Passive Guy reblogs Flame Wars and F**kwads on The Passive Voice
...and now, back to our original post:
An Apt Analogy, or Trivializing?
There's been a lot of talk since then about Mr. Stackpole's use of the term "house slaves" trivializing the horrors of American slavery. In fact, there's been a lot more talk about that than about the actual points Mr. Stackpole makes in that post, and in subsequent ones (Swimming Lessons for House Slaves, and Degrees of Slavery), about the economic and contractual inequalities that have always been part of the publishing industry, and the notion that with the predominance of digital delivery and the move towards independent publishing, the balance of power has shifted to the authors.
In addition to Mr. Stackpole's writings, blog posts and comments by Dean Wesley Smith, Kris Rusch, Joe Konrath, and Barry Eisler, to name a few really smart people with their fingers on the pulse of publishing, have been trying to explain the inadvisability of throwing all your eggs into what they believe is a sinking basket. And they've been attracting no small amount of hostility from writers who are doing just that, and from others who insist on attacking Mr. Stackpole's choice of analogies, for instance, or Mr. Konrath's tone of voice, because they can't or won't debate the actual points they're making.
On Not Being a Raging Fuck-Wad
Today, Tobias Buckell posted a journal entry taking Mike Stackpole to task for his choice of words. He titled it "Self publishing doesn't mean you have to be a raging fuck wad." He's quite angry about the "house slave" language, and he does make an attempt to debate Mr. Stackpole's points, but he gets his facts wrong. He claims neither Konrath nor Eisler are independent authors: "They’ve both exchanged one corporate relationship for another. So anyone who champions them as self publishing masters immediately demonstrates a lack of perception."...and..."...neither of them sell direct via websites with their own turnkey credit card systems like anyone actually *serious* about disintermediation..."
I'm not sure who died and put Mr. Buckell in charge of defining "*serious* about disintermediation," but a quick fact-check would have shown that both authors have traditional publishing deals for some of their books, other books they publish independently, and of course their famous contracts with Amazon, and that between them they sell dozens of books from their websites. "Want to read about changes in the field, want to read about the business?" Mr. Buckell asks. "Start finding people who are utilizing all the options available." Well, Mr. Buckell may not like these three authors, but they are pretty well known to utilize all the options available, and I'm amazed he's not aware of that, since it's a key point of his criticism.
“I’m tired of hearing their vile denunciations of everyone and everything," he continues. "...I hear these types on the radio...they’re no different than Rush Limbaugh or anyone else.” These don't strike me as useful or reasonable arguments in a post warning of the dangers of fuckwaddery. Vile denunciations? Everyone and everything? Rush Limbaugh or anyone else? I'd be saying this in the comments on his blog, but he doesn't allow comments.
In the Midst of Rage, Some Sage Advice
Mr. Buckell is, of course, within his rights to dislike the term "house slave," and to dislike Mssrs. Eisler, Konrath, and Stackpole and their opinions on anything whatsoever to whatever degree he desires. I'd never say otherwise. And he did offer me one piece of advice I intend to follow, so thanks, Mr. Buckell, for this: "Listen to people who don’t have to denigrate, shout, and insult others to make their point."