Wil Wheaton and the Lulu debate

I’ve been a fan of Wil Wheaton’s blog for a couple of years now. For those who may not know, Wil is an actor, he was Gordie in Stand by Me and Wesley Crusher in ST:TNG. He’s gone on to create one of my favorite blogs, and has written some pretty damn good books. 

He’s also done something that took me by surprise; he published something using Lulu, and has had a bit of success with it. Granted, he has name recognition, and that helps far more than anything else could. However, I also think he is in some ways doing a disservice to would be or wannabe writers by his endorsement of self publishing.  For those familiar with my blog, and the Legion of Nitwits, you know there are some who should have their writing implements taken away. There are also some-I’ll say many-who should be barred from publishing their own work. Most delude themselves into thinking they’ll be able to make a living from what they do, and sadly that’s not the case.  Even writers who get published from small press or larger press publishers still have to supplement their income by other means.  For every Stephen King, there are thousands of writers who will never be able to support themselves from their writing.  

Being the type of person I am, I made this comment on his blog, and needless to say the poddites were swarming over my remarks. One person mentioned this piece in the NY Times http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/28/books/28selfpub.html?_r=1&pagewanted=2 . And in all fairness I think the article articulates my position more than those of the self publishing industry.

Of course, authors who take this route also give up a lot. Not only do they receive no advance payments, but they also often must pay out of their own pockets before seeing a dime. They do not have the benefit of the marketing acumen of traditional publishers, and have diminished access to the vast bookstore distribution pipeline that big publishers can provide.

Still, many self-publishing companies allow authors to take more than the traditional royalty of 15 percent of the cover price on hardcovers and 10 percent or less on paperbacks.

And while they may get more than the traditional royalty, twice nothing is still nothing. The last sentence in the article, really illustrates the problem,

Diamonds in the rough, though, remain the outliers. “For every thousand titles that get self-published, maybe there’s two that should have been published,” said Cathy Langer, lead buyer for the Tattered Cover bookstores in Denver, who said she had been inundated by requests from self-published authors to sell their books. “People think that just because they’ve written something, there’s a market for it. It’s not true.”

The fact is, if you have the talent, and a story worth reading, it will get published. People send one thing out and it gets rejected and get discouraged. Rather than maybe reworking the story, or sending it out somewhere else, they resort to self publishing. The thought that what they wrote isn’t worth the paper they pay to print it on never crosses their mind. 

Let’s not forget also, POD and self publishing are two different things. Self publishers and vanity presses like Lulu may use POD technology but the result is still the same: untold numbers delude themselves into thinking that they’ll be on the bestseller lists simply by paying for the privilege of killing a few trees.

Full Metal Sleepsack

With TP II and IV being pulled because of Nikita not paying an author brave enough to fight back, La Femme, does what he’s best at, whining on his blog. His first entry for consideration is his rant about the author, who had the nerve to complain to Lulu, about a book with her story, that she hadn’t been paid for. 

 I should have guessed I was dealing with total cunt

Yeah, imagine someone expecting to be paid for their work! That cunt! See, Nickita doesn’t mind stealing work when it suits HIS purposes, but cries foul (and a whole load of other stuff) when someone parodies his own illiterate ramblings. 

I spoke to lulu.com about it and told them exactly what is going on. They are going to help me get the master copies of Tabloid Purposes II and the cover art back

Uhm, these are the same master copies you said you already have on your deviant art blog? do you even know what truth is? Can you even spell it?

Well moving on, he next whines about his conservative views being picked on.

I can’t voice a Conservative point of view on here. Since when was it illegal to have a Conservative Bias?

It’s not Nikita. In fact there are many conservative bloggers out there. The difference is, they don’t openly advocate the beating up of gays for entertainment purposes. They don’t post death threats on blogs. They don’t screw their authors for self published anthologies. They offer incite into their views on the world. 

 Go ahead and get the ass fuck organization on my ass, I am really not afraid there. 

Yes, we know how much you like having your ass fucking organized. Maybe you can put a hole in your sleepsack for easy access; though really, you’re a big enough asshole without doing that.

and for good measure, and if you have the stomach for it, Nikita was over on Rusty with his hate speech against Kody Boye. good going La Femme Nikita, does picking on a minor make you feel better about yourself? http://therustynail.wordpress.com/2008/09/17/boycott-my-renegade-author/#comments