I’ve been reading defenses of the current US health insurance/care
system multi-tentacled soul-destroying monster. Not the official ones, the paid ones, but the ordinary people who are arguing for a status quo that could bankrupt or kill them at any time. And there’s a certain familiarity to them.
You know the sort of thing I mean. Suggestions about eating right and getting exercise so that you don’t get sick, and thus don’t need coverage. Swapping tips about working within the system, which “isn’t so bad” if you know what you’re doing. Financial calculations that “prove” that the money simply isn’t there for good health care for everyone. What do they sound like?
Vanity press authors.
Specifically, the ones in that awkward middle stage between the first flush of enthusiasm (“Got my dollar!”) and the final embittered realization that they’ve been had. (Here are some examples, readily refuted for your convenience.)
It’s all there. Urging patience with publishers who stop communicating once the check’s cleared. Helpful tips about arranging one’s own signing tours (it isn’t so bad, apparently). And the constant rubbishing of the advances and publicity that authors get from “traditional publishers”.
Maybe it’s some weird combination of Stockholm syndrome and sunk cost reasoning. Or maybe they’ve taken the line about how “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is” a little further than even life in this vale of tears really requires.
Whatever you call it, it’s a natural reaction to a certain type of mistreatment (the points practically rewrite themselves to apply to insurance and medical care, don’t they?)
So what strategies, O Pursuers of Fraud in the Publishing Industry, can we use in conversations with these people?