Wednesday, August 1, 2012


Although British author Ewan Morrison’s article in the Globe and Mail drew 248 comments, and the excerpt on The Passive Voice blog garnered another 54, I’m adding my two-cents’ worth in response to one part of Morrison’s discourse.

I read all the comments on The Passive Voice, and many of the 248 on the original article, and I can assure you those opinions were right on. The article was another rant by a traditionally published author who can’t accept that publishing has changed and insists that because of the “digital masses,” there will soon be “no more professional writers.”

Not only are we self-published writers “professional,” that is, being paid, but we’re obviously growing in number. Morrison also shows his arrogance by saying, “I have been making culture professionally for twenty years.” Making culture? He’s not going to wait for history to define his place in the literary world?

Scott Turow (president of the Writers Guild) is quoted as saying, “It (indie publishing) doesn’t allow young writers to flourish.” Is he kidding? Traditional publishers have always favored best selling writers and closed its gates to newcomers. To say, as Morrison does, that the fact Amanda Hocking and E.L. James are now signed with big publishers proves that “all sign a ‘proper publishing deal’ as soon as they are able,” means he conveniently forgets the best-selling authors who turned down million-dollar offers to stay Indie.

I am still a small fish in this big pond, but have been published by traditional publishers as well as digitally. I have no quarrel with either camp. I just resent being told I’m the death of good books and bookstores.

Several years ago, I wrote a memoir, The Green Bough, based on the experiences of my husband’s aunt, who was a schoolteacher in a logging camp in Oregon in 1913. The book won several contests and was praised for “great writing” and “intriguing characters and incidents.” However, after being turned down numerous times because it didn’t fit a publisher’s “current requirements,” or “wasn’t marketable,” I gave up. Finally I self-published because I wanted Aunt Gladys’s relatives to know of her accomplishments. I sold three e-books of that title last week, and--when I attend the two Book Fairs every year--it’s always one of my top sellers in trade paper. In addition, readers come back and tell me how much they enjoyed it and even sent it to their aunts or cousins.

I’m proud to be a member of the “digital masses,” and Mr. Morrison can go whine somewhere else. Do you agree?

The Green Bough

Barnes & Noble


Ewan Morrison
The Passive Voice
Amanda Hocking
E.L. James
The Green Bough


  1. PUblishing is changing, but I'm sill confident there is room for everyone and great stories will still rise above as word of mouth spreads...

    Great blog Phyllis!!! :)


    1. Lisa:
      Thanks for the comment. I agree there's room for all, and I think, when all this finally settles out, publishers of all kinds will remain. I'm just going to read a contract more closely.

  2. I really enjoy your blog! Self-publishing is a wonderful tool for writers in my opinion. "Digital masses" aren't going anywhere. I've read some great books that were self-publushed such as Sheryn MacMunn's "Finding Out". I'm looking forward to reading your novel, The Green Bough. Currently enjoying Cold April.


Speak to me! I'm listening!