News Publishing

HuffPost Blogger Attacks Self-Published Authors!


Earlier this morning my attention was brought to an article on the popular news and opinion site, The Huffington Post. The article itself is titled “Self-Publishing: An Insult to the Written Word” and written by an unknown traditionally published author, Laurie Gough. As per her HuffPost biography, she is an “Award-winning author of three memoirs, she is also a journalist and travel writer.” So, I’m hoping she has a lot of experience in the industry… oh, I was mistaken.


Say hi to enemy number one of self-publishers across the globe. I’m going to take it that she had written her blog post in 2008 before the boom when everyone hated self-publishing and often confused it with vanity publishing and presses.

However, as you can see Laurie only joined the internet in 2012 as per the stamp on her Twitter profile. We can assume because of this she is adjusting and we should forgive her for these out-dated views.

But no. She put thought into her article, albeit she didn’t put the time or effort into research for her article, she still put pen to paper with her smile like “ah, we got them good“.

As she speaks fondly about self-published authors, we should mention that nobody has heard of Laurie Gough before. An author of memoirs? A travel writer? Self-help books? She must at least KNOW how to research, which begs the questions…

Why didn’t she?

Because she wanted a click-bait article to bring traffic to her name so maybe her publisher will perhaps offer her another contract. The real troll is revealed when they’re jealous of something they don’t have. I’ll let you decide what exactly it is this woman doesn’t have.

We all know that you can’t get anywhere in the world of publishing now without a social media account. Traditional publishers know this, it’s why they’re poaching self-published authors; they have themselves a market and established a name for themselves as a reputable writer.

So, Laurie you may be sharing that cabin on your Disney cruise with Donald Trump far sooner than you had imagined.

If you haven’t read the article, I will give you a quick TL;DR in bullets:

  • People only respect traditional books.
  • We need gatekeepers.
  • It takes a decade to be a good writer.
  • She uses a situation wrongly credited to Margaret Atwood.
  • Uses bad musician analogy.
  • States people who self-publish can’t write.
  • Uses two authors to validate opinions. *yawn*
  • Patronising.
  • Isn’t aware of how self-publishing works.

In the end, she doesn’t have a clue what’s going on in the publishing industry. I’m sure she got a memo about a week ago about her Q4 royalties (not good). She probably hasn’t earned out her advance and will not be seeing another penny until her next book… which, apparently she’ll need to piss off a bunch of people and gather a larger following to do. Her last book has only just been released and prior, it was 2011. It’s safe to say she has no idea–but what’s to be expected from a 52-year-old author who’s only published FOUR book since 1998.

Congratulations, Laurie Gough!

You’ve just alienated three-quarters of the publishing industry.

Earlier today, a wise writer tweeted: “Doesn’t she know the real gatekeepers have always been readers?” – Thank you, Tammara Webber. Ultimately, readers are the decision makers, they buy the books, they leave reviews, and they control the market. Readers are the real currency here.

Who is Laurie and why is her opinion on self-publishing newsworthy? Oh. It’s not. But we all came together to make sure she knew.

Among those to leave comments on her article were some amazing self-published, some traditional published, and some hybrid authors. Go over and find comments from Laura Kaye, Colleen Hoover, Raine Miller, Ella James, and Megg Jensen.


Via the Facebook plug-in on HuffPost. From Laurie: “Wow, I am so sorry! I seem to have struck a nerve with this article. I think it’s because I and all my author friends must be living in a bubble. I haven’t actually read many of these comments but have been receiving some really mean emails (along with a lot of really nice ones and lots of people agreeing with me). But for all those I’ve pissed off, I am really sorry and I do see that you have valid points. Really! I’m going to write another article about this with a much more balanced view. Something I didn’t mention in my article is that I’m Canadian. I had no idea that self-publishing in the U.S. had taken off the way the way it has (not so in Canada where it’s still very small.) So again, I’m so sorry for offending people and thanks for opening my eyes to your very valid viewpoints!
Laurie Gough”

Let me get this straight! Laurie is pleading ignorance based on where she lives… in Canada, a first-world country, a place where ALL of her friends are asking her about self-publishing… all her friends know about self-publishing, except her. This is some straight-up ignorance, and now she’s trying to get away from what she said. Do we accept this as an apology? NO.

What do you think?