Low-Hanging Fruit

I am really sick of talking about Hugh Howey. But not anywhere near as sick as I of hearing about him. I think I’ve stood fairly alone in this for a while, but he has always bugged me (you might have picked up on this).

The thing you always heard about him was he’s so nice. And I went, ok, maybe he is. I don’t know the guy, right? He always struck me as self-righteous, but hey, maybe that’s just me.

Turns out I was right. (EDIT: Apparently he’s deleted it and replaced in with a weak-ass apology) (EDIT, Edit: J. Bridger took some screencaps. Thanks!)

Here’s the thing: I don’t want to be right. At least, not like this. There are so many problems with his rant, it’s hard to know where to start. There are two main issues, though:

1) It’s sexist. This is the big one, make no mistake. I won’t pretend, as some do, that this is 2013 we’re past this. It’s 2013 and people are still sexist and racist and all manner of stupid things. It shouldn’t exist in any time. Suck it, b****h is only appropriate in one context, and that’s between two consenting adults, not a blog post about a stranger who got under your skin. I’m not going to go in depth on this, because it’s just wrong, we all know it’s wrong and if I have to explain to you why it’s wrong, you are probably reading the wrong blog.

2) It misses the point. Again. This is my bigger problem with Howey, professionally. He goes on and on about how much you can make self-publishing, but never does anything to, you know, make it better. Well, I get good reviews. Well, lots of people make money off it. This is not news. As Corissa tells me all the time, show don’t tell. Show us the quality works. Champion the little guy who gets no press who wrote a quality book. But, no, he goes with his standard get-rich-quick pitch and pulls out Big Al’s Books and Pals? Good for you and all, but that’s hardly a Hugo. Maybe she was dumb and wrong in thinking awards are the end-all, be-all of publishing success… but way to stoop to her level and lose. Way to help the self-publishing cause (incidentally, Seannan McGuire’s self-published ‘In Sea-Salt Tears IS nominated for a Hugo. Maybe mention that). He’s just so off-base as to what the real issues are, it makes my head spin.

2b) It wasn’t that bad. For crying out loud, I encounter ruder people in parking lots. Grow some skin, dude.

5 thoughts on “Low-Hanging Fruit

  1. Chris says:

    We live in an age of social media, and *sigh* ‘personal brands’. Authors, especially self published authors, are marketing themselves alongside their books. Chuck Wendig’s a good example. I bought his book because I like the content he puts out on Terribleminds.

    Hugh Howey, up until today, was a little annoying with the “self-publishing is the only way” shtick, but it was that post earlier that really put me off. I was on the fence about picking up Wool, but now I doubt I’ll bother. I know the mantra is to separate the artist from the art, but in an age where the artist is more visible than ever, it’s not quite so simple.

  2. twistedscifi says:

    Dean, as a fellow blogger, one of the benefits of having a blog is that we can use it to share our opinions with others. While I like that you’ve shared your opinion about Hugh Howey, I must disagree.

    I confess that I’m not privy to the offending text that was published, but it seems reasonable that if you or I posted something on our blog and received feedback that it was offensive that we’d probably want to remove it so as not to continue to offend people.

    Also, how is Hugh Howey NOT a huge inspiration to self-published authors? He self-published, sold a ton of books and then got picked up by a big-name publisher on his terms. What author wouldn’t want to do that? It’s awesome and empowering!

    Finally, as a huge Science Fiction fan and curator of a humble Science Fiction review blog, I must say that Hugh Howey was gracious enough to share a FREE autographed copy of Wool for me to raffle off to our readers. This was well after he was already famous, and from my perspective a genuinely nice, authentic thing to do. Bottom line is that I think Hugh is a talented author and good, hard-working guy who made a mistake with something he posted, and took steps to address it.

    • deanfortythree says:

      I think he IS a huge inspiration to self-published authors, and that’s the problem- he ignores the real issues facing self-publishing tell everyone how much money he/others have made. And, as I’ve said before, good for him. I’m not arguing or begrudging his success- I’m saying he flies a very self-righteous and misleading flag because of it.

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