Author Rant, Dark Side of Publishing

The truth behind the glitter … a look at the dark side of the publishing world #4 #WritingCommunity #AmWriting #AmEditing #CreatingPerfection

As an editor and book blogger, I spend all my time talking to authors. One thing that’s shocked me recently is the number of conversations I’ve had about the dark side of the publishing world.

Not just the stuff in the public eye, but what goes on for the authors on a personal level.

The world has a certain idea of what an author’s life is like and as such, authors feel the need to keep up a pretence to the public.

It’s with this in mind that I’ve started this feature to give authors a safe place to talk about the things that go on behind the scenes.

The good, the bad, and the ugly.

I want to show people that they aren’t alone, that all the fears and hates and things that terrify them about this world do the same to others, we just don’t talk about it properly.

These posts will be anonymous unless the author wants their identity sharing.

*The thoughts of the anonymous author do not reflect the thoughts of Creating Perfection*

If you want to rant … follow this link.

Now it’s over to ranter #4 …

Author, tell us a little about your publishing journey so far …

I tried to go down the Trad Pub route but it’s so slow and cumbersome that I gave up. Too many people who can’t be bothered to answer emails, too many agents who only rep their own preferences. “I can’t rep that genre” they say and then seek out a clone of whatever is currently selling, producing increasingly diluted literature.

So I self-pub.

I’m on course to earn around £26K this year from my books and I’m about to dip my toe into audible too. I think that’s pretty good going and more than many trad-pub authors make. I hope to nearly double that in 2020.

Now rant …

The elitism of the band of trad pubbed/agents/publishers and the lackeys that buy into it wholesale (bloggers/ Literature Works/ etc and so forth) is what winds me up the most.

There are some bloggers that won’t look twice at self-pubbed for example. In Book Connectors, they routinely ignore self-pubbed writers and fawn over anyone with a trad contract. Fine. I won’t read your blogs.

My experience with Literature Works has been prejudiced against self pub in the extreme. The hoops you have to jump through! Have a short book of poetry picked up by some local publisher? Great, you’re in. It doesn’t matter that no one will read it. Published by a small publisher 8 years ago and still working on Book 2? Fab! We want you in our ‘writer’s academy’. Self publish 1000+ e-books, make it to the top of an Amazon chart but you’re self-pubbed? Sorry, you’ve still got to meet their extra standards (what these are is never quite transparent – it’s decided in a shady meeting you’re not part of and you can’t appeal). They want to ‘develop’ you, they define you as somehow lesser. And they won’t read or include your books, because Literature only Works when it has firstly passed through the hands of an agent, generally an Oxbridge English graduate in a London office. The kind where they post Instagram photos of sandwiches that cost a tenner and bottles of water with creative names posed next to the ubiquitous slush pile.

I can’t quite believe how rude people who have NEVER read my work can be.

This assumption that self-pub must be rubbish is so twentieth century! I retain an editor. I pay my editor monthly. I pay a proofreader. I pay good money for creative on-genre covers (not a girl in a red coat running away from the photographer thriller cover that most trad pub seem to like). I have an ARC team. I do my own marketing. I’m creative, passionate, and driven. I’m producing more that 80,000 words per year. My fans don’t wait 12 months for my next novel I work incredibly hard seven days a week. Damn hard! My stuff is good, and YOU can’t tell me otherwise.

I’m selling books.

I’ve had a bestseller tag.

What about you?

Huge thanks again for sharing, Anonymous Author.

I should say here that my experience, and that of MANY others of the Facebook group Book Connectors is wonderful. It is full of great people who share and help and offer advice. I have only know one blogger out of the hundreds I interact with who will only read traditionally published books. Perhaps your approach may need some attention?

There’s a post here which may help you find bloggers: Book Bloggers and How to Approach Them

Readers, do let me know your thoughts on these issues.

I hope the rant helped x


11 thoughts on “The truth behind the glitter … a look at the dark side of the publishing world #4 #WritingCommunity #AmWriting #AmEditing #CreatingPerfection”

  1. I’m a member of Book Connectors and I don’t think I have ever seen anyone snubb an indie/self pub author. In fact, quite the opposite. I had a lot more to say – but I think I will do my best to keep my mouth shut.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Interesting rant. I’ve never heard of Literature Works – maybe for the best!
    It’s mostly a battle in my own head that I have to fight: that because I am self-published I’m not as good.


  3. I’m a blogger and a member of Book Connectors who will read and review both traditionally and self published books. I get the feeling from this ‘rant’ that the author has a sense of entitlement and perhaps this comes across in review requests and could be why he/she cannot get reviews. Of course if could also be that their book just doesn’t appeal. I only accept review requests for books that I want to read and if something doesn’t appeal to me then I will decline. I will also decline requests from authors who are impolite but that’s for another thread.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. I am speechless…especially about the completely unjustified comments about the Book Connectors group which (the vast majority of the time) is a much-needed haven of positivity in an increasingly angry world. If a book isn’t in a genre I read or I don’t think I’ll enjoy it then I don’t agree to review it. That it’s indie or traditionally published makes no difference. Personally, I have championed many books by self-published authors on my blog.


  5. I can really only say Wow!!!

    Like others I shall withhold my true full thoughts.

    Can’t speak for other bloggers but I love Indie authors and often self pubbed authors too. At least those who are humble and grateful which is (thankfully) the majority. But, like Karen, the title must appeal and with 900 + titles in my tbr pile, There is plenty of competition. I am a reader, first and foremost, for ME, not for authors, and no one is entitled to expect a book to be read and to receive a review, no matter how their book comes to market.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m not surprised this particular author struggles to find bloggers to read their books if this is what their attitude is like. As a member of Book Connectors, I am only too happy to support authors, whether they are trad, indie or self-published. The sense of entitlement from this rant and the accusations of bloggers being lackeys who fawn over traditionally published authors is unfair and inaccurate. I know I’m not the only person who joined the group because I was drawn to its reason for existing – to help authors connect with bloggers and I will continue to offer my support and enthusiasm whenever I can.
    I wish the author continued success, they are obviously doing very well and if I should ever happen to read and enjoy one of their books I’ll be thrilled to recommend it.


  7. Hi – I’ve never had an issue with Book Connectors, it’s a great group for all authors, readers and bloggers, IMO.

    I disagree too with the comment “Published by a small publisher 8 years ago and still working on Book 2? Fab! We want you in our ‘writer’s academy’” That is absolutely so untrue in my experience. It is getting the second book published that many authors have struggled with. So many competitions don’t want you if you have been previously published by a trad publisher, regardless if that was over 25 years ago! That is me! But I have been small-pressed published since and now gone the indie route. Not heard of Literature Works either!


  8. You asked for rants, Emma and that’s certainly what you got. 😀 The sweeping generalisation about Book Connectors is as accurate as his/her maths. Assuming a book is around 80,000 words and the author writes that many per year, how is it that their fans don’t have to wait for a year for the next one? They seem to be doing well to earn 26K a year; imagine what they could achieve if they lost the chip.


  9. As an author who began as a self pubbed author, then got a deal with an indie publisher, I’ve never had any trouble with bloggers/reviewers in Book Connectors. In fact I’ve found the group to be very supportive to all types of author. I’m pleased this ranter is doing well for him or herself but sounding as though you think you are superior isn’t the way to get bloggers interested in your work – especially as their rant is based on their being unhappy with the apparent superiority of some elements of the publishing sector.


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