A Sad Puppy Testifies

The brilliant Hans Schantz tells of his differing experiences with Jon Del Arroz and the big-name authors who are presently engaged in a series of unprofessional and inappropriate attacks on the Arkhaven author:

As my fans and Wise of Heart subscribers are well aware, I run periodic “Based Book Sales” where indie and small press authors join together to offer some of their books at $0.99 or free. I compile them in a couple of big blog posts and we all use our social media reach and email lists to promote the sale. We introduce our readers to other authors whose works they might find interesting. And those other authors introduce their readers to our books. It’s a win-win.

Lately, sales have been moving about a thousand books in each outing. The all-time record was about five thousand. Each sale connects several dozen authors to hundreds of new readers. And Jon del Arroz has been there since the beginning, participating and helping out fellow authors, most of whom have no where near his social media reach.

The big-name authors are well aware of the sale. We even include their books, since our readers may not be familiar with some of them and might appreciate being introduced to a new author. But with few exceptions, they prefer to whine about how they are being ignored by influencers with greater reach than theirs, while at the same time refusing to lend a hand to the “parasites” trying to “ride on their coat tails”…

The “Sad Puppies” saga is not my story to tell. I was merely one of thousands of backers and supporters of the movement. From my in-the-trenches perspective, though, it was an effort to carve out a niche for non-woke fiction from the Skittle-hair people in the publishing industry who sought to ignore and suppress not only dissenting views, but also any fiction that failed to properly kow-tow to their diversity quotas and social justice diktats. Great progress was made… until big-name authors and their big-name publishers decided enough controversy was enough, their point had been made and they were going to take their flags and go home, abandoning the rest of us on the field of battle.

Painful as that betrayal was at the time, it was probably for the best, because it gave rise to a more decentralized and less cancellable movement. Individual creators carved out their own independent pieces of a based literature movement, call it “Iron Age,” or “Comicsgate,” or “Superversive.” Based creators making based fiction and graphic novels serving their fans and defying their would-be gatekeepers.

And the legacy big-name authors and some of their fans are clueless and fail to understand what Jon means when he says “I am the leader of Sad Puppies,” for he omits the rest of the Gamergate-inspired mantra: “and so can you.”

L’Affaire del Arroz, 2 October 2023

As it happens, the Sad Puppies saga and the Comicsgate kerfluffle are my stories to tell, and I will tell them when I appear on Jon Del Arroz’s stream on Thursday night for an interview with him. It’s not my intention to criticize anyone, victimize anyone, or air any dirty laundry – and there isn’t any to air anyhow, Sad Puppies really was just a fundamental difference of opinions – but I will ensure that everyone knows exactly what happened and why it happened for future reference.

We’ll also have a new announcement to make concerning Alt-Hero.

In the interest of full disclosure, I note that Hans Schantz is an Arktoons contributor and I have occasionally supported his Based Book Sales marketing efforts.