Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Thursday 7 June 2012

With thanks to Neil Gaiman

I have come to understand that some people agree with me about the things that I say in this blog, and some people do not. 

I have come to understand that my viewpoint is my own, and that there’s very little I can do to change another person’s mind about anything.
This has been particularly true on the subject of self-publishing, which I have written about in "Self-Publishing" and in "Self-Publishing Part the Second", and which I suspect I will write about again. Those posts are popular, mostly because I get in a bit of a snark about things, but read the comments and you will notice that the readers who seem concerned with the subject broadly disagree with me. That is their privilege.
Once in a while, I find myself agreeing with someone else, and I’m always rather pleased when that someone else is someone that people listen to. (Honestly, I don’t expect anyone to listen to me, at least not often or for very long).
The very talented and ever-popular Mr Neil Gaiman (Twitter: @neilhimself) tweeted very recently on the subject of Yog’s Law. He was clearly promoting the idea, and I found myself on precisely the same page that he was on.
In my blog, “why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free” I vilified someone for not expecting payment for a freelance job that they took on, and I still believe I was right. If we are professionals then we should be paid for the work we do, and, if we are amateurs who want to become professionals, better we don’t get a reputation for doing jobs for nothing.
Well, I say, of course it does!
Writers do not pay money to be published. Writers do not pay for editing services, for book jacket designs, for marketing, for printing or for distributing books. Writers do not pay agents for services ahead of earning any money for the words. 
It used to be called Vanity Publishing, and it was always considered a sordid little business by the industry, nasty and exploitative. Now we call it self-publishing and we gloss over the fact that it is the same thing. If you are a writer, paying money out is just plain daft. 
So, thank you Neil Gaiman for pointing this out again, on Twitter the other day.
Read a much better argument than I’m ever likely to make, here, and then come back and disagree with me and Neil. Go on, I dare you!

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