There’s a war going on! Rally the troops, man the canons! We must attack!
That’s what some people in the indie and self-publishing scene seem to believe, at least. To be honest, it’s gotten very tiresome. Holding a constant “us vs. them” mindset seems so exhausting. So much time and effort spent scribbling vitriolic reasons of why your side of the fence is better, when you could be writing (and tusk theoretically, “proving” your position, whatever it may be.)
Now, some of it is reactionary. Traditionally published authors and their backers have been caught more than once making disparaging remarks about self published authors. To that, I tend to say “so what?” And further, I’d note that sometimes it’s warranted. There’s a lot of stuff out there that is just plain awful, and it wasn’t some evil campaign on the part of the Big 5 to keep the little guy down that it hadn’t appeared earlier… It was a legitimate issue with the quality or nature of the work. Now, the percentages are getting a little better, but I think everyone needs to admit that removing the gatekeepers, while making things easier and more free for some, is also going to unleash a certain amount of sludge into the environment; I don’t think it matters, though. The low price point for most indie books means you’re probably only out a couple bucks, and know not to buy that crap again. Easy. Done.
But no, we must start a crusade, to proclaim the evils of traditional publishing, and how much better the path of noble suffering that forms the core of the self-published experience is! Just… Stop. Stop it. Write. Publish. Sell. If you had issues with them behaving like douches towards your group, how does it make it okay for you to do it back? What’s the net gain, there? Not a damn thing.
It reminds me a lot of another little group of crusaders who inspire me to punch people in the face; the ones who only shop at farmer’s markets, and loudly proclaim at all their food is organic, and scold anyone caught driving a diesel or a V8 while touting how good for their karma driving a Prius has been. Someone else taking a different path does not automatically make them the enemy, nor should it instantly mark them for ridicule and abuse. You do your thing, let them do theirs, and we’ll see how it all washes out in the end, right?
Unrelated to most of that, the whole “organic” thing bugs me… By definition, all food is “organic.” Just sayin’.
Anyway. Crawling back to my own manuscript, now that this is out of my system. I might even manage to put 300 words on it today, which would set a record since the start of my convalescence.