Comments for The Passive Voice https://www.thepassivevoice.com A Lawyer's Thoughts on Authors, Self-Pub and Traditional Publishing Wed, 29 Jan 2020 00:31:44 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on ‘American Dirt’ was supposed to be a publishing triumph. What went wrong? by ABEhrhardt https://www.thepassivevoice.com/american-dirt-was-supposed-to-be-a-publishing-triumph-what-went-wrong/#comment-451115 Wed, 29 Jan 2020 00:31:44 +0000 https://www.thepassivevoice.com/?p=115113#comment-451115 Darn it. Now I’m going to have to read the thing. Or at least the sample on Amazon, and compare it with my childhood in Mexico. Then I’ll have to see what my sisters say – they still live there, and I visit when I can.

I was hoping to avoid it – just from the few comments in your post, PG.

The only defense about being someone from outside writing about a community not their own is to do it well, by the judgment of the people in the community. Nothing else is good enough. Anything less is a failure of the writer’s imagination and creativity.

Some writers are capable of it for some ‘others,’ and some writers are tone deaf.

Having grown up with a telenovela or two (one of which turned out to be Jane Eyre, set on a ranch in Mexico, with horses – creative stealing), the audience who determines if this book is well written includes college-educated women in Mexico. Who may or may not watch telenovelas for the fun of it. Mexican society is as varied as ours, or more, as it has a lot of European influence, but the writer chose to make her heroine someone I might understand.

I’ve added it to the TBR pile.

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Comment on You are standing by ABEhrhardt https://www.thepassivevoice.com/you-are-standing/#comment-451114 Wed, 29 Jan 2020 00:09:33 +0000 https://www.thepassivevoice.com/?p=115855#comment-451114 Never got to play it – too busy in school – but I know what you’re talking about.

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Comment on ‘American Dirt’ was supposed to be a publishing triumph. What went wrong? by Elliot01 https://www.thepassivevoice.com/american-dirt-was-supposed-to-be-a-publishing-triumph-what-went-wrong/#comment-451113 Wed, 29 Jan 2020 00:07:37 +0000 https://www.thepassivevoice.com/?p=115113#comment-451113 Instead of finding, publishing and promoting authentic works, this publisher paid over a million bucks for a shabbily done work just because the author was “one of them”

What is an authentic work, and why should we care?

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Comment on You are standing by PG https://www.thepassivevoice.com/you-are-standing/#comment-451112 Tue, 28 Jan 2020 23:58:19 +0000 https://www.thepassivevoice.com/?p=115855#comment-451112 You’re absolutely right, Maggie!

With your great knowledge, you are unlikely to be eaten by a grue

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Comment on You are standing by mcahogarth https://www.thepassivevoice.com/you-are-standing/#comment-451111 Tue, 28 Jan 2020 23:00:54 +0000 https://www.thepassivevoice.com/?p=115855#comment-451111 Zork!!

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Comment on ‘American Dirt’ was supposed to be a publishing triumph. What went wrong? by mcahogarth https://www.thepassivevoice.com/american-dirt-was-supposed-to-be-a-publishing-triumph-what-went-wrong/#comment-451109 Tue, 28 Jan 2020 22:10:21 +0000 https://www.thepassivevoice.com/?p=115113#comment-451109 Ah, I see! You are coming from a very different place. I make a very comfortable living from my indie books, so I move through a different context. 🙂

I’ll say this: making a living from your books is rare no matter how you publish. Tradpub does not ensure sales. Sales are so anemic in my genre that every time the professional organization argues for yearly requalification (in other words, every year you have to prove you’ve made the bare minimum that would qualify you to be a member), the membership rejects the proposal instantly. Most of them can’t re-qualify: they don’t make enough.

You can sink in this world no matter how you put yourself out there. It makes the decision to embark on a career in it a very serious one.

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Comment on ‘American Dirt’ was supposed to be a publishing triumph. What went wrong? by Alice https://www.thepassivevoice.com/american-dirt-was-supposed-to-be-a-publishing-triumph-what-went-wrong/#comment-451108 Tue, 28 Jan 2020 21:47:55 +0000 https://www.thepassivevoice.com/?p=115113#comment-451108 I understand. I know writers who have had great experiences with trade publishing (I’m sure that, before the controversy broke out, Ms. Cummins would have considered herself to be one), and writers who’ve had crappy experiences (I know one disabled author who has a forthcoming book from Scholastic and is being treated terribly, though part of the blame falls on her agent). However, I also know several writers who’ve self-published, and none of their books have gone anywhere (which is only disappointing if they expected them to, which a couple of them did and a couple didn’t).

I’m planning on trying to get an agent and trade publish my more “literary” work, because unlike some genres there is really no market for self-pubbed lit fic. But I am planning on self-publishing a very dirty sf epic this year, just for fun…if I make back what I’m spending on the cover art, I’ll be shocked and thrilled.

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Comment on ‘American Dirt’ was supposed to be a publishing triumph. What went wrong? by Alice https://www.thepassivevoice.com/american-dirt-was-supposed-to-be-a-publishing-triumph-what-went-wrong/#comment-451107 Tue, 28 Jan 2020 21:40:10 +0000 https://www.thepassivevoice.com/?p=115113#comment-451107 *Nodding slowly* Okay, list of beings incapable of writing their own stories in a form that humans can read, and thus requiring (white) humans to write them if anyone wants to read them: whales, wolves, St. Bernards…Hispanic humans?

Sorry, but I see this argument a LOT (“Guess I can’t write about six-armed purple elves from Venus, ’cause I’m not one!”) and I’d *like* to think the people who make it aren’t considering this part. Sure, write about your six-armed purple Venusian elves, and I’ll vote not to censor you…but *if* real six-armed purple Venusian elves exist, and if they’re literate in human language, be prepared for them to tell you what you got wrong.

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Comment on Grammarly by Catherine Czerkawska https://www.thepassivevoice.com/grammarly/#comment-451106 Tue, 28 Jan 2020 21:38:40 +0000 https://www.thepassivevoice.com/?p=115057#comment-451106 I use only a spellcheck. And a professional editor for full length books – one I trust and who likes my particular style. Otherwise, I think I know better than Grammarly most of the time. (I do. I used to teach this stuff.) But I’ve never understood the US dislike of the passive voice. Not you, obviously! The grammatical one. And things that are routinely flagged up as passive – just aren’t. My PC is littered with files labelled ‘final final final draft’ or variants thereof. I always let a piece of writing lie fallow for a few months and reread it in a different format – sometimes on my Kindle. Whereupon pretty much every error leaps out at me. I still get a literate and pernickety (persnickety? US?) friend to run through the final version to check for typos, punctuation errors etc.

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Comment on ‘American Dirt’ was supposed to be a publishing triumph. What went wrong? by mcahogarth https://www.thepassivevoice.com/american-dirt-was-supposed-to-be-a-publishing-triumph-what-went-wrong/#comment-451105 Tue, 28 Jan 2020 20:40:17 +0000 https://www.thepassivevoice.com/?p=115113#comment-451105 My experiences with tradpub have not led me to expect anything other than caprice, inconsistency, and viciousness from its participants, and particularly its gatekeepers. I’m sure it has its champions, but my reaction to an inherently unfair and subjective set-up is not to be shocked when it continues to be unfair and full of subjective judgment calls.

(Not directing this at you, mind you. I am just reflecting on why my reaction to ‘but they could have given that money to an authentic voice’ is to shrug and think ‘the poor will be with you always.’)

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