HomeReviewsInterviewsStoreABlogsOn Writing

In an earlier blog entry, I expressed disbelief at the in-built snobbery that some NYC published authors seem to have, when it comes to other writers who have been published by seemingly ‘lesser’ publishing houses.

This article just goes to prove my point about Karin Gillespie’s ridiculous rant on Romancing The Blog, about authors who self-publish or utilise vanity press/small publishing houses. Bigger isn’t necessarily better. So stick that up your pipe, and smoke it Karin.

11 Comments »


  • McVane
    June 6
    4:01 am

    Quoted from Karin’s column, “his novel was published by a vanity press masquerading as a legitimate publishing house.”

    To me, a vanity/subsidy press or self-publishing company is a company that doesn’t usually have any editorial or quality control, which means *anyone* can have their book published. Providing that these authors pay for printing costs of publishing their books. It’s a glorified printing company, if you will.

    As with everything else, there are honest vanity/subsidy presses [e.g. they tell you straight up what to expect, how much it would cost you, etc.], and there are dishonest vanity/subsidy presses [e.g. hit you with ongoing hidden charges, bad printing jobs, etc.]. But it doesn’t change the fact that these companies don’t usually have any editorial input.

    In other words via a typical vanity/subsidy press, a long ramble remains a long ramble. Pretty much like this response of mine. I’m sure you’ve spotted some grammitical errors in this response, but I can take this to a vanity/subsidy press and have it published without any of this corrected or amended.

    With all that in mind, Serpent’s Tail is definitely not a vanity/subsidy press or self-publishing company. Serpent’s Tail is an independent publisher and, although it’s very small, it’s 100% legitimate. It prides itself on being very selective with submissions, which a typical vanity press doesn’t usually do.

    That’s a long way round to say that I think Karin wasn’t referring to the size of a publisher, but the nature of how a book was published. But from what I see of her column, that’s not the real issue. It seems to me that it’s about her irritation with authors who do leap-frogging, e.g. paying to get what they want, instead of working hard to get what they want.

    As for my own view of vanity presses? Can’t stand them. I can’t stand books that were published through these companies. I spent an entire summer dealing with those books at The Crack [Newcastle] and to this day, I can’t bear the sight of those books.

    I’m shamelessly prejudiced but I earned that right, dammit! πŸ˜€ Don’t believe me? I still have some copies around here – I’d be happy to send them to you for you to see them for yourself.

    I *love* independent publishers like Serpert’s Tail, Canongate, Bloodaxe, etc. But books from vanity presses and the like? I’d rather stab my eye with a rusty fork than picking one up again. And so will you if you read those books that I’d be happy to offload on you. πŸ™‚

    ReplyReply


  • McVane
    June 6
    4:02 am

    Crap! *blushing furiously* I’m so sorry about the length of my response!! Could you remove it, please? Feel free to slap my head while you’re at it, too. :> Thanks.

    ReplyReply


  • Karen Scott
    June 6
    5:03 am

    Now, Maili, why would I want to remove your post, it was well written, and actually made a lot of sense (g)

    I still think that Karin Gillespie was being a total snob, and being just a mere reader, and not a politically correct author, or a member of polite society, I’m able to say so, without fear of offending.

    My point with the article was that there are lots of brilliant writers out there who get refused by big publishing houses, and some of them haven’t honed their art for 100 years, but it doesn’t make them any less brilliant.

    These authors had been turned down by major publishing houses, and if they had waited like Miss Gillespie suggested, they may not have been discovered any time soon.

    ReplyReply


  • Anonymous
    June 6
    2:59 pm

    People should just learn to be grateful for what they’ve got instead of turning their nose up at others. There are worse things in the world than somebody paying for their book to be published, like the war in Iraq. Whilst we stand by fighting amongst ourselves over who’s book is better, our country is going to war with the rest of the world, and murdering people in the name of peace.

    ReplyReply


  • McVane
    June 6
    3:38 pm

    Oh, I agree with you, that Karin is a snob. Her column reminds me of my grandad who used to say that he had to walk 5/10/20/30 miles to school every day. You know, a regular Oliver Twist thing. *eyes roll* πŸ˜€

    In fairness she acknowledges that she’s a snob, re: the title of her column.

    I mostly believe that publishing is all down to hard work and dumb luck. πŸ˜€ All in all, I agree with you. Thanks.

    ReplyReply


  • Anonymous
    June 7
    9:44 pm

    I promise you, Karen, that the book in question would have never won a prize. There were three spelling errors on the first page. The point of view changed at least twice, and it was utterly incoherent.

    That kind of offering isn’t good for anyone, least of all the author. BTW, I got tons of emails from authors applauding me for having the courage to say what most of them are thinking.

    I have nothing against vanity presses or self-published books if they are quality products. Just as fingerpaints don’t deserve gallery space, books that are obviously first efforts don’t merit media coverage and prominent bookstore placement.

    Karin Gillespie

    ReplyReply


  • Karen Scott
    June 8
    12:15 am

    Hi Karin, thanks for your comments, I truly appreciate you taking the time out to try to clarify the points you made.

    I do however feel that you’re back-tracking somewhat. Your original rant was basically about how unfair it was that you spent a trillion years learning your craft, whilst this guy, just apparently one day decided to be an author, and abracadabra all of a sudden he was published, and by a vanity press company no less.

    It may be, that this guy’s work is really bad, but what I object to is your resentment of his mini achievements.

    Everybody has the right to follow their own path to see where it leads them. Not everybody will take the same road. Some people are willing to take the longer route in order to reach their destination, others are less patient, and want the quickest route possible. That’s just how people are.

    What is the likelihood that this guy will sell millions of books? How likely is it that his books will be stocked in my local Borders, in Leeds, England?
    Not very likely.

    But on the other hand, if he were to sell millions of books, then would that mean that the people who bought his books and perhaps enjoyed them obviously couldn’t tell the difference between a good book, and a bad book?

    As big as the romance industry is, there are still critically acclaimed ‘serious’ authors out there, who look down their noses at romance writers, like yourself. Your scornful rant about not wanting to be lumped in the same boat with this other author, smacks of the same kind of unfair snobbery.

    This man’s work will not affect your sales or your life, no matter how bad a writer he is. All that will happen is that he wont sell many books, but even if he does, who are you to tell readers, that we don’t know the difference between a good book and a bad book? It’s all subjective.

    We all know what we like, and sometimes, what rocks our boat may be a book that is strewn with errors, technically imperfect, and completely lacking in some key areas, but yet something about the actual story may draw us to it.

    I’ve said it a million times, and I’ll say it again, one man’s meat may be another man’s poison. Bad taste is a matter of opinion, and not an irrefutable fact.

    As for finger paints not deserving gallery space, not so long ago, there was a painting that was hung up at Tate Britain in London, that I believe was just that, also, abstract expressionist Claes Oldenburg’s depiction of everyday commodities might as well have been finger painting to me, yet his paintings have a valuable place in modern art history.

    Don’t get me started on art, and people’s interpretation of what good art is. We’ll be here all day.

    Once again, thanks for stopping by.

    ReplyReply


  • Karen Scott
    June 8
    12:16 am

    Geez, it’s just as well this is my blog, that was one long f*cking post! Sheesh!

    ReplyReply


  • Jenn
    June 8
    12:39 pm

    But you are so good.

    ReplyReply


  • Scott
    June 8
    4:38 pm

    I hate to say it, you still sound a bit snobbish Karin (the author). And the fact remains that you have the credentials that you so desire; published by a big NYC house. You have the right to be very proud of that fact. But you are looking down at someone that is less fortunate and probably less talented then yourself, and letting everyone know ….. loudly, and that is rude and crude.

    You never know. This other author, if given time to develop his craft, and given the help of a professional editor, might be able to write circles around some of the best. So instead of ranting about how he got published and you feeling offended being a big house published author, why don’t you offer fair critism of his work. It would do the world much better, because it could bring (possibly) another great author to more people’s attention.

    OK Karen ….. you can have your blog back. πŸ˜‰

    ReplyReply


  • Karen Scott
    June 9
    9:03 pm

    Thanks Scott! I completely agree with all your comments!

    ReplyReply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment