Arrogance, Snobbery and Professionalism in the Writing World


One of the comments in yesterday’s blog post Writers, Believe in Yourselves – Stand On Your Own Two Feet touched on the arrogance and downright snobbery rife within the editing and publishing communities. She quoted the following, which as writers we have all seen in various versions on writing sites and in literary magazines and newsletters over the years – “A writer who decides to be his/her own editor has a fool for a client. Only a professional editor can ensure that the indie author will produce something better than crap.”

She chooses to ignore the simple fact that there is no accrediting body for editors, so no editor can call themselves a professional!!! The problem is that all editors and literary agents delude themselves into believing that they are a cut above the very people who guarantee them employment – the humble writer, be they in one of the big five ‘stables’ or as in my case, a successful self published mid list author. How arrogant, let alone ungrateful, can a person be? Without us they would not make money! Here’s a question for you, how many editors and literary agents do you know who have produced a best selling novel of their own? I can’t think of one, can you?

Before you start, no I’m not being arrogant. I’m merely stating the facts. When it comes to professionalism, most writers who enjoy regular sales of their books can be considered to be professionals. Not that any of us do. At best we consider ourselves to be ‘seasoned’.

In the case of the editors, just because they attended a university somewhere, gaining a lowly BA in English Literature, they automatically assume that they now know far more about story telling and structure than the writer. Could it be that they are envious of the writer’s natural bent for story telling perhaps?

Without naming names, the chief editor and owner of the small press I made the mistake of signing up to several years ago, before I finally saw sense and parted company with him, is still a senior executive in a well known american computer company. Like most editors, he considers himself to be a professional. He is a ten a penny company executive. The one thing he defiitely is not, nor can he ever claim to be, is a professional editor!!!

Is it any wonder that so many hard working writers have had enough of the arrogance and the snobbery endemic within the establishment, choosing to leave the traditional publishing world to become an independent self- publisher?

I think not…

13 thoughts on “Arrogance, Snobbery and Professionalism in the Writing World

  1. So true – I’ve seen quite a lot of those sweeping statements around and about, and they really are so arrogant and insulting to writers I generally just leave them to their own self importance. Quite a few of them don’t seem to have any letters behind their names too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve often wondered what it would take to deflate their over inflated egos Jo. For my part, the more writers who expose them and the way in which they consider themselves, the better.


  2. You’re so right, Jack. I think it’s all part of their determination to keep the writer as ‘the little guy’, who gets the occasional pat on the head and the short straw. But we’re all becoming older, wiser and more sharing of knowledge. It’s harder for them to continue to keep us down.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This week, I was treated to a barely grammatical tirade from a “professional,” who said my recent blog post on the subject was hurting business, and then offered to look at my book “for free,” to tell me what I was doing wrong. When I politely declined (and declined to publish the comment), I was sprayed with more virtual vitriol. This is supposed to be professional behavior? It was nothing more nor less than the troll treatment.

    Liked by 1 person

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