My "hot button" post yesterday has generated a lot of comments… but I didn’t want two interesting responses to get lost amidst all the discussion about fanfic.
Here’s an excerpt of what PK the Bookeemonster had to say about the influence of crime fiction blogs:
But if blogs went away, I would continue to enjoy books without the
"insider knowledge." And that is a part of it, the insiders versus the
outsiders, and as you stated, there is another dark side to blogging
which is the power the more popular ones have similar to the cliques in
high school all over again: if you’re not in, you’re out. Ken Bruen is
an excellent example. I’ve tried his books and they don’t click with
me; that’s just me and my taste but they’re equally valid as those who
do like his stuff. There is a strong undercurrent in the mystery world
promoting the "coolness" of noir, dark novels which is great but it
shouldn’t come at the expense of any other subgenre. The phenomenon of
blogging is bringing mystery lovers together but also separating us
into niches of us and them.
Author/editor Michael Bracken discussed, among other things, the unfairness of lumping all POD publishers as vanity presses, particularly as it applies to the issue of the MWA restricting active membership to"published authors. Here’s an excerpt:
There must also be an effort to make clear distinctions between
legitimate small presses and self-publishing operations. Unfortunately,
this is difficult to do. For quite some time–and still in the minds of
some–any book printed using print-on-demand technology was
automatically presumed to be less than legitimate. The growing number
of legitimate publishers using PoD technology is changing that
A similar situation applies to on-line and electronic publishers.
The low cost of becoming an electronic publisher means every Joe,
Frank, and Reynolds can be a publisher without any knowledge of
publishing. The few legitimate and legitimately "professional"
electronic markets are difficult to separate from the non-professional.
He also suggests that the MWA might want to consider the upside of expanding the membership rather than restricting it.
MWA currently has the highest annual dues of the four professional
writing organizations to which I belong, without offering significantly
more for the money. Perhaps if we had a few more affiliates carry some
of the organization’s financial weight, we might be able to lower dues
or increase member benefits.
And if we treat aspiring mystery writers as
professionals-in-training, teaching them the things they need to know
to become successfully published, perhaps they will become the future
lifeblood of the MWA. If we turn our backs on them, how long will it be
before the MWA is nothing but geriatric used-to-bes paying outrageous