JA Konrath has been a pioneer in self-publishing. Those of us who have traveled down the self- publishing road know of him. His blog, his opinions, his books. He's been a man who has stood up for his right to publish. A man who has been vocal in his distaste for publishing. And a successful self publishing author (who of course build his audience with a traditional publisher).
Every year, Konrath lists his New Years Resolutions and sometimes gives his prediction for indie publishing for the year to come.
This year JA Konrath's big statement - is telling indie authors and writers to "Get over yourself and just write."
For years, JA Konrath has promoted social networking, connected with readers, supported indie publishing, and helped authors move forward in their goal of publishing.
But now that he's made it big - he suddenly preaches, "Go on your own and forget everyone who helped you get there?" which of course was picked up by MediaBistro.
I'm sorry Mr. Konrath, but for once, I respectfully disagree with your post. I dont want to start a battle with him because to be frank he would chew me up and spit me out.
But this hypocrisy is what bothers me about some big-time authors. Self published or traditionally published.
They network with writers, connect with readers, network, blog and then when they make it big (usually with the help of those people) - they suddenly decide they don't have time for it anymore.
They decide they should just focus on themselves.
All in the name of writing.
Don't get me wrong, I think we do need to focus on writing more. The craft. Creating good stories. Spend less time online. But this to me was a - forget you- kind of statement. Not in the name of craft persay.
This view is a bit distorted. A tad shady. It makes me feel like they're networking just to sell. Not to connect and learn and assist. It's a mentality of "Let's do what we can to meet as many people to get ahead, build readers, and then when we make it really big and boast about sales and money - we don't have time for you anymore."
Now JA Konrath's big revelation is that he just wants to write??
Don't we all?
I understand this view. Sometimes I just want to write. Check out. Be alone. And sometimes I do take that time. But does it have to be all or none?
I kinda feel like I have somewhat of an obligation to continue connecting with those I've met along the way. Those I've been connecting with. Those who have helped me. To respond to readers who give my book a chance. To connect with authors. But most of all, to give back to others.
Maybe this is a problem of mine. Maybe this is not the popular view anymore. But I think it should be. Especially if readers and writers are a big part of what got you where you are today.
I understand the need to write and prioritize. But to use the system to your benefit - start a blog, go on Facebook and pretend to connect, - make it big, and then back-out or disconnect when paychecks get too big and your name gets known - is a crappy thing to do.
What Konrath forgets is there are many authors who make it big and DON'T forget their readers, still talk at conferences to help writers, and maintain connections who helped them. They are able to do both. Sometimes one may falter but they try. maybe not equally but at least a little.
I hope as I continue to grow my career and explore different paths that I continue to blog, tweet, connect, share, and help others. I hope I don't blow people off.
I don't think it has to be one or the other. I think I can write and still make time to connect.
Will I be able to do all of this every day or as much as I have in the past? No.
Will I let people down? Probably.
But will I try? Yes.
Will I make a declaration that I no longer have time for readers, writers, or the publishing industry? Never. Because that is not what I believe.
Bestselling authors would not be where they are without the community of writers and their loyal readers.
What are your thoughts?