Sunday, May 18, 2014

RT 2014

So, as many of you know, I was super bummed and equal parts depressed that I couldn't make it to NOLA this year.

Like, SUPER bummed. Almost to the point of tears I tell you, tears! And I *never* cry.

Ok, wait. I *almost* never cry...cause, you know, I'm really a big softy at heart and will still cry at a certain Budweiser commercial from the 2014 Superbowl filled with puppies and Clydesdales! Neither here nor there...

But, I had planned to go this year. Like seriously planned. I had the hotel booked, fees paid, car prepped - I was gonna drive because Nawlins is only 8 hrs. away...

Then real life decided to rear it's ugly head and I couldn't. So, I let everyone know, cancelled everything then sat here all week long, seeing the pics on FB and Instagram and Twitter and was extremely jealous! (Don't get me wrong, I'm thrilled all my friends had an AWESOME time, but still, I had the little green monster on my shoulder all week. I'm a big girl, I can admit it! Don't judge me!)

Then...this morning, I see this article from the fantastic Hugh Howey. He's a pioneer to Indies like myself, along with other greats that broke into the Self-Publishing Arena and cut a swath so that someone like *me* could do the same.

As I read it, my gut literally broiled with rage. Not at anyone in particular, but more FOR my friends and fellow Indie Authors!

How dare someone, ANYONE call Liliana Hart "Aspiring"!?!?! Are you kidding me? Seriously? Have these people not looked at the last few months of the NYT and USA Bestseller lists?

Apparently not, because that's exactly what seems to have happened at the big Book Fair. Authors who probably sell more than the top 10 of the Big 5 in a single day, were sat off in a tiny little room with signage that said "Aspiring Authors". While those same "Top 10" who you rarely see on the NYT or USA with any consistence any more, had a great, big, giant ballroom with tables and chairs and etc. all to themselves.

I guess what saddens me about this is, we're out here, Indies that is, working just as hard, if not harder, than authors with the Big 5 -- or is it Four now? I get confused -- pimping our work anywhere we can find, dragging our tired assess to event after event, on our OWN dimes most of the time, and we still to get called, "Aspiring"???

It's been years ladies and gentlemen, since the first of us said, "You know what? I can do this without you!" and did! Whomever it was, wrote the book, edited the book, formatted the book and published the book, by him or herself and frankly the Indie set has never looked back!

And we never will!

So, guess what Big 5/4, we're here to stay. Get over yourself! Suck it up, pull up your big girl panties and keep moving over. Cause, we're taking over, whether you like it or not!

Please, don't misunderstand me. I'm not directing my comments to the Authors who still write and publish with the Big 4/5. I'm not. I hold those who can tolerate the interference of the Corporate Formula at the highest level of respect. You definitely have more tolerance than I, and for that I applaud you. I do.

And there are still a few of you whose work I truly enjoy. (I'm looking at you Jill Slavis, Lori Foster, Catherine Coulter.) You ladies, and gents, have been on my "auto-buy" list for a long time and that's not going to change, I assure you!

I just hope, someday, you'll wake up and realize you can do so much better without...them! Maybe if you did "come to the dark side" as it were, they would wake up and say, "Um, guys? Maybe we should re-think this whole Indie group of people. We just lost one of our best and brightest over here...ya think there might be something to it??"

I know, I know, that's a pipe dream on my part, but hey, I'm one of those "Aspiring Authors" too, so let me have my dreams people! Cause, my dreams are what got me started in the crazy, wonderful, awe-inspiring world of Indie publishing in the first place!

Anyway, I'll hop off my soapbox now, I will. Sorry to rant your ears off, but it just burns me up when stuff like this still happens! *sighs*

So, until next time. (I promise my next blog will be much more fun!)

Thanks for stopping by.

Margaret Taylor

PS: If you did go to NOLA, and had a good time, please, feel free to share the fun and joy in a comment below. I have to live vicariously somehow, ya know???


  1. There were a lot of complaints about the book signing event. I'm disappointed that RT still thinks of self-pubbed or indie pubbed as not as good as the big 5/4. I hope they realize what happened and make some changes next year.

    1. I hope so too Ms. Melissa, I really do. Cause Dallas is a LOT closer than Nawlins and I'd really like to go. If for no other reason than to hang out with my friends. BUT, at the same time, if the organizers are going to continue to treat Indies with such blatant disrespect, I'm not so sure I wanna give 'em MY hard earned $$ either. *sighs*

      Sadly, I fear it's a catch-22 at the same time...:(

  2. I didn't sign this year due to timing and all, but I got to play entourage to my best friend and critique partner, Josephine Templeton, as she signed (and played Promo JoJo) all week. We were actually happy about the booksigning. Indies/Small Press authors were on the same day, on the same floor. It could have been so much worse. I don't know what all the complaints were but I know she was thrilled.

    The nicest parts for me were that people saw my "published author" flag and treated me like royalty. One reader gave me a hand painted skull with a pink bow pin and two women told me the drove from Baton Rouge to NOLA just for MY signature on their Nook Covers!! (and these women come our luncheon every year so they could have just waited to see me at home!).

    1. Oh Nancy, I'm so glad you and Josephine had a great time!

      I think the complaints came from the signing more than the rest of the Con. Apparently in the literature that was sent as part of signing up for the Book Fair, things were promised to all Authors, which just didn't happen.

      Kendall Grey talked about it on her FB page today:

  3. Wow! That's a knock down by the big four/five, Margaret. Did that happen in Kansas City last year? If so, no one said anything, and I knew a lot of people who went.

    1. I don't think it did Sandy. Of course, I can't be quoted on that, mainly b/c I wasn't really around during RT last year - I had yet to publish my first book, didn't have a FB presence and so on. I haven't *heard* anyone compare the two, yet, but peeps are still making their way back home today, so it could happen.

      I'm keeping an eye out for feedback on FB and Twitter and what not. Mostly because if this is going to be a consistent "thing" with the organizers of RT, I'm gonna have to re-think 2015...

    2. I was at the Indie signing last year in Kansas City. Now granted, the RT people are not responsible for the blizzard in May in KC. But they were responsible for pushing Indie, e-, and graphic novels to a separate day. I sold 1 book. And don't even get me started on the process as an Indie to get my books to the conference, to the book fair, and back home again.

    3. I heard something happened this year as well. I don't remember exactly *who* was talking about it, but one of the Authors had all the books they'd shipped to the hotel stolen. Again, not sure who it was, only saw it in passing, but yeah.

      I also heard the process this year for Indies to sign up to sell and be reimbursed was horrendous! Again, not sure who said it, but that's another complaint going around about the whole thing.

      I think, IF I decide to go next year, it'll be as a fan/reader. But, I might not. It's Dallas, so not a lot to do outside of the conference - not like NOLA anyway - so the only real reason I'd attend at this point, especially after hearing all of this years trials and tribulations, would be to hang out with my friends...

  4. I'm surprised that RT planners didn't catch this before it happened. Aspiring? If B&N did this, shame on them.

    1. HI Marianne,

      I honestly think it was a combination of both. The RT Organizers & B&N, which sponsored most of the event from what I hear.

      I think B&N put pressure on the organizers to segregate the two because they don't stock/promote Indies as heavily as other retailers. And we all know B&N is cash strapped and slowly going down the drain, despite all their attempts to dig their claws in and stay. (Honestly, they just can't compete with Amazon and personally I think they waited *too* long to become involved with the eBook revolution. Unlike Amazon, who practically pioneered the ability to self-pub for peeps like me and others.)

      Personally, I *hate* trying to post my work to B&N. I really do. I suffer with it, but it's a time consuming chore that is not user-friendly or in the least bit streamlined. Amazon I can do in less than 10 minutes for an upload and it's usually live in less than a day. B&N takes me an hour - sometimes more if their site is acting up - and may and/or may NOT be live within 48 hours, again depending on if their site is acting up.

      I'm almost at the point where I'm gonna let Smashwords handle the upload to B&N but that's even worse and it takes weeks to go from one to other...

      It's a catch-22 for Indies and we all know it. *sighs*