From LouisvilleKY.com, a follow-up by reporter and author Leslea Tash on Sue Grafton’s statements about self-publishing:
Ms. Grafton approached me for advice about responding to the ire, and what followed was a lengthy back-and-forth via email. I hope that if you were one of the many authors who took offense to her remarks you will read her clarification, which follows:
I’d appreciate a chance to clarify the remark I made in the recent interview you posted. I meant absolutely no disrespect for e-publishing and indie authors. I came into the business in the 1960′s with the publication of Keziah Dane…1967 and The Lolly-Madonna War in 1969. In those days, a writer’s only hope for a writing career was to be accepted by a traditional New York publisher. I wrote three novels that were routinely rejected before I stuck them in a drawer. The fourth full-length novel I wrote, I submitted to what was then called The Anglo-American Book Award contest, which I did not win. I did receive an offer from a British publisher for 375 pounds (roughly 375 dollars in those days) for the publication of Keziah Dane. On the advice of an old war horse screen writer in Santa Barbara, I used that offer to acquire an American agent who then found me an American publisher. The subsequent novel I wrote was deemed too violent for American audiences and it was published in England only. The sixth and seventh full-length novels I wrote were never published and the eighth was ‘A’ IS FOR ALIBI.
I report this in some detail because as a result I have five unpublished novels still packed away in cardboard boxes, assuming I could lay hands on them which I’m not sure I can.
. . . .
I don’t understand the mechanics of e-publishing and I still don’t understand how you can earn money thereby but I realize now that many indie writers are doing well financially and netting themselves greater visibility than I had any reason to believe.
My remark about self-publishing was meant as a caution, which I think some of you finally understood when we exchanged notes on the subject. When I’m asked for advice I warn many writers about the charlatans lurking out there. I warn about the risk of being taken in by those who promise more than they actually deliver and do so at a writers expense. My other point, which I didn’t delineate in that interview, was that the struggle is what teaches us. Learning to be resilient, learning to have courage, learning to take rejection in stride…these are some of the ways the system schools us as painful as it is. It’s clear to me now that indie writers have taken more than their fair share of hard knocks and that you are actually changing the face of publishing. Who knew?! This is a whole new thrust for publication that apparently everyone has been aware of except yours truly. I still don’t understand how it works, but I can see that a hole has been blasted in the wall, allowing writers to be heard in a new way and on a number of new fronts.
Link to the rest at LouisvilleKY.com