Saturday, March 31, 2012

A literary Wild West

I posted this on a LinkedIn discussion of writers, agents and publishers. It was in reply to an author who came out against any "filtering" of books, even if only  to mark the praiseworthy: 

I applaud your selection of reviewera: the welders, waitresses, bus drivers and soldiers of the world. You may know who your readers are and they are Everyman/woman. So far so good.

If your only purpose is to reach them, and they can find you in a sea of a virtual debris of words, ill-applied, misspoken and misspelled in sometimes incoherent sentences, you don't need anyone on your individual Island.

But I frankly dislike when my name of independently published author is thrown into a literary Wild West free-for-all. In the movies I grew up on, one could right away tell the white hats from the black hats. Not in the self-publishing wilderness, where every technologically savvy but linguistically challenged school evader can inflict his version of  English on the unsuspecting public.

That is why I am in favor of "putting white hats" on books: telling the public where it can expect the bona fides? And that is what you can find in Those who tell it shouldn't or can't be done won't stop us from securing the access of good self-published books into bookstores and libraries.

Be a Grok, too. From your flood-proof ground, join the good guys.