Where is the Love?

I have really reached my so-called breaking point with people in the publishing industry. Why you might ask? I am so frustrated with the lack of support shown in all aspects of the publishing industry. I have never seen a group of people who are totally unwilling to support and help each other. This has nothing to do with my company or my writers, but after years of trolling through forums and websites and reading reviews in multiple places, I have noticed a trend that I don’t understand. We are in an industry where we don’t support each other in any way, including authors supporting each other.

As a publisher, I know how impersonal we can be with rejections, if we even send one at all. We don’t typically email you with suggestions to better the book, but just send out a form letter like we do to every other rejection (though I try to give individual feedback). So for independent authors, it must feel like trying uphill in mud that won’t let you move. But that’s not it.

We have reviewers who seem to think it is ok to slam an authors work and their writing skills. I have read so many reviews who call authors things like amateur, or their writing is like a high schoolers, to just plain dumb. I don’t mean to sound like an ass, but if you think a story sucks, feel free to get on your computer and write a better one. Instead you write a review bashing everything from the story to the writer. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mind a bad review that constructively criticizes a book, but reviewers go overboard sometimes. You know what I say, GET A LIFE!

Now about you authors. With all the challenges you already face, I thought that you all would be more supportive of each other. But that’s not the case. You bash each other just as much as the others in the industry. You all should help each other, work with each other to promote and market your product. Offer each other services in which you are experienced. Instead authors seem to get it in their head that they know more about the industry then everyone else, and portray this attitude to fellow authors looking for help. Let me tell you something. I don’t know everything about industry. It changes every day. But get off your high horse and help new authors out. And if I am strolling around websites or forums and see an author bashing another author’s book in way that it not constructive, I will put your name and review on every site I know that authors visit.

We all need to change to make an already cutthroat industry a little easier on authors but that must start with everyone trying to make a little change. Unfortunately, I don’t see it happening any time soon. This is not directed at all authors, publishers or reviewers as many do try to offer their help or constructive criticism, but I see far to many who fall into this category.

About Jairus Reddy

I am a fiction publisher who interviews authors and industry professionals about the industry, other authors, politics and even Hollywood gossip. I also have biased thoughts about the publishing industry, which I blog weekly, to voice my opinions to the public. My company, Hobbes End Publishing, is not looking for new submissions, unless stated otherwise in the future. http://hobbesendpublishing.com/
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7 Responses to Where is the Love?

  1. Rob Newman says:

    Jarius, I hear you and what you’re saying resonates loudly with me.

    I have an idea.

    Here at Alpha Channel Books we have just launched our first series, Trials of Ash, a futuristic kung-fu tale about cyborgs and AI.

    We have tons of stuff and simply cannot get it out fast enough, and then we have the issue of, who’s reading anyhow? Believe me, if the pot of gold were easy to get to, there would be tons of ‘support.’ The entire economy is suffering at the moment, literary ventures are just one aspect of that.

    Alpha Channel Books is a ‘spare-time’ venture, and our angle, once we really get rolling, is going to be pen and ink ‘illustrated fiction.’ In the interests of budget and our desire to get more story out there, we’re thinking 3 – 5 illustrations per short story. However, instead of the traditional short stories, we’re going to focus on excerpts from longer works, novels and novellas. Also, we’re going to focus on comic book / film adaption worthy material. At the end of each short there will be a link to purchase the longer work, etc.

    Also, there’s another idea I’ve been toying with, over the past couple weeks.

    I imagine you remember the old Scooby Doo cartoons? There was one series / season, that was all about ‘guest stars.’ Scooby and the Gang teamed up with Batman, bands and all kinds of celebs – even the Harlem Globetrotters, I believe.

    Point is, I’m interested in doing cross-over type short stories. Maybe 10,000 words, in which a main character from one of your series, meets and helps one of ours, or vice-versa. We just give it away, so there’s no drama over percentages, and it’s a win for everyone, (providing the creators are happy w/ the story content).

    We take the efforts in Marketing, and turn it into ‘free content’, focusing on Branding the lead characters.

    All the great comic characters, and even the Victorian heroes, (Sherlock, Tarzan, et al,), have transcended their creators. You can’t get to Vandor, (Valhalla for pop culture – http://www.vandorproducts.com), without becoming a legend.

    Anyhow – just thoughts,

    I also heard some one say – Nathan Bramsford, I think, The rejection letter of the future is silence.

    Rob Newman


  2. Chante says:

    I’ve read Mr. Hobbes’ work (a short story called to read or not to read) and find this idea compelling and think it would be neat if the bookstore owner made an appearance.

    Another great blog Mr. Reddy. As I said before, I’d love to see many many more.

  3. I have experienced many of the same issues and it is clear publishing is undergoing watershed changes. One of the biggest problems that I’ve encountered is obtaining constructive criticism without paying a lot of money. There are almost as many folks out there trying to make money from writers than there are writers. Many who call themselves editors, but how does a neophyte know, without paying hundreds of dollars up front, if the editing and critique is going to be constructive?

    I tried to get some local writers interested in a “writer’s co-op” that would critique and edit each others work. Lots of initial interest but nobody willing to step up and actually do the task.

    Perhaps with a bigger audience you can initiate something of this nature? I would sign on.

    Dave Gross

    • Jairus Reddy says:

      This is a great idea, but I would need time to come up with a good system for this to work. I think reading each others work to give an overall assessment of the story and writing would be great for authors, but I don’t know if editing for each other would work. I always recommend authors to get edited by a professional editor.

  4. I agree that the time commitment and expertise necessary for a useful and professional job of editing is a major road block for most writers. Perhaps my enthusiasm for saving money got the better of my idea. Outside, and perhaps more than one reading, of a work the author considers ready for professional editing would still be useful for most writers. To be very useful the review would need to provide constructive suggestions for improvement.

    I would love to help you develop a system that could provide this service for participating authors. Obviously one of the criteria would have to be that authors who submit works for review would also have to agree to review for others and there would have to be a system in place to monitor compliance and the quality of the reviews provided.

    My problem is that I lack the computer skills necessary to set something like this up.

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