Squabble of the week

The writing brouhaha this week is brought to you by the Romantic Times Booklover’s Convention. Other people have explained it better than me, so this is going to mostly be a list of links for anyone interested in what’s going on. Long story short: the booksellers were divided in two rooms, one for traditionally published authors and one for self-published authors, because of the different ways in which their books are sold (lots of complicated stuff about whether books are returnable or not; it really only matters to booksellers and not to the general public). An RT volunteer accidentally referred to the self-published book room as the “aspiring authors” room. Apologies were quickly made for the misstep. Today, however, self-published author Hugh Howey (who wasn’t at the con) wrote a post about how the self-published authors and traditionally published authors were being segregated. Civil rights movement analogies were made.

I can certainly see why the self-pub crowd would take offense to the ‘aspiring author’ tag. If your book is published, no matter the venue, you’re no longer aspiring. You’re an author. To suggest otherwise is to say that self-published books aren’t ‘real’ books, which is ridiculous. However! Saying that self-published authors are being forced to the back of the bus, segregated, oppressed, etc is a really terrible way of characterizing this situation. The fight over the respectability of the venue in which you voluntarily published your book is not actually the equivalent to the decades of institutionalized racism and violence suffered by people based on their ethnicity. Self-publishing your novel does not interfere with your right to vote, your right to own property, or your right to an education. No one has been murdered over their choice to self publish.


(static link to that tweet is here)


The Backlist Is Not The Back Seat: On Indie Authors Appropriating Language by Ceilidhann

Weathering the bizarre post-RT shitstorm by Mur Lafferty

RT’s Giant Bookfair by Courtney Milan