Sue Grafton: H is for Hubris

The indie-published crowd is in a deservedly righteous dither after Sue Grafton and John Green tossed the lot of us into the “isolated” and “lazy” slush heap of artists. This author will not even validate their positions with a rebuttal. My only response would be the following: Gertrude Stein, Walt Whitman, Virginia Wolff, Beatrix Potter, Edgar Allen Poe, Rudyard Kipling, Henry David Thoreau, Anais Nin, Deepak Chopra, Bernard Shaw, James Joyce, Zane Grey, William E. B. DuBois, Strunk and White, E.L James …self-published…every one. I could keep going but my indie-published, short-cutting fingers are tired. If this is the “lazy” and “isolated” conglomeration of authors of whom I am a part, well, I humbly accept my position within their indolent midst.

The publishing paradigm has shifted. To those on the “traditional” side, my sincerest good wishes and congratulations. But to those of us with the pluck and mettle, the tenacity and persistence, and the temerity to launch our best efforts into the hallowed realm of publication…kudos to you all, my thick-skinned brethren. Keep your chins up and your pens a’ penning.

Dorothy Hagan is the indie-published author of The Offshore Triumphs of Karla Jean, (2012) seven years in research, writing and publication. (Not a lot of books written about women working in the gritty, offshore world of men. Honest. Go try and find one.) Oh, yeah. And Lazy Hagan also published The Edge of the Grace Period in 2000, POD with IUniverse, before most “traditional” people had even heard of such a thing. Ms. Hagan’s books will never go out of print and will be entirely available when Oprah calls up for the Book Club.

2 thoughts on “Sue Grafton: H is for Hubris

  1. Hi Dorothy, I enjoyed your article very much. As soon as I’m finished with rewrites, I plan to read your books. I published Maddy and Terri with Lulu Press two years ago. I took it off the market last year to do some rewriting and republished it this past January with Xlibris. Not happy with them. I see you used iuniverse. Did you use them for both books? I don’t know where to go for my new book.
    My reason for not going the “search for an agent” route is my age. Now I’m 82. Time is running out. I’m short of funds, so I haven’t done any publicizing on my own. I thought Xlibris would, but they want more money, which I do not have.
    I love Sue Grafton; we’ve met several times and have written to each other. I thought she’d be happy to read my book and voice an opinion, or at least encourage me. I was wrong. I was very disappointed.
    Good luck! I’m going to download your books on to my Kindle. Next week, I stop wriitng and start reading.


    • My dearest Phyllis,
      Thank you for your warm response. And congratulations for staying in this challenging occupation of writing. Your determination to stay in this and tell your stories makes my point entirely. I appreciate your interest in reading my books…but you are right to take care of your own publication needs first.
      I was and remain a happy customer of IUniverse. They were the first to offer print-on-demand publication (to the best of my knowledge) back in 1999. I published with them the first time in 2000. They treat their clients with stellar service. It is not free, however, and pricing varies. (I gave about $600.00 to publish The Edge of the Grace Period, cheap compared to years of submission costs.) I look at publication as an investment in my product, and my product is the story I am driven to tell.
      I have not researched free publication since about this time last year, but then I believe it was possible to publish for free to Smashwords and CreateSpace. My advice…publish electronically somewhere but LEAVE A HARD COPY TRANSCRIPT with a trusted friend or relative. Long after you and I are gone, those for whom our stories are meant, will find them, I do believe. And they will thank us for our efforts on their behalf.
      Best wishes, Phyllis in all your endeavors, written and otherwise!
      Dorothy Hagan


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