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Indie Author Gets Three Years in Prison for Selling Too Many Books!

February 28, 2020

Things are tough for independent authors.  We don’t have the connections to build a large enough audience to make a living from our book sales.  People don’t take us seriously because we’re not attached to the publishing industry.  If we talk too much about the challenges that face us, then we’re accused of whining.

And now we have this demoralizing incident (Read more here! )!  The independent author of the Healthy Holly children’s book series just got sentenced to three years in prison because she used her position as mayor of Baltimore to make money from her books.  Some people are celebrating her punishment, but this is a prime example of what our system does to crush the independent author.

First of all, this author took a lot of time and effort to build a base of potential buyers.  Most authors work on their craft first, and then promote their works on social media.  Unfortunately, there are so many of us who do the same thing that we drown each other out.

This author was more creative.  She became mayor of Baltimore, a city already with a reputation of being corrupt, and used her position to force employees and entities within the government to buy and store her books.  Don’t get me wrong; I’m against government corruption, but if you’re going to abuse government power to sell books, choose a city where corruption is the established norm.  I’m shocked that people are shocked by this corruption.  I think this is just a case of selective outrage.

As far as corruption goes, this is a fairly benign example.  The only reason people (pretend to) care is that this is an indie author, and the publishing industry can’t have indie author success stories like hers.  If too many indie authors can find ways to make money off their books, then the publishing industry’s facade of fake superiority falls apart.  From the publishing industry’s perspective, this creative author had to be crushed.

If James Patterson (a publishing industry favorite) had pulled a stunt like this, everybody would have talked about how brilliant he was.  I have no proof to back this up, but that writing masterclass of his looks suspicious.  There’s the possibility that Patterson has swindled more money from talentless writers than Pugh has swindled from taxpayers.

If you’ve taken Patterson’s masterclass, I’m NOT talking about you.  You have talent.  It’s the other writers that I’m referring to.

Politicians misuse taxpayer money all the time.  A lot of taxpayers seem to like having their money misspent because they keep electing the same politicians who keep misspending the money.  Patterson’s scam is worse because he’s giving writers false hope.  At least Pugh was up front in her dishonesty by being a politician.

Since I’m only a book blogger, I try to stay out of politics.  I don’t care which political party this author belongs to or what demographic she claims first when she announces herself in public.  I see her as an indie author first, so I feel the need to defend her.  Yeah, she abused her power.  Yeah, she probably had a moral obligation to focus more on Baltimore’s problems than her own writing career (that’s the bad part about being a public servant), but it’s tough being an indie author.

I understand she broke the law and we can’t overlook that, but she’s an indie author.  Things are tough for us.

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