Readers Are The Only Gatekeepers


I don’t often disagree with Chuck Wendig, but I feel strongly about his recent post FOLLOW-UP ON SELF-PUBLISHING: READERS ARE NOT GOOD GATEKEEPERS.

To be fair, I do agree with his basic thesis, writing for pay is business, and if you’re in business it’s important to do your best work if you want to stay in business. In an ideal world, no one would ever publish a book that is known to be bad.

This is why it isn’t an ideal world: writers don’t get to decide if their books are good or bad. Nor do publishers, editors, reviewers, or literature professors. In the end there is only one meaningful standard by which books can be judged–do people want to read them?

There are things that writers can do to stack the odds in our favor.  Writing is a craft, and there are skills that can be learned and practiced…

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