Friday, July 29, 2011 | By: Angela Brown

TGIF! Heck yeah! The weekend cometh!

It's Friday.  So what time is it?  It's time to get something off my chest.

Now, to be honest with you, I managed to make it through this entire week without something I thought was rant-worthy...until I read the latest blog by Amanda Hocking.  Mind you, it isn't Amanda Hocking I want to rant about.  It has to do with some of the reaction to her recent decision to accept a book deal with one of the Big 6.  You can check out her blog by clicking here.

I thought it was rather down-to-earth of her to post this blog because it shows she has a concern for her readers and understandably doesn't want them to feel disenfranchised.  That's commendable.  But then there is the reference that sent my blood a-boiling...that this decision makes her a 'sell out'.  Selling out to who?  Selling her books to a publisher who will be able to get them mass paperback produced, boxed in cute trilogy sets and placed on end cap display at Wal-Mart, Target or even Costco (does Costco sell books?)???  Really?  Selling out because she was given the option for a big advance and like any business savvy person, she took it?  Hello...she'd already made a cool million or two with her e-books so money wasn't a big motivator.  I'm just putting this out there because if that's the case, then most writers have a little sell out in them.  Otherwise, no one would query an agent, query an editor or ever hope our story could get optioned by some producer in Hollywood (Hello Jerry Bruckheimer or David Heyman!  If you're reading this, call me!)

I'd like to say I'm coming to her defense, but I don't know her personally.  Plus, she's a grown woman quite capable of defending herself so she doesn't need piddly ol' me.  I'm standing up for all of us who write because, darn it...we love it.  And by gosh, who wouldn't be thrilled if a well-financially-backed publisher decided that our story, whether already published or just fresh on the scene, was worth being picked up?  To be called 'sell out' for one heck of a good business move is sad.  But I suppose that sort of criticism comes with the territory.

As a reader, I look forward to getting the trilogy when it gets published.  From what I understand, the books will get the kind of editorial scrubbing needed to improve upon the reading experience.

So I wonder, what are your thoughts?  Should an e-book writer be considered a 'sell out' if/when they get picked up by one of the Big 6?  As a reader, would you be upset that a favorite e-book writer changed publishing avenues?  Even though my rant clearly shows I think she made a smart decision, perhaps a comment here can put things into a perspective I hadn't considered.  So please share.  That's what this is all about.


Raelyn Barclay said...

I haven't been following the Amanda Hocking story outside of occasionally hearing bits and pieces. This whole thing goes back to the post Maria did on my blog last week. Some people just have too much time on their hands.

As a reader, I don't care how the story gets to me as long as it does. I'm not an e-book exclusive reader, more of a hybrid. Favorite e-books that come out in paper get bought just as favorite paper sometimes get picked up in e-book.

That being said, for a series to start in one format and change mid-series bugs me beyond words. So far I've only encountered this between hard cover and paperback but I'm sure at some point it will happen with e-books. I'm not sure what I'll do if/when that happens.

Great post.

Angela Brown said...

@ Raelyn - Thank you so much for bringing up a very good point. I can certainly see concern due to the format change occurring mid series.

And you are right. Just get me the story, whether e-book, hardcover or paperback. If it's great...that's all I need.

Shelley Munro said...

I wonder what decision the naysayers would make in the same situation? I know what I would do. It's plain economics.

I haven't followed the whole thing, but won't the publisher put her books out in e-format as well anyway? That's what happens to most print books now.

Angela Brown said...

@ Shelley - I believe they will put them out in e-format as well. I'm guessing some of the chatter comes from the difference in price. Since it'll be one of the Big 6, there will be an increase. From what I read, Amanda is working to keep the prices as comparable as possible...but I guess we'll see what happens.

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