So let me begin, first, by apologizing to the indie authors in the audience. It is never my intention to make my fellow Indies feel as if I am insulting them. While I don’t believe my piece was insulting, that did not stop some readers from feeling that it was. I could go on, deconstructing the comments and explaining where I felt they were misunderstanding and misrepresenting what I had written, but an apology is not about explaining myself. That would not be an apology, it would be a defense. In all honesty, I wanted to defend what I had written, but at the end of the day, my end goal is always to seek ways to improve the world of independent writing. So- you deserve an apology and I freely give it. I am truly sorry for having written something you found insulting.
Further, I want to thank you for having taken the time to comment on the article. It’s been said that a writer never knows how many people read her work until she pisses someone off, and today was a bittersweet reminder at the truthfulness behind that statement. The upside of the comments is that you’ve given both myself and my community of writers an amazing opportunity to learn. My team and I are big fans of always learning, always looking for ways to improve, and you as readers have provided an amazing opportunity for us to do just that. People make mistakes, it happens to the best of us, and the only way around them is to learn from them.
I did want to address one of the comments on the original article. It came from a commenter named Iamaha.
“Katie, I'm sure you wrote this out of ignorance”
Actually, I have nothing to argue against on this. It’s interesting. According to some of the commenters on The Passive Voice (one place where my article was shared), I’m an idiot, a whiner with no real writing skills, and probably got caught gaming the system and am now just super bummed because I won’t get paid as well as people with real talent. However, a majority of the comments on The Passive Voice went into incredible detail about how the KU system works. Several commenters noted that I mentioned KDP instead of KU, and that I got the “program” part of it wrong (It’s Kindle Direct Publishing, not program as I originally wrote).
I say this is interesting because, well, they are right. I’m not talking about the commenters who spent a majority of their time insulting me, but about the commenters who took the time to deconstruct what I wrote and explain where my understanding of the situation was wrong. So I’m going to do what most writers in my position would never dream of doing:
I might have been wrong in my initial understanding of the changes to the KU program.
I’ll go a step further and blame it on my own lack of having done enough research to back up my article. I did research everything I wrote, and I stand behind that statement. But, ultimately, it is the responsibility of the writer to have done enough research. In this case, according to The Passive Voice, I did not meet that responsibility. After having read every comment, I’m not entirely sure that my initial reaction to the change in the KU system is on point.
So where does that leave me? For one, I’ll be a lot more careful in the future of using a news source as a source of information. As an American, you’d think I’d already have known that news sources aren’t always great sources of accurate information, but hey- everyone has to be wrong at some point in their lives. Secondly, I’m going to have to do more research on this whole KU thing with Amazon. I’m still not convinced that it’s fair to the writers who put so much effort in to their work, but it’s obvious that I need more information to come to that conclusion.
On that note, Amazon themselves actually reached out to me regarding my article. Their email, in part, states, “I just wanted to reach out to clarify a few points... When you write “So, eventually, this will affect all independent authors who choose to publish with Amazon” that’s not correct. Please let me know if I can help answer any questions about the upcoming changes.”
I appreciate Amazon reaching out to me regarding this issue. Not only does it show a desire to make sure information is accurate, but the fact that they would reach out to one small time writer to set the record straight shows a respect for independent authors everywhere. I have had my work on Amazon for some time, and I appreciate a company who is concerned about those who utilize their services.
I will continue to engage in a conversation directly with Amazon so that I might have a better understanding of how the changes to the KDP and KU programs will affect us as writers, and I’ll be certain to keep you as readers informed of that conversation as it progresses.
We do, however, think Katie got this piece right. What do you think?
image credit: Flickr