Elitism in the publishing industry strikes again.
On December 29, 2016, an Op-Ed written by Laurie Gough was published by the Huffington Post, titled Self-Publishing: An Insult to the Written Word. Those who’ve read my previous essays are already familiar with how the publishing industry really works. As with other misinformed snobs I’ve confronted with in the past, I had a lot of fun writing this response to Ms Gough.
“Good writers only become good because they’ve undertaken an apprenticeship.”
“Your favourite authors might have spent years writing works that were rejected. But if a writer is serious about her craft, she’ll keep working at it, year after year. At the end of her self-imposed apprenticeship, she’ll be relieved that her first works were rejected because only now can she see how bad they were.”
Ms Gough, have you ever read THE LOST SYMBOL by Dan Brown? The subject matter—especially with regards to the CIA—was so poorly researched that the fact that it got by these so-called gatekeepers clearly invalidates your arguments that readers enjoy books that are vetted by professionals.
I wrote three spy thrillers. However, the difference between me and Dan Brown was that I spent several months researching the subject matter before I wrote them. For my latest novel, I interviewed a scientist, consulted with a weapons specialist, a martial arts expert, and a State Trooper. I even went as far as interviewing an acquaintance who graduated with a post-graduate degree (MA) in Security & Intelligence from Brunel University. Furthermore, these professionals even edited the novel’s content with regards to their fields of expertise.
I also have my own team of independent editors and graphic designers who brought my novel to publication standards. Despite the work I put into it, and the large amount of capital I invested, the only reply I received from these “gatekeepers” was that my work wasn’t the type of novel publishers were looking for at the moment. However, if I were friends with Kim Kardashian, and she submitted my work under her name, guess what, not only would a book deal been offered before lunch time, the publishers would even offer her an advance on future novels within the series. That’s what name recognition and a platform can do for you.
Getting a novel traditionally published today has nothing to do with art nor talent, it’s all about money. The fact that you condemn self-publishing as being an insult to the written word demonstrates that you’re clearly ignorant on how the traditional publishing industry operates. You want proof? The Huffington Post’s editors published your poorly-researched Op-Ed, didn’t they?