A Message from Kristin Nelson
Because Readers Can't Possibly Know What's Good for Them…
Last week I sat on a panel at the CONTEC conference in Frankfurt. One panelist resurrected an old argument I haven’t heard in a while–that in the Wild West of self-publishing, the important role of curation by professionals has gone missing.
As if agents and editors have the sole right to be the arbitrators of taste and the decision-makers about what gets published.
If you are feeling riled, you have a right to.
What that assumes about readers and the general public is dangerous. Readers are not stupid. They can decide for themselves what’s worthy of their time to read. Do I admit that a lot of self-published material out there could use a good dose of editing and proofing? Of course. But if the readers don’t care, should we? Does the growing body of self-published work really diminish the literary canon? Should the industry keep important voices from being heard just because those authors can’t get a publisher’s attention or support? I’m assuming that is the argument, as some beloved writers of today may not have been discovered had it not been for a publisher who believed in and supported that author for years before they achieved good sales and general discovery.
But I don’t think self publishing interferes with the ability of the publishers to still do the same.
In short, I abhor literary snobbery and the assumption that the collective “we” of publishing knows best about what consumers ought to read versus what they want to read.
Besides, like Angry Birds, that was so yesterday. Candy Crush is what rules now.