Open Letter to Michael Kozlowski in reply to his article Self-Published Authors Are Destroying Literature:
Dear Mr. Kozlowski,I would like to congratulate you on your article of June 17th 2013 on Good E Reader entitled Self-Published Authors Are Destroying Literature. I know you have endured some harsh criticism because of it, but please know that you do have support on this topic and are completely in the right.
I am a fledgling writer myself and have refrained from falling into the cesspool of self-indulgent word molestation that is self-publishing for the very reasons you have listed. When the time comes when I have completed college or university, hired a professional editor and paid my dues by being picked up by a real publisher, then, by God I will self-publish! And not a minute sooner!
Being in my fifties shouldn’t hold me back from starting school again. I earned straight A’s in English, Psychology and Sociology in the 3 years I did go to college, though sadly, a family member’s sickness required me to drop out, but now that they’re dead, no worries! I can start again! My five kids are almost all grown and dang it if they or my grandkids need me around all the time! It’s time for me to buckle up and get that degree so I can aim for that self-publishing dream. And it may be hard to pay for an editor to tackle my book since I will have to quit my job to attend school full time (part-time is not an option at my quickly advancing age) but with a little bit of luck I can probably sell off a few things like my car or furniture and make enough cash to snag a really expensive editor because we all know the more you pay, the better you get. You’ll get no arguments from me there!
I am so glad you sited 95% of eBooks as being insufferable, because my eBook falls into the 5% that isn’t. Mine is not a ‘crime, science fiction, fantasy, romance or humor based’ story, but a historical fiction. Who knew that so few were out there? You sure have your finger on the ePulse of the nation! Like you said, these scam-artist writers are just trying to emulate successful published authors. I don’t know what emulate means ‘cause I haven’t finished college yet, but I assume it is a bad, bad thing. Your Bowker Market Research report was quite impressive too, I might add, but I got lost in all those percentage points and gozintas: I’m a writer, not a mathematician. (*Do you remember the Beverly Hillbillies and Jethro who was so good at math and his gozintas? Five gozinta five one times, five gozinta ten two times?)
But I digress.
What I really want to say is thank you. Thank you for setting out the criteria for what it takes to be worthy of self-publishing: like Bella Andre. She, as you say, ‘cut her teeth with major publishers’ then decided to self-pub so she could have more control. She ‘got a major deal and went back to self-publishing’. Now that’s the right way to…just wait…I’m confused. If she cut her teeth with a publisher, how can she go ‘back’ to self-publishing? Going back implies that she started as a self-pubber. I don’t understand…but that must be my lack of college-grown perspicaciousness. *okay, I admit it…I looked that up in my online dictionary (they have those now! Cool, huh?). I was just trying to impress you ‘cause you’re my hero and all. Hope I used it correctly!
And I think it very wise of you to imply that if one is rejected by a publisher, we are not good enough to call ourselves writers. I agree that only after being published can one dare to give themselves that exalted label. True writers who were good enough to be published and never were rejected by a publisher, like Stephen King and JK Rowling, will surely agree with you as well. Before they were published, they were useless! They never… oh wait…they both were heavily rejected weren’t they. Never mind. Bad example. *see that! Another example of my lack of verisimilitude! **okay…I looked that big word up too and it’s definition confused the heck outta me but it looked good so I used it anyhow.
As far as the blatant marketing onslaughts of Indie writers are concerned, I too am so sick of their ‘in your face’ begging and gimmicks, and over-exposed advertising. Why not calm down and take it nice and slow like the professionals? Geez…I didn’t even know when the Harry Potter books were coming out or if I could pre-pay for them! And The Twilight and Hunger Games series? I didn’t even realize they were books! It was all so low-key and unobtrusive.
In closing, I just want to say that you, and Andrew Franklin of Profile Books are spot on in your assertion that Indie writers ‘devalue the work of legitimate published authors’ who ‘ have an editor and are considered accomplished, or at least well-read’. I cannot agree with you more! Legitimately published books like ‘Walter The Farting Dog’; ‘How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art’; ‘If You Want Closure in Your Relationship, Start with Your Legs’ and my personal favorite, ‘Natural Bust Enlargement with Total Power: How to Increase the Other 90% of Your Mind to Increase the Size of Your Breasts’ will only lose their well-read followers and highly regarded reputations should Indie writers continue with their uncouth, self-published garbage. Real publishers are necessary to maintain the dignity and pride of the legitimate publishing industry and its commitment to fine literature.
My hat is off to you Sir, and if you don't mind me saying, I was quite smitten with your charming profile picture. I can only hope you will write an article soon that advises us all on how to choose the perfect photograph for our author’s page, online blogs or dust jackets. Your talents run in so many directions!
Sincerely yours in writing,