Writer. Warning: opinions. My lawyer advised a disclaimer, but didn't include any jokes to go with. Damned if I can think of any either.

Wired Picking on “Absurd Self-Published E-Books”

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There aren’t enough people who use editors. As a result, there are a lot of unedited wild texts out there. These stories roam the landscape like mutated household pets who have been fused simultaneously with deep-seated emotional problems and power tools. Even if you want to love them, they’ll probably do something awful to you as thanks.

But is it really okay to get your clicks by shitting on those mutants? I would have thought Wired would be above such, but I would have been wrong. Jason Kehe has a blog on Wired in which he invites us to get our jollies by laughing at some authors.

The book Mr. Kehe picked to pick on.
The book Mr. Kehe picked to pick on.
He writes:

Is it fair to judge e-books by their terrible covers, or does genius lurk beneath? For the foreseeable future, I’ll regularly be downloading and reviewing a selection of the most eye-catching disasters. Will we find the next Wool, or just the next 50 Shades of Grey? ONLY TIME WILL TELL.

On the one hand, if you publish a book by any means, you are inviting people to read and interpret your work however they see fit to do so. Mr. Kehe’s within his rights, but this feels a little like a NYC mayor visiting a small town’s council meeting and mocking them for their population.

Would Rolling Stone publish a column in which they select garage musicians’ first albums and pick them apart song by song? I don’t think so. Rolling Stone has had its troubles, certainly, but surely defecating on new artists is beneath them.

Granted, some of these books need work. But we all need work. Writing, like any art form, improves when we’re inclusive. Trading easy jokes for pageviews is disappointing, and I would have thought the magazine “where tomorrow is realized,” might be a little more sensitive to that.