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Thursday, August 16, 2012

A Spam Fix and Indie Thoughts

This week got away from me, but mostly because I'm doing my massive one room a day clean-up as mentioned on Back to Basics.

I'm taking one room a day and cleaning it down to the baseboards. It's been slow going but cathartic. It makes me feel like I'm retaking control of my house.

In the meantime, Cate Masters was nice enough to email me a cure for spam comments. While it's true that Blogger keeps spam from appearing on the blog, they still show up on my email (and yours too if you subscribe to comments).

If you use Blogger, simply go to your Settings. Go to Comments tab. Under "Who Can Comment?", choose the second one "Registered Users". 

I have not had a single spam comment since I turned this feature on. As far as I can tell it hasn't prohibited anyone from commenting either. If you find that it does stop you from commenting, please email me and let me know.

Thank you, Cate!

I normally do book shout-outs only once a month, but my buddy, Marshall Payne missed the last one. He's got two books out that you might want to check out. They're free for Amazon Prime members.

There's Petrol Queen,

Check them out if they're up your alley. 


You've probably already heard about a pretty good article in Forbes that breaks down the traditional versus indie argument. If you haven't, you can read it here.

The one thing the article mentioned that has plagued my noodle since this whole indie thing came out of the closet is how cliquish the camps are in book publishing. In no other art do you see this much mud-slinging. 

As a matter of fact, in music, film-making, dance, and the fine arts, the mainstream artists of each of these fields HELP and ENCOURAGE indie artists. Not so in book publishing. Some traditionally published authors are openly hostile and disparaging of indies. 

I've been trying to fathom the reason for years but have yet to reach a solid  conclusion. What do you think? Why is the publishing industry so volatile and angry? Why can't we all play nice like the other arts?


Darke Conteur said...

Ugh, I should clean before winter, but I don't want too. I hate cleaning.

As for your take, you hit it on the nose. It's almost as if TP authors feel that if there are a lot of Indie/Self-published books, then no one is going to read their novels. That these new authors are taking readers away from buying their books.

Maria Zannini said...

Darke: It's a pretty sad state when *other* people notice that publishing folks don't play nice with one another.

PS Thanks for tweeting this post!

E.J. Wesley said...

Maria, you're very correct in pointing out some of the bias that's out there. I think we all know it goes on, and most of us think it's a shame. That being said, I do interact with a few traditional folks who are very supportive, so it isn't everyone.

And I've read a few posts from Indies (one very loud Indie) that kind of flip the tables and accuse the traditional folks of being less-than intelligent and that they're committing career suicide. Which I don't think is right, either.

I've always believed this: Authors should support authors first and last. Agents, editors, publishing paths, genres, etc. all goes somewhere in between. We're all after the same thing, readers, and we should support each other in that endeavor.

Angelina Rain said...

Very great article. I just read it and thanks so much for sharing. I did notice the drama between traditional authors and indie. It's rather sad that traditional has such a low opinion of indie authors. You are so right, in other artistic fields, the big traditional guy supports the indy guy but not in publishing. I think past of that reason is that for once, indie is becoming the more alluring option. Sure, the money isn't as big, but the turn around time is faster, so authors now have that option of writing a book and self pubbing it so that they could write another book, instead of waiting for years and years to break into the industry. I also think traditional presses brought this on themselves. There are many authors (like me) who just don't fit into their model type, authors who don't write long enough books, or books that fit into those same few genres that they sell. If traditional publishers were more open as to what they take, they wouldn't be in this mess.

Angela Brown said...

I'm not sure I can fathom the cliquishness myself. We're all writers working to be published authors. The best I can come up with is the difference in perspective for the work taken to publish. For many traditionally published, they've gone through the process of writing, revising, editing, revising, querying, rejections finally a yes from an agent then on submission then finally a yes from a publishing house.

Those who choose the Indie route write, revise, edit, revise some more, get more edits done and, hopefully, go through the steps to put out a good cover and well formatted novel. In the end, it appears to be a matter of perspective.

Marshall Payne said...

Thanks for linking to the great Forbes article. One of the best I've read on the subject.

And thank you for helping me get the word out there on Petrol Queen and Jimmy-Don! Much appreciated. *g*

Mike Keyton said...

It is an excellent article. I read it earlier from a link on Facebook. But on to important things. Good luck with the cleaning. You know you feel virtuous : )

Melissa McClone said...

Good article. It's too bad they didn't talk to authors like Barbara Freethy who found a brand new audience for her once traditionally pubbed novels and made the NYT with them. Of course best sellers will say what they did.

Seems both can co-exist. Many TP authors are self-pubbing too. It doesn't have to be one or the other. And makes sense from a career and financial standpoint if you aren't one the the top selling authors.

Melissa McClone said...

Meant to add, that Freethy is now writing original content and publishing that.

Maria Zannini said...

EJ: I hope I didn't imply that all mainstream authors were hostile. I have some very good friends who have only published traditionally.

But as you noted there's always a loudmouth in every group.

Angelina: I never felt as if it should be 'my way or the highway', but be practical about this. In the end it's not about the author at all. It's about the reader.

Maria Zannini said...

Angela: My take on the hostility is that mainstream authors lump all indies in the same basket--from the greenhorn who can't string a simple sentence to the uber elegant writer.

You can't make a blanket statement and expect it to cover the whole field.

Marshall: You're welcome, hon. I'm always up for helping a fellow Texan. :)

Maria Zannini said...

Mike: There is so little left in my life that makes me feel virtuous. I need to get it anywhere I can. LOL!


Melissa: You are so right. It's an option. Not everyone can handle self-publishing. It can be expensive. And you can lose sleep or hair over it. I've done both.

It's never been a one-size fits all, but it's more freedom than authors have ever had before. Freethy is living proof.

KarenG said...

I need to do that one room a day solution. That kind of cleaning and organizing makes one feel so wonderful.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I saw more nastiness a few years back than now. I know one author who was really vocal about how publishing with an indie would ruin any chance you had to be a real writer. Now the same person is self pubbing some of her books and working with an indie. I wish everyone would just get along and support each other.

Maria Zannini said...

Karen: My house definitely needed it. I write better with a clean house (and conscience).

Susan: Ref: Now the same person is self pubbing some of her books and working with an indie.

Unbelievable! That's like saying, "You're all idiots--unless I do it."

It's possible the loudmouths could get attention, but I've found the louder a person is, the less I listen.

Nadja Notariani said...

Kudos to you for tackling the 'down-and-dirty' of cleaning. When my daughter came home a few weeks ago, she really helped this house to shine. I needed the motivation and willing help she offered. *smiles*

As for the ongoing 'trash-talking'...I just shake my head and keep writing. I don't want to get in anyone's way - and I don't want them to get in mine. I'll even go farther and help when and where I can - no matter what avenue the author takes/pursues. I believe it's the best approach. Now if everyone would do the same - boy! - what a nice place the publishing world would be.

Clarissa Draper said...

Thanks for the heads up on the free books! I always love free books! Also, thanks for the spam saver. Hope your clean up goes well.

Maria Zannini said...

Nadja: My gut reaction is that if you have to talk trash, you're already showing your fear.


Clarissa: Try 'em. Marshall is an excellent writer.

Shelley Munro said...

I've no idea why it's so. It was the same with e-pubs for a long time. These days there is room for everyone. There's no need for cliques.

Maria Zannini said...

Shelley: That's right! I forgot about that. Ah, the good old days when traditionally published authors trash-talked e-pubbed authors. LOL!

Things never change.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Going to check out that article!

Thanks for the spam tip too!

Maria Zannini said...

Jennifer: It was a good article.

Ref: Spam fix
I'm going on week 2 and still no spam. I think it's working.

Barbara Ann Wright said...

I think it's a trickle down effect. (But then i always blame those at the top.) When I was a fledgling writer, all I heard was, "Never self publish. That's like throwing your book in the trash." Now I realize how awful that is. They're calling self-pubbed books garbage, which just isn't true, but when I was young, I drank that Kool-Aid and didn't get over it until I read some indie books that rocked my socks.

LD Masterson said...

Maybe it's a "paying your dues" kind of thing. A TP author may have spent years submitting queries, partials, etc. hoping some agent and/or publisher would offer a contract. It was huge to get published, to be able to say, "I'm a published author." Now, pretty much anyone can put their work out there (from the wonderful to the awful) and say, "Yes, I'm a published author."

It could cause some resentment.

When you're finished all your rooms, would you like to start on mine? I'll even let you keep the virtuous feeling.

Maria Zannini said...

Barbara: Kool-Aid is dangerous. All that sugar. :)


Linda: There are people out there who can write rings around the TP authors that I can't justify it as someone paying his dues.

But then you have EL James and her writing makes more money than the superstars. It makes no sense.

Cate Masters said...

Glad the spam fix worked for you too! Those messages are so frustrating.

I hadn't read that article, thanks for the link. Sad, isn't it - Sue Grafton's the latest to bash indies, even though now she admits she knew little about that side of the biz. *sigh*

Maria Zannini said...

Cate: I'm glad Grafton made an apology but it reinforced the standard that BNAs really have no clue what the rest of us go through.