That was the message in this article, and it just went on and pissed me right the hell off.
So, let’s get this straight. Lady has never read the Harry Potter series, yet she “knows” they’re not worthwhile, and carries the attitude that JK Rowling should stop writing – why? So that other authors “have a chance”? Because waaaah, it’s so hard to earn success on your own?
Two words to the author of that article: bite me.
I say that as a self-published author multiple times over who had to endure five years of JK Rowling comparisons because I work in YA fantasy/sci-fi.
Here’s some truth, folks. Authors are successful by merit of sales and merit of product. I personally happen to have loved the Harry Potter series and read the books well before seeing any of the movies. And yes, JK Rowling is enjoying financial and personal success for life as a result. But again: she earned it. She earned her accolades. She got the first book off the ground and got the sales traction that warranted enough notice for the first movie to come about. She did that doing the exact same thing that writers throughout the world do every. single. day.
And not one of the authors who got to the stage of even a midlist owe another author a spot. Same applies to music. We will help each other out, no question. We’ll edit each other’s work, just the same as my music folks will co-produce, co-compose, guest-star on each other’s recordings, etc. But there is no one who owes anyone a spot they hadn’t earned.
And if it’s “too hard” for someone to compete against JK Rowling, or “too hard” to even become an author in the first place, then they have no business even trying.
Harsh, but I’ll stand by this sentiment and you’ll never hear me apologize for it.
I’ve started self-publishing my series before it caught on as a massively viable option, and if I had a dollar for everyone who thought that they’re paying me a compliment by saying I’m the next JK Rowling, I’d buy two houses, not just one. It’s not a compliment: it’s setting a standard of competition, regardless of the author’s desires and outlooks. Here’s the thing, folks: I don’t compete. I see no benefit in measuring my achievements against someone else’s. I went into publishing The Index Series being well aware that I will likely never reach the same level of accolades and accomplishments as the Harry Potter series – I may hope for it, but I knew well that it wouldn’t happen. I learned about the ins and outs of authorship and publishing the old-school way: trial and error. Did I make money off my books? Yes. A lot? No. And the same could be said for a lot of self-pubs out there.
But I would never, not in my lifetime dream of asking even Stephenie Meyer, whose writing I find repellant, to “step aside” so that I could have a shot. Hell no. Never. I’d scrape up the funds to pay someone to market my books for me, but to ask someone to let me have a spot for no merit whatsoever but it’s “too hard”? I’d never show my face in public for shame. I’d pay an editor, I’d hire a marketing specialist, and I’d actually attempt to prove by merit that my books can be as popular as Harry Potter, or Twilight (shudder). Yeah, I’ll take whatever help I’ll pay for, take whatever help that’s offered to me, but to request that someone else step aside is unthinkable. It’s an attitude of entitlement, which I do not tolerate in anyone, and myself least of all.
You want to be as successful as JK Rowling? Then write better than her. Or at least write stuff that will sell as well as the Harry Potter series, or better. But take the entitlement and stick it where the sun doesn’t shine.