There’s been a lot of buzz in the writing world in the last week or so about an interview author Sue Grafton gave to a Louisville, Kentucky website. In response to a question, she said, “Quit worrying about publication and master your craft. If you have a good story to tell and if you write it well, the Universe will come to your aid. Don’t self-publish. That’s as good as admitting you’re too lazy to do the hard work.”
Want to make a group of normally peace-loving people angry? Tell them they’re lazy.
I am not a traditionally published writer, but I’m sure they work hard. When I say that indie authors are the most intense, driven and focused people, I’m not taking anything away from non-indie writers. But I work with indie authors, many of my friends are indies, and I can tell you that it’s true. Most indie writers work diligently at their craft. . .and most also have at least one other job and families, some with small children.
That, my friends, is hard work. That’s not laziness.
Indie writers do all their own promotion. They keep their social media sites up to date, interact with their fans, work on blog tours, write guest posts, do interviews and run contests. They have to maintain both a virtual and a local presence, so when they’re not working on-line, they’re at local bookstores or author events or other conventions and conferences.
And the indie community is a strong and supportive one, so when writers are not promoting their own books, they’re cheering on their fellow indie authors, posting for them, tweeting and reviewing.
All of that is in addition the aforementioned ‘regular’ job most indie writers maintain, and of course their family and/or personal lives.
Oh, yes. . and then there is the writing. The editing. The revising. Choosing a cover, formatting and publishing, both in electronic and hard copy.
When do we sleep? Well, not often. And not for long.
And yet some authors would refer to us as ‘lazy’.
As I’ve said before here and will say again, I agree that writing is a craft. Are there independently published books that are poorly written, unedited and embarrassing? Most assuredly. Are there traditionally published books that could also fall into that category? Oh, yes.
The idea that the agents and editors are the lofty gatekeepers to the rarefied air of true publishing is antiquated. The notion that only those whom they admit are true writers who have paid their dues and know the reality of hard work is ridiculous and wrong.
I’m sure Ms. Grafton has her reasons for her opinion, to which of course she is entitled. But she might want to talk to a few of us and read a wider variety of our work before she jumps to any conclusions.