Is there a divide?


Cray Cray… that’s all I can say. Well, no it’s not. I’m about to say a lot more.

Today I was meant to post an interview, but my life has been crazy busy. So much so my NaNo plans have slipped away. I haven’t been blogging *looks at time and whispers ‘sorry this post is so late*.

But that’s not the only craziness. I’ve also seen some behaviour online that I find, well, puzzling. And I’d like to throw it open to blog followers to comment on the topic. I’m not going to put links to the comments because that could add fuel to the fire.

I’m simply going to ask you a few questions and then comment on my own view. Your responses will help me determine if I live in a magical world with my head buried in the ground.

Is there a divide between traditional published authors/small press authors/self-published authors? Is there a divide between agented authors and non-agented authors?

I’ve been published with small press, and then promptly unpublished with small press (but that’s another story). And I’ll probably self-publish at some stage. I’ve been agented, and then no longer agented when I realised that no agent is better that an agent that isn’t a match for you.

I get along with basically everyone. I don’t care on anyone’s status of whether they have a book out or not, and if they do how they did it.

I see authors as part of a community where we should help each other with support and compassion.

What about you? Do you think there is an issue between traditional published authors/small press authors/self-published authors? Is there an issue between agented authors and non-agented authors?

 Sharon Johnston

This post was written by S. M. Johnston. You can connect with her via twitter, @S_M_Johnston or her website, http://www.smjohnston.com

3 Comments

  1. As someone with the goal of traditionally publishing, I’ll admit that before I knew much about small presses, I kinda looked at authors who published with them as not trying – I mean, some do just go with their first offer, but most go to a small press because they feel it a good fit for their book. Someone who hasn’t research small presses, though, would probably not see the benefits and might be more snobbish towards them.

    To me, there appears to be a divide between traditionally-published authors and small-press-published, and even between small-press-published and self-published. Writing is a difficult business, and competition is bound to be stirred up from somewhere, but it’s a shame that people have to think that way.

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  2. I think it depends on what part of the writing community you dip your toe into. There are some who are agented and devote a lot of their time to helping others that haven’t gotten there yet, and some that regard others with contempt. There are some self-published authors who think traditionally published authors are saps who’ve been scammed by The Man, others who are jealous, and others who are philosophical.

    I’m personally thankful that my personal circle of writing friends are all totally understanding and supportive. ❤

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  3. I guess, like any book opinion, it’s subjective. I recently self-published my first book and I have had some great support, really. great. support. But I also can’t shake the feeling that some look down their noses at it. Some people who I would have thought would say ‘well done’ or simply retweet or show a slight interest, have not. And it (as we Brits say) winds me up, because no less work went into my book. It’s been ripped apart by CP’s, read and reread by Beta’s and edited twice by a very, very good editor. I bled over that book (no, really, papercuts!) and I am damned proud of it.

    I love that you posted this because on Sunday I had this very conversation with my CP’s (all of whom you know) and they all said, more or less, who cares what other people think. If some look down their noses, that’s their problem and bad attitude. Personally, when I see someone publish, whether through an agent or self, I am over the moon for them, because it takes a heck of a lot of work to get to that point.

    We are a small community, we cheer each other on, cheer each other up and promote each others work. We also remember. And for those with a bad attitude, that’s where their problem will ultimately lie. Because some self publishers eventually get picked up by an agent or publishers, just last week I sent out a tweet congratulating someone on that very achievement.

    Like life, Sharon, there are nice people and there are not so nice people. My personal opinion is if people can’t show support to each and every writer, then they fall into the latter bracket.

    I think the absolute root of the problem lies in the many self published books that have hit the virtual shelves without so much as a Beta, never mind an editor. These books (and I have read many) tarnish the self publishers as a whole. I feel more needs to be done by the big sellers to make sure unedited, head hopping, tense confusing and all round less than stellar writing, don’t make the cut.

    I salute any writer, published in any way, for getting where they are. Play ground opinions really don’t have a place in our world, but they are there and the best thing we can do, is ignore it. Because I really feel, for every negative opinion, there are a hundred positive opinions.

    As for the self publishers who look down their noses at agented writers, all I can say is that is a really poor attitude for a self publisher to have.

    Oh dear, I’ve prattled on a bit, sorry!! It just confuses me that some people can be so negative, regardless of their publishing background.

    I don’t think this is a broad issue, at least I hope it’s not. I agree with you, all writers should show support and compassion. And that’s what I will do, that’s what you do, that’s what the majority does and at least we can be proud of that.

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