Oh you lazy writer

So this link here is to an article with author Sue Grafton who, apparently, believes that self publishing is lazy. Those who self-publish are””too lazy to do the hard work.”

This. Gets. My. Goat.

In what way is it lazy to do all the work yourself? Self-publishers are the ones who are writing, and editing, and proofing, and marketing, and selling their product. That, it seems to me, is a lot of hard work. Do you think we’re sitting around eating bonbon’s and watching soaps? Oh those lazy self-pubs. They’re just goofing around. They’re not serious about their craft. How dare they even call themselves writers?

Are there self-publishers who are less than diligent in their efforts? Sure, just as there are writers who are lazy in their efforts by taking the same characters and re-writing them over and over again.

Theatrefolk started out as a self publishing venture. We had spent five years as a production company and when that burned us out we had a bunch of scripts at our disposal. We could’ve sat around and tried to get other companies to publish them. But we didn’t. We built our company from the ground up, we devised a mission statement and target market, we formatted every proof, we found printers, we created an accounting system specific to our needs…. the list goes on and on and on. We could not and would not be the company we are today if we hadn’t started out as self publishers. We didn’t wait around for someone else to determine if we were deemed suitable – we knew we were and we took charge of our destiny.

Those of us who follow an nontraditional path are often not seen as people who take charge of their destiny. We’re seen as amateurish, illegitimate, not real, not worthy, not up to par with those other folks on their high pedestal staring down their nose. When young writers ask me, “How do I get published?” I try to encourage them to do it on their own, to become self-publishers – this is the age to become self-sufficient, to do the work and reap the reward, to find a direct link to an audience without a middleman…. and I can tell within two seconds how that idea carries too much of a stigma for them to even consider.

The publishing industry is changing and it is not lazy to try to keep up with, or even ahead of those changes.


About the author

Lindsay Price


  • Personally, I think that Sue Grafton is onto something, and kudos to her for speaking up.

    This author protests too much. We live in an era where editing, and proofing have become subjective- often relying on how many “hits” a particular piece may have gotten on the author’s own self-published blog or costs-nothing-to-launch Amazon page.

    Too many shitty writers are out there getting validation from an uninformed, uneducated populace who are given far too much input into an author’s evolving work.

    When a writer is bombarded with a plethora of badly-spelled posts on their blog or page squealing about “what a kewl writr u r”, they’re cheating themselves out of what a truly good, experienced editor can do to shape and increase the impact of the writer’s work.

    That kind of writing is author intrusion of the worst kind, and we need to call it out for what it is. Crap.

  • As I said, certainly there are writers who don’t step up. I resent being tarred with the same brush.

  • In agreement. I don’t have the wherewithal to self-publish – not wanting to rely on hits and marketing – which interferes with actual writing. But you and those that do it well – kudos.