Sunday, June 7, 2009

"separate but equal" discrimination of indy authors

I am absolutely ired by the blatent discrimination against self-published authors as untalented hacks, who are self-published for the sole reason that they weren't good enough for a trasditional publisher. On a kindle forum, one reader went as far to say that indy authors should be classified as a separate genre so other readers wouldn't have to sort through it all. "Separate but equal," the person said. Then he (might be a she) went on to say:
"Note: I'm not making a judgment about the quality of indie books. Well, actually I am. _On average_ I think they are less deserving of attention, and I think most indie authors need to get real and realize this is the reality before the next step of promoting the genre can be taken. Being defensive about this reality is not useful."

Here's my response:
I'm sorry you make this judgement, and I'm sorry you find it so acceptable to be so discriminating. Respectfully, I couldn't disagree more.

It wasn't too long ago that many had the same attitude about the indy film industry. How many indy films in the last five years have been nominated for or won oscars? Why is the Sundance Festival drawing the same crowds as the Canne? Many indy film makers are so because the mainstream conglomerates turned them down.

This is also no different from telling someone of lower income that they might as well accept being poor because there are so many lower income people just like them.

I'm tired of the stigma that indy authors are untalented authors, or that the reason why an indy author is so is because he/she wasn't good enough for a major publisher. Before "Carrie" was accepted for publication, Stephen King nailed a stake to his wall, and it caved from the weight of the rejection letters that he put on that stake. Ray Bradbury also received rejection letters. In fact, I'm willing to bet that the overwhelming majority of traditionally published, bestselling authors -- commerical or literary fiction -- at some point was told by an agent, editor, magazine, or literary journal, more than once, "Sorry, but it's not for me" before finally landing their publishing contract.

Heck, even the Beatles were turned down.

Rejection is a part of the arts. Emmy winners Phil Rosenthal and David E. Kelley just got their pilots dropped. Aaron Sorkin's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip" was cancelled after one season. Academy Award winning actors audition for roles and lose out to another talented actor. "Sorry, not for us."

And by the way, many mainstream actors are acting in indy films. And many traditional bestselling authors are now self-publishing.

Media has gotten so big on every front that filtering is going to take place no matter what. I have no problem with Kindle classifying an indy author genre. But I refuse to be categorized as sub-standard simply because I'm an indy author.

I stand by the integrity of my work. Every reader is free to like it or dislike it. But NO ONE has the right to judge it without having ever read a word of it.

I only wish that I said, "In fact, I KNOW these authors got rejected."

Frankly, I don't want such readers. And if that's the kind of reader a traditional publisher is going to get me, then no thank you.

No comments: