author C.C.Cole's blog

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

On The On-Line Slush Pile and the New Author by C.C.Cole

Like many new authors, as I’ve stated in previous articles, I attempted to publish the traditional route and moved to self-publishing following rejections.  While I don’t have a count of the number of query letters I sent out, I know it was less than ten.  My patience leaves something to be desired, and it didn’t take many rapid turnaround letters to convince me that route of publishing wasn’t for me. 

Now in retrospect, why was I turned away?  Was my query letter not catchy?  Was I soliciting the wrong genre?  Is it my misfortune that I don’t live in NYC so I can’t physically visit agents/publishing companies?  Did I use the wrong paper?  Did my five-sentence query have grammatical errors? 

The reasons do not help with analysis when the result is the same regardless.  Agents say on line they are overwhelmed.  Editors are overwhelmed.  Publishing companies want a sure thing.  New writers need not apply. 

A recent article posted on Twitter recently mentioned the issue of the self-published ebook era becoming “the on-line slush pile.”  Hmm….I’m a slush pile?  Are the Indie writers I review “slush pile?”  (To clarify, let me state the article favored Indie writers.) I’ve seen similar posts regarding self-publishing bashing on social sites.  Thanks for that vote of confidence, guys!

Arrogance isn’t a subtle trait.  Insults ring loud and clear.  A doctorate in Literature isn’t required to detect it.  Once exposed, it stands.  Condescension pierces the human psyche and brings out unpleasant emotional responses. People don’t like feeling insulted, and tend to dislike who’s dishing it out.

When I think about the Internet, I think about what it must have been like when the first printing press was invented.  I suspect there was a lot of concern about dispersing large amounts of information to “ordinary people.”  The Internet is the printing press on a huge steroid dose.  People can write what they want, publish it on line, and market it on line without agents, query letters, or publishing companies.  Someone can write a book and call it “Sleepytime” consisting of merely a bunch of Zzzz’s.  How outrageous! 

Outrageous or not, again the result is the same.  Why do writers self-publish?  Answer:  Because they can.  Why do people insult self-published authors?  Answer:  Because they can. 

New authors, do what you know you can do.  Write your original work and publish in the way you see fit.  And if you come across bad writing on line, it’s a mere click away to move to the next topic.  Naysayers in the writing industry aren’t going anywhere soon.  Neither are Indie writers.

If people want to label what I read and write a “slush pile,” that’s their right.  And it’s my right to ignore it.  Such cheap insults expose the location of the actual “pile."

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