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Why Writers Shouldn’t Whine

Houston writer Gwendolyn Zepeda on why authors should avoid whining on their blog about their publishing arrangements (and by implication the book industry in general):

Not only are children starving in China, but people who comment on blogs are going without agents! We’re talking about people who’ve worked hard to achieve the dream of being a published author… a life in which the writer’s every dream is realized and nothing can ever go wrong again. Everyone knows that published authors have nothing to complain, whine, fret about or fear. How dare you pretend otherwise, you ungrateful hag from Hell? You are lying to everyone who hasn’t yet become as lucky as you. Why are you doing that? What are you trying to do – scare us away from pursuing what must surely be our destinies? You don’t deserve your good luck! I deserve it, instead!

Other people not allowed to complain:

Celebrities
Lottery winners
Naturally slender women

There’s a lot of truth to this sentiment (especially when you can’t do much to change the situation), but I’m fairly tolerant about people’s rants; heck, I can go on (and perhaps it’s a good thing this blog of mine receives so little traffic). One curious consequence of this transitional period in publishing is that writers successful under the previous system will flail under the DIY publishing system. (especially if they can’t control copyrights to previous works). Success in literary publishing is unpredictable and hard to measure, and often people may assume that a literary reputation always translates into financial stability. I would love to say this is true, but who knows really? Great writers have sometimes made money, sometimes gone penniless, sometimes just disappeared without a trace.

The original complaint is here (actually it’s very mild).

Also: Ed Champion explains why Rushie’s latest book didn’t sell: it’s the title.

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