Saturday, March 8, 2014

Drop the Judgment

Something has been weighing on my mind.

I've encouraged my writerly friends to chase their dreams, as I'm sure many of you have, too. If that means getting pubbed by an indie house, great. If that means self-pubbing, good for them. If that means they land a big five, awesome. I think everything happens for a reason and everyone will be where they are supposed to be, and that goes for the means by which they are published.

So many of us in the publishing industry have preconceived ideas about what it means to "be published." But in today's world, the landscape of publishing is ever-changing and with that our attitudes and understanding need to change, as well.

There is still judging going on though. To some people, self-pubbing or small presses still hold a stigma. If you have or don't have an agent, something is assumed. 

Guys, we, as in each other, our fellow writers, are our best support. Treating others differently because of what house they are with or because they decide to self pub, or whatever, is not okay. We're all writers with different lives, needs, and expectations. To each their own. If someone only wants to sign with a big five house, fine. If someone, will only work with small presses, fine. But, please, don't treat others doing something different than you as if they are "less than."

In order to encourage fellow writers, to promote a healthy writing community, there are two things I think we need to remember when witnessing another writer's path/endeavors/accomplishments:

1. We need to educate ourselves about what our author friend is doing/what publishing route they are taking.

2. Drop the judgment. We don't know what's going on in our author friends' lives outside of writing or what's best for their situation and/or book. Positivity will take us places, negativity will take us down.

So educate yourself before you pass judgment, continue supporting your fellow writers, and keep on being

Cheerleader out, yo! Tonya


  1. Yes! So much this. We've got to support each other, and it's important to acknowledge that every author (and even every book) will require something different. Thanks for posting! :)

  2. 1.) Tonya rocks! 2.) Entangled rocks! 3.) You are so right on the money. Stop the judgment. I remember my very first conference, and I was scared to death. I put up my shaking hand to ask a question of a panel full of authors, editors, and agents in front of a room full of people. "What do you think about e-publishing?" I asked. One very loud mouthed and very liked author basically bit off my head, "Are you freakin' kidding me, she asked? That won't last. What a dumb question. Next," she said and blew me off. I was floored. I think the entire room was a little shocked. I wanted to run and hide, but I'm stubborn so I stayed put. Another author thankfully chimed in. "Hold up, (enter authors name), there is much to be said about the future in e-publishing, etc.." This author made me feel so much better and I'll forever love her.... But you'll always have those who think their way is the only way. However, that rude author who everyone loves (except for me) is now e-publishing her books. LOL So there you have it. No judging here, peeps!
    I can't wait to read your awesome YA book - no matter where it's published from. Hugs!

  3. Thank you so much, Jen! I'm so glad others agree. And thanks for stopping by. :)

  4. This is such a great post! When I signed with my publisher, people were saying are you sure? Aren't you just settling? You shouldn't do that, you should get an agent. But being with this publisher is the best thing that's happened to me. It provided us with an income when we almost lost everything, and the whole process has taught me how to be a better writer.
    I'm glad I'm with my publisher. They support me and love all my work, while also still encouraging me to seek out an agent to continue my progress and growth. I don't listen to anyone say "you settled" anymore, because I'm soaring!
    Thank you!

  5. I agree SO MUCH with this post.
    we not only SHOULD support each other we NEED TO support each other.

    This is a damn tough industry and even if you get your little baby published, there are more than enough people to bring an author down. One of my author friends told me she got a 1-star on Goodreads because the reviewer "didn't like or read the genre" - Good grief!

    What matters is the process not the label.
    What matters is the product not the trend
    What matters is the positive not the negative

    And Tonya, if a "friend" of mine said that to me... no wait, no friend would dare; or wouldn't deserve me as a friend. I understand your decision to bite your tongue but I hope they read this, and maybe learn something about themselves.
    Congrats on your current and future success!

  6. Dawn, Katie, Nikola, Your words of agreement and encouragement mean more to me, and our fellow writers who read these comments, than you know. THANK YOU for taking the time to comment. I appreciate it, and I know others do, as well. *writer fist bump* You guys rock!

  7. Great post, Tonya. You've said what needed to be said. I, too, am a big believer in things happening for a reason. Honestly, whether someone is with a small press, Big 5, or self-pubbed, the reality is that success will depend on that individual, their product, and the support they receive. As many can tell you, Big 5 doesn't guarantee any more money or success than self-pub these days. If anything, these options are all converging thanks to the big battleground we call Amazon, and everyone has the chance to go viral.

  8. Amen, sister! We all have different reasons for the path we choose. There were a million different factors that went into my decision to self-publish (without querying beforehand).

  9. Personally I love Entangled! A great place to 'start'? Please! That's a rather arrogant or at least misguided thing to say. I have a YA/NA review blog that supports all writers. There have been books published by large houses that I felt were sorely lacking. Conversely, I've read some self-pubbed works that blew me away. So much goes into publishing decisions. It's not a one-size-fits-all world out there. We should be celebrating the work, not who published it. Congrats on your book!

  10. This is great! I think that having less judgment in life is always a good avenue to take.

  11. How funny! We've published a similar post about the stigmas attached to self-publishing not long ago. If you're keen, here the link:

    Personally, I completely agree - it's really sad that people say things like "Oh but are you 'just' self-published?"... There's no 'just' about it! Writing a book, let along publishing it yourself is an incredible feat. We need to celebrate the victories and overcome the challenges (like aforementioned stigmas) together as a writing community. There's so much talent within it - we just need to give it a chance.