Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Sports Radio on the Damage... WDSDDDDDD New Jersey

I need to start looking at the publishing news and Twitter the way I look at Sports Talk Radio.

If you didn't know, I'm somewhat of a sports junkie. I am a Giants fan, a Yankees fan and a Rutgers athletics fan. When I was younger, I got caught up in Sports Talk Radio. Used to listen to it all the time, hoping to catch some glimpse of news. Some nugget that got me to look forward to the upcoming game even more.

But, usually what you get is a bunch of nonsense. A bunch of people calling up the stations, with little knowledge spouting off about whatever they can. Usually the calls would boil down to "NOooooooOOOooo, JETER." People would call to argue with the host... just to argue.

And that's what Twitter, Facebook, and blogs have done to publishing. Every day there's a new publishing controversy (well, more like every two weeks), and even if it's something small... people try to blow it up. People argue just to argue. And mostly what it boils down to is "NOooooooOOOooo, E-books!"

And for a while, I got really irritated. This wasn't what I wanted to see. I wanted real news. I wanted something to discuss intelligently.

But it wasn't coming.

It was just people shouting into the wind.

So I've decided to do what I do with sports talk radio. Unless someone I really trust... someone in the business has something to say (think... an interview with Phil Simms), I look at it with an eye to comedy. It's funny.

So, people, the thing is... it's just publishing. Long term? It's going to work itself out. There's no need to panic.

They're going to figure it out.

And if not?

You'll be putting out some shoddily edited e-book.

No worries.

Calm down.

And keep making me laugh.


Sandra Ruttan said...

I could go with two very different thought processes. On the one hand, I learned to stop listening to most people dispensing writing advice online a long time ago. The blind lead the blind. I've personally known people who've had a lot of bad experiences that boiled down to trusting the wrong people online, and not just about how to write - including stealing things out of their wips and putting them in books that were published.

Every writer who puts out a shitty self published product makes it easier for good writers to rise to the top. So why should I care? They aren't hurting me.

On the other hand, I get paid to mentor. And it's part of my job to point out problems with the projects if there are issues. Bad advice and misdirection isn't helping. Maybe I shouldn't care, because I'm still getting paid anyway.

But some people, when they fail, when they don't get the success they think is just a press of the 'publish' button away, will blame me. Already had it happen. Someone challenged me to put it out for public consumption if I really believed people should wait. That was actually a long time ago, and I still shrugged it off, but I see more and more people not even considering agents or publishers and planning their marketing before the book is done.

I wouldn't wish the shit I went through with Suspicious Circumstances on anyone, and I wasn't even self-published. I still get people telling me I'm not a real author. You need a thick skin in this business, but what happened with SC took it to a whole different place, and that's what some of the changes in the industry are doing for people who have no idea just how vicious it can get. I mean, we have a lot of aspiring authors who really believe that everyone goes to conventions and has a big group hug and everyone is so so nice and supportive and would never say a bad word about anyone and six dozen NY Times bestselling authors will line up to blurb your book and invite you on tour with them because it's all so gosh-darn wonderful.

I still regularly think about changing my name and disappearing from the community completely. And that all goes back to SC and everything that happened. I'll be doing an author event tomorrow night and the only book that won't be on the table is SC.

Maybe nobody will listen to me about anything. That's nothing new. But some people took me as an example that I didn't set myself up to be. Other people made me an example of self-publishing, and did it from a blog with a large readership with a lot of profile. I'm not that example, but for a lot of people, they bought the lie over five years ago, which still exists online and it isn't ever going to change.

How can I have had NY publisher, an agent like Al, my books in bookstores in multiple countries, two translated in Japanese by Shueisha, and still not be a real author? I don't know, but I guess I just have to accept that I'm not. I'm a fake author. And that's the permanent stamp on my name that just keeps coming up from some circles.

So writers can do whatever they want to do. No question. Just don't use my name to sell yourself on some sort of delusion about self-publishing. Think of it this way. Every year, a girl who gave up everything to move to Hollywood becomes a star. But for every one who succeeds, there are hundreds more still waiting tables.

Dana King said...

I used to wade into everything I saw online. Now I cherry pick my comments. If blogger/commenter is someone I know and respect, or seems to know what he's talking about, or looks to be someone who genuinely is looking for advice on a topic where I have experience, then I'll say something.

Of course, once in a while someone will say something really stupid or offensive for which I already have my fact or argument ready. Then I often can't help myself.

Bryon Quertermous said...

You know how much I hate agreeing with you, but I've found the same to be true with my own sports talk and publishing obsessions.

I'll leave it to your imagination if you're one of the voices I trust or look to for comedy...

John McFetridge said...


Back in the early 70s that was Ted Tevan's dismissal of callers to his "Sports Rap" radio show.

So, is Lin for real?