Friday, June 22, 2012

The Holdouts

I've used cold war analogies for the ongoing battle in the publishing industry, but today I'm switching to WWII.

After the war, there were Japanese soldiers who carried on guerilla actions among the Pacific islands for years after 1945. Attempts to convince these men that war was over often met with disaster. They simply could not wrap their heads around the fact that the Japanese Empire would surrender to an upstart country like the U.S.

Sixty-seven years later though, both Japan and the U.S. still exist. Maybe they're not always the best of buddies, but diplomatic relations exist. Trade exists. Cultural exchange exists.

But both countries realize that everyone loses if someone pulls out the A-bombs again.

Publishing is in that odd position right now where the war's over but there's quite a few folks who don't want to admit it. In publishing, it's on both sides though.

A couple of days ago, Kristine Kathryn Rusch posted a very sad blog. She was targeted and trashed by folks on a listserve she'd belonged to for years as being pro-indie. These folks obviously don't read her blog. Kris is not pro-indie or pro-trad. She's very much PRO-WRITER.

Something similar happened last year, when J.A. "Joe" Konrath signed a deal with a major publisher. (And you can argue all you want, but Amazon is now a major publisher.) He was considered a traitor to the indie cause. And despite what people consider Joe's "attitude," he's in the same PRO-WRITER boat as Kris.

The PRO-WRITER boat means you, the writer, doing what's best for yourself, not following the crowd. For some people, that means signing  a deal with a traditional house. For others, that means self-publishing. And still for others, it means playing in both sandboxes.

E-books are not going away. Neither are paper books. Continuing to fight a war that's done and ignoring everyone who tells you it's over is unhealthy. Someone's going to get hurt. And it's not worth it.

Go back to writing your stories, folks. The war's over.

** The picture is of Lt. Hiroo Onoda, one of the most famous of the Japanese holdouts. Japanese and Philippine authorities flew in his former commanding officer to officially relieve Onoda of duty, making Onoda the only holdout who did not surrender and was not killed. This picture is believed to be in the public domain.


  1. Do writers ever really really stop writing?

  2. Ivy, I'd rather the writers be writing marvelous, wonderful stories that I can read rather than producing what amounts to Unabomber-type manifestos.