Friday, April 27, 2012


Some of my recent tweets:

"Step 1: Self-publish your shitty novel. Step 2: Get your family & butt buddies to write five-star reviews. Step 3: Kill yourself. Please."

"Your self-published crap is free???!!! Oh! That makes your crap SO much more attractive! A pile of shit that's free for the taking! Thanks!"
"Oh. Your crappy piece of self-published shit is free. That makes me SO much more inclined to download it. Really, though... Stop it."

And it goes on like this. But seriously, people: Stop self-publishing all of those shitty books. You're not professional writers. You're morons. You're too stupid to see how you're embarrassing yourselves, but please stop it--you're making the rest of us nauseous.


MarkGelbart said...

Pat Conroy self-published his first book.

I think you did too.

It's not all bad.

You want to know a successful popular writer I can't stand?

John Grisham.

After my wife had a stroke in 1995she was having difficulties with her vision, so I read her one of his novels in the rehab hospital. I'm sure I could find a self-published novel I'd rather read than John Grisham.

HemlockMan said...

Pat Conroy, John Grisham, James Redfield...I've mentioned them before as folk who self-published before moving into the regular marketplace.

They are exceedingly rare exceptions to the rule. I'm sure there are some decent self-published novels out there. I'm not going to try to find them in that mountain of turds.

My first novel was not self-published. It came out from Five Star which is a subsidiary of a much larger publishing company. I got a nice advance and earned royalties. The book did well enough in sales to be picked up by Tor Books when the hardback version from Five Star went out of print. And of course I sold the movie option.

I self-published one novel in my entire life and as soon as I researched the Kindle/Smashwords market and realized how overwhelmingly shitty such books are, I immediately unpublished that novel. It was one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made, placing my work among those kinds of total losers. The book was out a month or two before I pulled it out of circulation. And I'm only sorry that I was talked into it by a couple of the self-publishing gurus who I had the misfortune to meet. I would rather it had never seen the light of print than to have it among the mix of self-published trash stinking up the book market.

Jessa Russo (Stadtler) said...

Well, you seem to be drawing attention to yourself with your Tweets, so if that's your ultimate goal, than bravo.

I understand that everyone has an opinion about self-publishing. I in fact have a pretty strong one myself. HOWEVER, my thoughts on self-pubbing as an option are for myself only. Do I want to do it? No. Not at this moment. But will I criticize, chastize and belittle someone else for doing so? Absolutely not. Why? because I carry myself with class and dignity.

I'm sure you don't care, but you're angry rants are painting a picture of an author I would never read. Why would I choose to support someone who doesn't support other writers just because their choices vary from his own? It is a difficult industry to break into, and ALL of us are putting our blood sweat and tears into it. We need to help one another, guide one another, and all around just be supportive.

EVEN if we disagree.

You make me wonder where your desire to write stems from. If it is a passion you can't ignore, I would imagine you'd be more compassionate to others who feel a need to write. Whether they traditional pub, self pub, or never pub at all. We all write because it's inside of us, a part of our souls, and needs to get out. Show some compassion.

HemlockMan said...

Actually, the self-publishing fad right now is very damaging to literature at this point. Legitimate authors who have toiled for years to hone their craft are finding an even more difficult time of it to find a paying audience for their work. Largely due to the utter puke being vomited out into the market by idiots who only think they are writers.

I don't support self-published writers, and won't. They're not just wasting my time (if I bothered to read their awful scribblings), but they're doing a great deal of harm to the marketplace. The only people right now who are being rewarded by this madness are the folk at Amazon and Apple and Smashwords and a handful of other such outfits laughing all the way to the bank.

So it goes. If the publishing industry crashes and ends up in the hands of one or two online firms like Apple and Amazon, well, so be it. And if the market is wrecked by every fanboy or housewife who thinks their electronic slobber is worth publishing and clogging the ether--well, I reckon we get what we bloody well deserve.

Jessa Russo (Stadtler) said...

Ps. I do know the difference between your and you're, though you can't tell from my earlier post.

And your points are valid. However .... again with the however ... I feel like you have to remember that we all start out as a writer who is baring their soul. We have to support each other, regardless of our choices or views.

Personally, as a housewife who writes, if my novel isn't good enough to catch an agent's attention, it will be shelved. Then I will start the next one. And I will continue to write, whether or not fame comes. I am a writer and that won't change. So self-pubbing isn't for me. No biggie. I still wouldn't belittle someone publicly for taking that path. You know?

HemlockMan said...

Don't sweat the typos. It's only a blog comment.

Working on something until it's ready to submit to a legitimate agent or publisher is what it's all about. Every self-published dweeb is racing to finish their roll of literary toilet paper, wipe their ass with it, and get it on Kindle. Do I support that? No. If I can figure out a way to make it stop, I'll do it. I do know one thing--you can't embarrass these idiots, because their egos and their lack of depth don't allow them to feel shame.

The only way to find your way to a legitimate form of publication is to keep at it. And by keeping at it, I don't mean self-publishing one lousy tome after another. There's no learning to be had that way.