A Twitter rant worth reading

An article in the New York Times calling commercial publishers “legacy publishers” set agent Stacia Decker off on Twitter earlier today, and in between laughing out loud at her tweets, I realized she got her point across pretty well.

Disclaimer: Ms. Decker represents one of my closest friends in her capacity as super-agent at the world-class Donald Maas Literary Agency. I would trade a good body part to be repped by that agency. Stacia, if you know anyone who needs a kidney, call me! Okay, on a serious note: She’s got a great point.

Below is her Twitter rant on the term “legacy” publishing:

 An MD? Legacy doctor. Me googling my own symptoms? Indie doctor. RT @reaganart: And again with the “legacy publishers” #aaaaargh
Symphony Cleaners? Legacy dry cleaning. Me with a bottle of Febreze? Indie dry cleaning.
DUMBO Moving and Storage? Legacy movers. Me and those guys I promised some beer to? Indie movers.
Gramercy Tavern? Legacy restaurant. Me with a Lean Cuisine and a microwave? Indie restaurant.
Followed by the capper:
WW Norton? Independent publisher. Grove/Atlantic? Independent publisher. You selling your mss thru a monolithic corporation?
Self publisher.
Decker’s point, as I take it, is that there is something to be said for people who have been educated and trained to do their specific job. Experience and judgement counts in book publishing as with any other business. Editors and publishers aren’t “legacy” anything. Don’t even call publishers like that “traditional” — call them what they are. Commercial. Professional. I wrote a while back about the reverse-snobbery of some (not all) self-published writers (who I can no longer call “indie”), and I just don’t understand it.
I know that commercial publishers miss out on great books. They’re missing out on one of mine right this very minute. But at the end of the day, I have to ask myself: What’s the most important thing to me? Is it getting my name out there? Is it getting that big publishing contract? Or is it writing the best book I can write?
The answer, for me, is the latter. And I have to have faith that somewhere, somehow, I will land that dream agent and that publishing contract. If I don’t, I guess there’s always Amazon.

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