This has been going on for some time now. I just wasn’t sure how I felt about it. To be honest I still don’t. On the one end I understand the frustration that leads to such a post… on the other I understand all my Goodreads pals who are still mad as hell about this… I guess you could say this is me;
What I’m I talking about you ask? Kendall Grey and the controversy surrounding her and her book Strings. I had heard of Kendall Grey before Strings… I knew she’d written the Just Breathe Urban Fantasy series because book #1, Inhale, was an amazon freebie… she then writes erotica, Strings, and everybody suddenly knows her. I hadn’t read either but my Goodreads friends were singing Strings praises and if it wasn’t for my ridiculously large TBR list, I would have made it my next read.
Anyway, I’m on Goodreads fighting the same old battle of whether I should stick to my TBR list or not… then something happens, my Goodreads friends start changing their 5 star reviews of Strings… changing the entire review to a post from the author. So apparently the author put this on her website:
“Readers generally (don’t throw stones—I’m referring to the masses here, not individuals) don’t want art either. They want easily digestible, bite-sized nuggets of warm fuzzies. They want simplicity. Art is neither easily digestible (you sometimes have to chew on it for days to filter meaning from it) nor simple.
I made $10,000 in two weeks off my new erotica book STRINGS. Nearly three weeks later, I’m selling over 100 copies of the book a day. And this piece of trash never even cracked Amazon’s top 100. Imagine how much I’d have made if I’d busted open THAT list. My beautiful, artistic, deep JUST BREATHE urban fantasy series? Well, I’m still in the hole there if that tells you anything.
I spent exactly two months plotting, writing, editing, and publishing STRINGS. The JUST BREATHE Trilogy? Four YEARS.
My total production cost for STRINGS was under $500. I’m embarrassed to reveal how much money I poured into producing the three JUST BREATHE books.
How did I transform from nobody to Somebody? I sold out.
And you can too!
I know it’s depressing to hear that in order to find success, you may have to compromise your principles. I’ve come to grips with the fact that in the current market, trashy smut sells, and urban fantasy does not. Tough shit for me. If you want to sell books, you have to feed the market what it craves.
You can be noble and stick to your guns and say, “Screw that! I’m gonna keep writing what’s in my heart no matter what!” Fine and groovy, as long as you accept that this guerilla mentality of badassery won’t pay your bills. More power to you for upholding your principles!
For us artists who want or need to make a living at writing, there is a silver lining. Once you’ve done your part to feed the reader machine, and you get paid ridiculous amounts of money for publicly shaming yourself and lowering your standards, you’ll be armed with the power to write what you want.
Once you’ve built your readership, there’s a good chance many of your readers will follow you into your preferred, artsy-fartsy genre because they like you. Yes, you may have to compromise and write more sell-out books along the way to feed YOUR machine, but the beauty is that you can do BOTH and make it work.”
Wowzers right?! I was shocked by the post. Do I understand her frustration? Yes. Did she need to put it in a public forum? Probably not…. and definitely not in those words… biting the hand that feeds you and all that… On the flip side, I have a Rants and Raves page so that I can be able to say whatever the hell I want. Unfortunately we all know the consequences of that… Kendall Grey now more than most.
Then this happens:
Which coincidentally reminds me of my post about reading and heeding warnings 🙂 So you see my dilemma here…
All this is unfortunately just serving to anger the Goodreads masses more… some have returned their copies of Strings to Amazon. Others have written posts about it… while others have completely refused to read Strings.
Kendall Grey has since then attempted to set things straight… click here to read her post on it all.
I’m all for world peace and so on and while I might not read Strings (nothing to do with the controversy but more the fact that I have a gazillion books to read!) I wonder if we should just let bygones be bygones? More so because I’d seen reviews of Inhale and Strings before the controversy, all 4.5 stars and above…