Our guest today is Katharine Grubb—a mommy, homeschooler, novelist, baker, comedian wanna be, former running coward, author of a novel (Falling for Your Madness) and a book about how to write in very small increments: Write A Novel In 10 Minutes A Day will be released on March 26.
[pullquote]For more information about author ethics in relation to self publishing, please see this excellent post by WU writer Porter Anderson, where he discusses 8 Issues in Author Ethics. Porter was actively involved with ALLi in bringing attention to the issues of author ethics.[/pullquote]
Katharine was introduced to the topic of author ethics by friend Jane Steen, the author of the Authors Code of Ethics published by ALLi (Alliance of Independent Authors). In 2014, she created the Facebook group called 10 Minute Novelists and during the month of February, author ethics were discussed. Katharine believes that not enough attention is given to good practices for writers. Independent publishing is rather new and has never been easier for authors, and she believes writers need to take their online presence seriously, love their readers, respect their art and hold themselves to an honorable standard as they promote themselves and their books.
How To Love Our Readers and Our Art: A Call For Author Ethics
Why do we write?
We write to wade through the chaos of the world and find a clear path. We write because the pain we’ve faced in the world is so great that we need to see the truth of it on paper so it no longer has any hold on us. We write so that we can explain to others that exact feeling, that heart breaking conflict or that comforting truth. We write because if we didn’t our own misery would consume us. We write because we love to have written, we love to have someone read our words and smile. We write because we know words wielded well are powerful and change minds, hearts and lives.
[pullquote]We retaliate against bad reviews. We make shady deals to have our friends review our books in dishonest terms. We manipulate our numbers to make it appear that we’ve sold more books than we actually have. [/pullquote]Because we hold words and our art so dearly, we may find it difficult to release our words into the world. Our words and our reputation (what some of us call platform or brand) are closely tied to our words. We’ve precisely controlled the words so letting them go can be frustrating.
Admittedly, some of us have no confidence in our readers. They are notorious for glossing over the important parts, for ignoring the nuances and for missing the point. At times, we may believe that we are superior to our readers because we were once gods. We created the world that they hold in their hands. That our reader can read completely in a few hours what it took years for us to create galls us. That our reader can find another book cheaply and easily infuriates us. We use this, perhaps, to cloak ourselves in artistic and moral superiority. When we do that, when we taint what was once meant to be a gift to the world. When we slip into anything less than love for our reader we turn the beautiful into the ugly.
When we are ugly, we are very ugly. [Read more…]