“Big time authors” vs. “Indie authors”

The line between self published authors (SPA) and traditionally published authors (TPA) also called “big time authors” is as solid as ever. Bloggers have visibly taken sides and things are getting messier than we’ve ever seen before. Authors on both sides of the fence are picking up pitch forks and sock accounts, attempting to ruin any author they see fit.

I was told this morning about another situation that involved a TPA taking it upon herself to trash an indie erotica author’s book because she found the idea of the book offensive. If you’re familiar with the story, please keep the major details to yourself. I am trying not to draw too much attention to the specifics of the matter. Any way, the TPA took to her blog to blast the book and its contents without even reading a single page. She decided that it was awful because the blurb sounded offensive to her. The TPA went even further to encourage her followers to pirate the book if they “simply ha[d] to read it” but that they should not pay a single penny for it. She acted as though her “big time” status gave her the right to pass judgement on others.

Now, the SPA did do something a bit offensive in reaction to the matter. She took to Facebook to say that her book should be in a national museum or something. I am positive that that was done in jest, but when emotions are running high, you don’t poke the bear. The TPA went back to her blog to share the post from the SPA and then encouraged her readers to attack the SPA further by saying “you know what to do.”

This scenario isn’t the first, and definitely won’t be the last. And of course, there are SPAs turning on SPAs. We should be trying to create a unified front by encouraging people to read, regardless of how we publish. However, I think there is a obvious reason for the dividing line. By referring to TPAs as “big time authors” is like giving them an open invitation to get a big head. And before anyone decides to go off on me, I’m not saying that this is an all encompassing sentiment, because it isn’t. My paternal grandmother was a TPA but she was the most down to earth person when it came to that sort of thing. She encouraged my writing. She wanted me to have those same literary opportunities that she had, but you know something? She never once spat on SPAs and I guarantee you that she would be proud that I took the initiative and got published.

The discussion of self-publishing came up between a friend and I recently and she said some pretty insightful things. [She knows who she is, but out of respect for her in this post, I won’t use her name.] She said that you can bash SPAs, even the ones that are prone to editing issues, but at least they did it. At least they took the initiative to put themselves out there… And she’s right.

All authors put their heart and soul into their work. One should not discount the other simply because of the means in which their work is published. But by calling TPAs “big time”,we are all further perpetuating the divide.

Anyway, sorry if this is rambly, but I wanted to say something. We are all working towards a common goal. We shouldn’t go out of our way to perpetuate this fight.

About Maegan Provan

I am an indie author and proud of it. I try to update as much as humanly possible, but I'm a busy bee.

Posted on March 12, 2015, in book, Journal and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. It’s sad when you hear stuff like this happening.

    Traditionally published and self published authors don’t need to be at war with one another. There’s so much room in the world for both. To use a baseball analogy, if you think about the expanding role of technology, self publishers are like the farm team, working out in the bull pen and warming up their skills and style. Eventually, those who work at it hard enough will find a way into traditionally publishing, should they decide that’s the route they want to go.

    We all want that traditional publishing deal, but the tech’s just too strong to sit around waiting for an invitation to become traditionally published when self publishing is an option.

    I also don’t get the point of trying to sabotage another author. Don’t like the book? That’s fine. It’s a big world with different people with different interests. Feel free to offer some fair criticism but to actively try to bring another author down seems a tad unnecessary.

  2. Great post. I know the situation you’re referring to. It’s hard to imagine that any author has the time to wage war on a book/author. I can barely find the time to write. I also can’t understand why any author (traditional or self-pubbed) views other authors as competition. Readers aren’t going to find one book they like and only read that book. They’re going to read more, and maybe the next book they pick up will be yours. I also don’t understand the “gang mentality” in the author and blogger communities where gang members rally the troops for a one-starring spree or in this case, a pirating spree. Authors and bloggers certainly have a right to discuss and review books on their blogs. They have the right to say what they want. But when it comes to telling people to one-star a book they haven’t read or to pirate a copy of book, I think that’s going down a very slippery slope.

    • It really is just sad. I don’t understand this constant need to attack one another. Not that I’m trying to say that I’m above it because we all remember the situation from a couple of years ago, but I am honestly trying to keep my head down and away from the drama.

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