her bragging about her success which some would view as ‘polishing a turd’ but I have never heard of her or her work prior to this so can’t comment on her literary genius.

    This is how I read it(I’m paraphrasing), ‘I kind of apologise as my agent wants me to, but I don’t think it’s necessary… so sorry but not really’. Followed by, ‘I didn’t do my research as I was too lazy but I still don’t see how you will make as much money as me.’

    Amazon book charts are dominated by Self Published authors. Penguin Sales are down 48% and ebooks are up 33%. That is how!

  18. Joey Manley on August 25, 2012 at 10:23 am

    I found it amusing that Ms. Grafton’s warning about charlatans looking to take advantage of writers was immediately followed (when I was looking at it, anyway) by an inline “AdChoice” ad for a company offering “eBook Publishing Services.”

  19. Marion on August 29, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    I commend Ms. Grafton for taking the time to clarify and expand on her remarks. I have no reason to think that she was being insincere the second time around. She didn’t have to say anything. She’s a best-selling author with a ton of fans. She doesn’t have to appease a group of indie authors. Nor should she have been expected to keep up with all the latest trends and statistics in publishing. She’s a WRITER not a publisher. When asked a question in an interview, she answered based on her knowledge and experience. Some people took offense. She clarified and explained her remarks. While she did not use the word “I’m sorry” she made it clear that she did not mean to offend and took responsibility for her “gaffe.”

    I’m an indie-author, and it’s certainly good enough for me.

  20. James Hall on August 30, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I’ve known Sue for many years and I think I see the point she was trying to make in the original post. It’s a tricky issue and one that stirs passions, as all these negative reactions make clear. When Sue (and I) started out, self-publishing was considered an illegitimate choice. Vanity presses were aptly named, taking advantage of writers who had failed, usually for good reason, to find a traditional publisher, and who (out of some measure of vanity) still believed their writing was worthy of broader attention. For writers my age (and Sue’s) those vanity press books were seen as second rate, if not third or fourth. And for us, the ebook self-publishing route still has a lingering whiff of that earlier time.

    I’m a lot more educated than Sue in the ebook world of today and have worked hard to stay abreast of the Konrathian point of view. I’ve put my own books up on Kindle,etc. and am very pleased with the results. I think it’s an exciting development in the history of publishing and it seems to me that the availability of ebooks of every kind has broadened the reader base. (Though bookstores have suffered terribly.) Now books are cheaper to buy, easier to shop for (I love downloading those 5 sample chapters to get a taste of something before buying), and more portable. All good.

    I think Sue’s right though about the laziness issue. Lazy might not be the right word, however. Sue served a long apprenticeship, as I did, and as most of the writers my age (65) did before we published our first novel the traditional way. I wrote four novels that were widely rejected before my first novel was accepted by Norton. Despite years of rejection, I thought all four of those novels were publishable and good books at the time, but after I finally wrote that first novel that was accepted by a traditional publisher, I had learned a great deal more about what made a novel worthy of a reader’s attention. Those four failed novels cost me dearly in time and emotional expense (crushing my sense of self-worth for a while until I got back in the saddle again and got to work on the next one).

    Had I written my first novel these days, I would likely have put it up on Kindle and Nook and Smashwords and the rest and then gone to work promoting it as best I could in the ways that promotion works these days with ebooks. But would I have developed as a writer to the same extent without the painful benefits of rejection? Who can say? But I tend to doubt it (in my case). I would probably have kidded myself that because the book was “published” that I could simply pound out the next one.

    Maybe writers get better and learn their craft without the outside pressure of a “gatekeeper” as a traditional publisher is often called these days. Maybe “learning your craft” isn’t a big deal to some writers. They simply want to write and get paid some amount and write some more. For me, learning my craft is very important. I’m still learning, as all good writers do with each new book. But for me anyway, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have progressed beyond the apprentice level if I’d had easy access to publishing my own book at the very outset of my career.

    I think this is what Sue meant by “lazy.” I would have been “lazy” and thought (wrongly) that I knew everything I needed to know about my craft of writing just because the book was now ‘in print.’ I’m grateful those early books are not floating around in cyberspace. They were bad, embarrassingly bad. I’m glad I was rejected. I’m glad I was forced to work harder at the outset. I’m not a lazy person, but I am susceptible to self-delusion which is a sort of laziness of honesty. I thought I’d written four wonderful novels. It took a series of agents and editors (and wives) to teach me I had not.

    I’ve seen Sue teach and speak at conferences for many years and I know she is one of the wisest and most generous spirits in the literary universe. It pains me to see her words treated so harshly.

    James W. Hall

    • Lee Carey on August 30, 2012 at 1:35 pm

      I read Sue’s comments, and can see where her ideas originate. I also accept her apology and her reason, but I also appreciate her opinion. She’s traveled the traditional route, and so I give her sandy high-fives. And, I also appreciate James Hall’s comments because there’s a good chance if not for his novels, I may not have jumped into the wonderful career of writing, seriously. The one thing I tell interviewers about James (Jim) Hall’s novels is; he made it look so easy. Well, friends, after eight novels, I learned…the talented, skilled, and successful writer ‘can’ make it look easy…but, it’s far from easy. I’ll always owe my beginning and love of writing from Hall. “Sandy high-fives to him.”
      I’ve got a stack of rejection letters beginning in ’99 and they only juiced me up to keep writing. I’m self-published in paper and ebooks. I’ve improved with each page written, and as my friend, Jim Hall, told me…’write, read, write, read, and edit, and so on and so on’. Words of wisdom by my favorite author. So, thanks for allowing me to speak my piece…and best of luck to all new writers…keep writin’ and smilin’….

  21. Keith Dixon on August 30, 2012 at 12:01 pm

    James, I’ve been an admirer of your work for years, from the first of your published works, so I know what a wise and good writer you are. I too have worked at the writing coalface – nigh on 35 years now, without managing to persuade a publisher to publish one of my 10 novels. I had an agent once, but he died …
    Anyway, my point is that yes of course we have to learn and get better at writing.
    But it’s also true that agents and publishers *offer no help at all*. Just the other day I received a rejection from an agency (UK) which had demanded an email submission in a certain format, with one paragraph to be devoted to a description of the book, and without any attachments with sample pages at all. It was rejected because the agency felt they couldn’t ‘get behind’ the book – well how on earth would they know? They had no indication of the writing style, dialogue, characterisation or plot development. So they were basing their judgement on a bare outline of the story – and in a short paragraph at that.
    Now of course this is only one example, but the point is that I’ve received many similar rejections over the years. I don’t particularly object to being rejected – I’m not stupid, I know the pressures on agents and publishers – but I’ve never, ever had one piece of advice, no commentary, no observation. So the idea that rejection helps us grow is hard to justify, at one level. How do we know what to do to improve? Just do the same again, only *better*?
    And I believe I’m not a bad writer. My two self-published books sold 1200 copies in July this year. And I have good reviews on Amazon.
    That’s why many of us believe that the game is not worth the candle in the end. The gatekeepers haven’t yet realised that the inhabitants inside the ivory tower are talking to themselves and that the fresh blood clamouring to get in might add some diversity and vigour.
    Of course, if an agent or publisher saw this post or my blog and demanded to sign me up I’d agree at once. But that says more about my sad state of self-esteem than any kudos I might actually merit as a writer … ;-)

    • Lee Carey on August 30, 2012 at 7:01 pm

      Well said, Keith…I couldn’t agree with you more. I’ve read many, many novels from independent authors as good or better than the most publicized by publishers. And yes, the times are changing…keep smilin’…

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    It was really informative. Your website is useful. Thank you for sharing!

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