Quit Dicking Around
*forgive the late post. I have a valid excuse… there was this big old HURRICANE and I am out of town on the North Carolina coast, and, well, you know how it can be.
My foster dad has a saying that he is extremely fond of and has been using it on my foster brothers and I for years. I always laughed at him because he was one GHH away from getting some lecture on sexism or whatever -ism is the flavor of the week. If you are goofing off and not doing what you’re supposed to, he would shout “Quit dicking around!”
I really, really want to tell some publishers that right now.
I’ve been following the Amazon v. Hachett case, though not as closely as Kate Paulk, and I get this underlying sense of unease welling in my gut. Not what the decision will be, but something that worries me as a writer. And it makes me wonder: Why? Why do people even want to try to be published by these houses if this is how they view their authors? Why would I want to try and break into something where writers are treated as easily replaceable and publishers can continue to make horrid decisions without major repercussion? It’s enough to make an author throw their hands into the air and say “Indie publishing here I come!”
Now, I’ve worked with quite a few publishers, and none of the ones I have worked with treat their authors as replaceable (well, don’t treat them as easily replaceable). But the “clinging to the past” methodology that seems to haunt traditional publishing continue to operate under the idea that they can treat their authors like mushrooms. You know, kept in the dark and fed a lot of sh… right. PG-13. I forget sometimes.
Technology has brought in a new awareness for the author on methods in publishing, and has brought them into better contacts with authors and, in the case of Amazon, distributors. Terrified by a sudden loss of control, I think most publishers (not all) are desperately clinging to the past. This, in turn, has led to them becoming the Kings and Queens of Yes and No. The Lords and Ladies of hem and haw. The definitive meaning of the word “maybe”. The Wafflers, if you will. And it would be hilarious to watch if it weren’t for the fact that these companies affect thousands of authors lives with their wishy-washiness.
(I’m excluding publishers like Baen in this, because Jim was a smart man who jumped on technology and rode it to the top while everyone else dithered and DRM’ed their way into insolvency)
Quit dicking around.
The world no longer moves at the speed of leisure. Technology has made everything move faster than ever, and everything around us is “go go go!” Yet, like a tenacious bulldog, traditional publishing has clung to their methodology. “Moving at the speed of a glacier” is a common joke you hear in publishing. And yet… this statement is truer than one would normally believe. You think the political process of passing a bill is slow? It has nothing on getting a book published.
So watch the Amazon v. Hatchett decision. See what happens. Just don’t stop being an author.
I need something to read.
Starting July 5, Jason’s book Murder World: Kaiju Dawn will be on sale on Amazon for $0.99. You should probably buy it, lest the cats believe that he is shirking his responsibilities as their subject.