Wake Up: Real Writers Are On Their Own

The Outrage of the Week is the revelation that Random House is out to screw people with their new self-publishing scheme.

Just Shut the Fuck Up. No, really.

For years I have screamed — screamed! — about how the Big 6/4 are out to screw writers.

To wit:

Suit Bastard Print Publishers NAILED!
Quote: Matt Fraction
Bowker Plans To Bleed Writers, Kill Agents
One Simple Question For All Book Publishers

And those are just four I can pull up quickly.

For years I have warned about desperate failing print publishers grabbing infinite “in print” and doing all they can to screw writers through a variety of Take It Or Leave It hardball rights grabs.

And I’m supposed to get excited over this new thing?

As the saying goes: Bitch, please!

The Big 6/4 know they cannot compete with eBook self-publishing.

They can never offer the large profit cut that Amazon and others can (depending on sale price).

And they can no longer justify “carrying” mid-list writers or those who need just one more book to break through to popularity and profitability.

How many times must I bang on your skull to get out of your head the romantic notions of Publishing that you have?

Filmmakers got rid of the idealism of the studio system — Warner Brothers, Columbia, MGM, etc — decades ago.

They know that Hollywood is being run by the same pack of non-creative parasite dipshits who bled the nation via Wall Street.

And guess what?

Publishing is being run by the same people.

I don’t give a damn if you Love Your Editor. Your editor is a nobody. A cog just one step removed from being thrown into poverty just like you when the publisher drops you.

I scream because I love publishing. More than you.

And because I love it, I can look at it clearly, without the dewy-eyed mentally-retarded sentimental view you’re carrying around in your head that blinds you to the damned truth of today.

Every single writer below the factory category of a Tom Clancy or a James Patterson is in danger today.

Because they don’t need you.

No, really.

What this week’s outrage has made clear is that publishing intends to “break the union” of writers and employ scabs.

You know what a scab is, right?

Someone so damned desperate to survive that they’ll grab onto you and let you drown for their own sake.

These are all the people who never bothered to read an issue of Writer’s Digest, who never bothered to Google anything about how professional publishing works. These are all the people who should have never been allowed near a pen or pencil or keyboard but who have read all the get rich quick tales of self-publishing in the mass media and, lo!, they can be a writer too.

Because, you know, how hard can that be?

They have a book in them.

To which I say: Have it removed with surgery! But don’t try to write it!

Because you can’t.

And your shit clogs the pipes for people who can do it. Who must do it. Who can’t do any damned thing else except dream and hope people will pay them for dreaming so they can continue to live and continue to dream.

So, anyway, back to the scab thing.

Publishing has caught on to the untapped market of these scabs, and by waving their magic brand names around have embarked on a mission to round up all these eager imbeciles who “just want to be published.”

They know these are suckers.

But who are they to turn down money thrown at them?

Back in the heyday of print, Vantage Press didn’t give a shit who threw money at them.

The Big 6/4 are now going all Vantage Press.

And who knows? It’s all risk-free to them. What do they care? They might even get lucky and have one of these things become popular — like Fifty Shades of Grey did — and lead to massive bucks for them.

That’s better than you can do — and have done — with your pro writing track record!

Which, by the way, has cost them money.

So why do they need you?

You’ve gone from Asset to Failed Asset to Liability on their books.

Why waste more money on you?

Why do that when they have people who “just want to be published” throwing money at them and seeing publishing as they do: As a long-shot lottery ticket?

Not as a dream that must be dreamt and published and shared.

But as a “Let’s throw this shit against the wall and see if it sticks?” since it now costs them nearly nothing to fling that shit?

This is the new reality of publishing.

If you don’t wake up to it, don’t weep when your career has been terminated.

Don’t scream that some near-illiterate shit without plot or depth or relevance to real human beings makes a jillion bucks for one of the Big 6/4. Who needs your sour grapes to spoil all the fun?

Your time as a pro coddled in the bosom of a long-dead idea of Publishing is coming to an end.

See things for what they are.

Otherwise, really, just shut the fuck up.

I’ve done my screaming. I’m not interested in your late-to-the-party tears.


Filed under Books: General, Digital Overthrow, Writers, Writing

6 responses to “Wake Up: Real Writers Are On Their Own

  1. Reblogged this on pigeon weather productions and commented:
    I’ve been awake to this for decades!

  2. John

    enough of this nonsense you bastard! what is your recommendation for favorite microwave pizza???

  3. Literary agents are offering something similar with ebook editions. My agent sent me a rare long email with such an offer. I didn’t take much notice as I can’t be doing with putting pen to paper anymore. What we are seeing is fear and panic…and desperate moves to successfully diversify. It may make money. But books will be crap: though a new elite of literary outlaws may emerge and revitalise it all…like punk did for music in the 70s.

  4. Vanity publishing pushed by old skool publishers could well become the norm. But it won’t be cool. And we’ll take snipper shots at the vein, deluded “writers” in management positions who pay to be “published” authors. It will be fun! They’ll hate it!

    But the key is a punk rock movement in literature and writing. Books have needed that for decades anyway.

    First thing I’m going to do is BURN BOOKS. Including MY BOOKS! Total destruction of literature, Fahrenheit 451 in reverse. I’ve already filmed some book burning videos – just me throwing lighter fuel on the books I wrote and setting them ablaze. Ideally I’d get all my books still in stores and burn them…plus burn any other books I can get my hands on.

    What I need is other authors to join in this big book burning… Then set it viral on the internet: AUTHORS BURNING BOOKS!!! … But particularly THEIR OWN BOOKS.

    There should be no reason for this. No purpose. Never explain.

  5. The biggest irony is all the old skool publishing dogs are at it – like I say, my literary agent is looking to get his authors’ into e-print and he takes a cut. So he’s becoming an e-publisher. The publishing houses won’t like the competition, though. Could be a nice blood bath. Can’t wait.

    I’m not taking any offers up as I can’t be bothered to write any more. And like I say, the biggest fun will be my MASS BOOK BURNING!!!

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