Writer L.J. Sellers Asks The Question Of 2009
The big discussion at Dorothly L this week is about the author rule for conventions, particularly Bouchercon, which had lax rules. Left Coast Crime in Denver this year apparently had a stricter rule, and as a result, some authors were offended and did not attend.
Boiled down, The Rule (as it is known) is that if an author participates financially in the production or editing of his/her own work, then that person is excluded as an author. It seems that the purpose of the rule is to keep self-published authors from wearing a badge that says “author” and from participating on panels. Exceptions are made for authors who have been short-listed for awards or won awards.
I think it’s safe to say that all publishers want their authors to participate financially in the marketing of their novels. Why is it okay for authors to spend thousands of dollars on travel, bookmarks, and mailing free copies to book clubs, but if they spend their own money to hire a graphic designer to produce a better cover than what their publisher has in mind, then suddenly they are not a real author?
Next year, economy willing, eBooks will really begin to break out.
If someone offers his or her eBooks via the (god forbid with its criminal 65-35 split) Kindle Store, never having them before blessed by a dying dinosaur of print, is that person an author?
Is that person an author if those eBooks sales kick the living fucking shit out of your print sales?
Is that person an author if his or her eBook is mentioned all over the Internet while your printed book can’t be found mentioned anywhere on the Internet except the site of your dying dinosaur of print publisher and your own blog — and can’t even be found when looked for on the shelves of Borders and Barnes & Noble?
Oh yes, 2009 is going to be a pivotal year for writers.