There’s an interesting discussion going on over a Buzz Balls & Hype, which ran a list last month of author gripes about the publishing biz. Nothing new there. What’s new is author Melanie Hauser’s reaction. Hauser, who’s first novel is coming out in the fall, is tired of authors whining about the state of the business.
My biggest problem with a lot of blogs out there, a lot of the posts on
various forums, articles that are written – is the unrelenting
negativity about the business, with no discussion about the good part
of being published. It seems to me that people approach publishing with
a stunning sense of naivete. Then they complain about it, big time –
and sometimes anonymously – when it turns out to be just a business.
Her comment reminded me of a recent experience. I was one of many novelists invited to speak at a conference attended mostly by aspiring writers. I watched dumbfounded as a panel of successful novelists did nothing but complain about the business and what a raw deal they were getting. The novelists were so wrapped up in their whining, they didn’t see how badly they were flopping with their audience, who came for tips, laughs, and encouragement. Any one of the paying attendees would have gladly traded places with the novelists and assumed their woes (or as my agent calls them, "champagne problems.") I think, at times, we published authors forget just how lucky we are to be living our dreams, even if those dreams aren’t quite as perfect as we imagined.