Current totals on #copypastecris as of this morning: 51 books, 34 authors.
Blowback’s inevitable when you go public–especially on social media–about any issue.
With this one, I’m finding (unsurprisingly) people who object, complain, or smack at me and others tend to be protecting their own interests.
It’s all, yes! Fix this, fight this, go after the crooks and scammers, make the system fair. But don’t talk about or criticize or upset my personal apple cart.
Ghostwriters aren’t to blame, stop being mean to us!
The profession itself is certainly not to blame. But that profession is being used and abused by scammers, and by those willing to ghostwrite ebooks fast and cheap, often for the same ‘author’ who then tosses up multiple books a month.
They couldn’t generate those books, crushing the honest self-published writers without the ghosts who provide the service. So stop providing the service if you’re an honest person.
I’m not, and was very careful not to toss the entire profession or honest ghosts or work-for-hire authors in that same muck. But the practice of hiring ghosts, the practice of ghostfarms to generate scam books has to be exposed.
This is a cheat to the honest writer and to the reader.
I want to take a stand for my fellow authors, and to take a stand for readers. Because I value all of them.
Free or cheap books. I explained my thoughts on this as best I could. The reason so many self-pubbed must give away or sell their honest work so cheap is BECAUSE the scammers exploit a weak, flawed system. A readership now accustomed to fast and cheap demand it. And many of those readers don’t understand an actual writer can’t produce a book a week.
The writers going off about me being rich, privileged, not understanding their situation couldn’t be more wrong. I do understand it. I had to work my way up through a very crowded field in the early 80s. I know what it’s like. I’m not condemning anyone struggling to get their work noticed, I’m saying the prevalence of free and dirt cheap are devaluing the very writers who struggle. And the system and the scammers have forced them into this.
Do you want the scams exposed, do you want a level playing field in a stronger system? Do you want a chance to build a career, make an actual living doing what you love? Or do you just want me to shut up about it when it affects you?
The readers who slap back because: I can’t afford to pay more. You’re a millionaire in a mansion, (note, I don’t live in a mansion), I want to read lots and lots and lots of books every week, so lay off me.
Readers don’t have as much skin in the game as writers, but they do have some. For every cheap fake book you buy for a buck–because you didn’t take a couple minutes to check that author’s credentials, you’ve tossed money away.
You shouldn’t have to check. It’s outrageous any reader should have to take even two seconds of their time for anything like this. It enrages me.
To the readers who demand–and I mean those who demand the fast and cheap or free–why do you think the writer should work their butts off for nothing? You want to call me entitled because I’ve spent over three decades working MY butt off? Excuse me, I really think that shoe fits the other foot.
Let me quickly speak about used books. I have never–even when it was an unpopular stand with a lot of other writers–had any issue with used books. The stores, the trading books, the yard sales, whatever. In fact, I’ve often suggested a reader new to me try one of my books from that source. Someone bought the book, and therefore, the author was paid.
There are lots and lots of ways to access books inexpensively, and this is one of them. Libraries are amazing–and the writer gets paid.
You have a budget? So does Writer Jane Smith who’s doing everything she can to write her book, maybe in addition to her day job, raising a family.
But you’re a voracious reader, you have to read.
Jane has to eat. Jane has to pay the mortgage.
I sympathize with the voracious reader on a budget. I’m a reader, voracious, and when I was a single mom raising two kids, I had to find a way to work a book buy into my grocery budget.
The problem is, this is an ugly, cheating, greedy beast with many, many tentacles. You can’t kill the beast by ignoring any of those tentacles. because it’s going to take another swipe, and the other tentacles will regenerate.
What I’m hearing from those who object to my statements on specific areas is: We want change, we want fair, we want some asses kicked, oh yeah, but . . . Only our way, only the asses we want kicked, only if it doesn’t touch me.
Not going to happen. I do this my way, or I don’t do it at all.
Guess what? I can deal with my specific issue–Serruya’s infringement of my work. And walk away from the rest. It’d be a lot easier to do just that.
I should be working on my book, right now. As I should have been since this all started. I want to take a stand for my fellow authors, and to take a stand for readers. Because I value all of them.
Because it’s the goddamn principle.
For those trying to tell me how to do that, understand. With me, this is all or nothing.
Now I have to go let my dogs out in my imaginary mansion, because it seems it’s my staff’s lifetime off.