Post Worth Reading

Anthea Lawson on Laura Howard’s blog did a great and clear post about some of the myths of traditional publishing. (She didn’t call them myths. That’s my term about her topics.) Worth the read.

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11 Responses to Post Worth Reading

  1. That post is worth reading and brought up many memories of my dealing with publishers (both book and magazine ones). The one that really struck a cord with me was “Finding out on their last day on the job that your editor is leaving the company.” That is exactly what happened to me with my first novel at Dorchester Publishing a couple years ago. All the rewrites they had asked for had been sent in and I waited weeks to hear feedback on them, only to learn one day via Facebook that the entire editing staff had been let go. Talk about a cold slap in the groin. I went from being ecstatic about my first novel being accepted after several years of only seeing short stories in print to realizing I would most likely have to start the entire submission process once again.

  2. Larry says:

    Interesting, but she suggests doing a lot of FB and Twitter promo that you and others say to avoid.

    Funny, since I’ve basically given up on trad publishing my first two novels (it’s still at one house but I think they’re going to pass), it’s been the most productive four months of my life. Six short stories finished and epubbed, two novellas half-done, and the first draft of a new novel done, in just the last six weeks. Without worrying about whether these are the “right” projects that will be accepted by the gatekeepers. I have had a lot of outlines for projects sitting on my desktop for years. Couldn’t start them or finish them because I was too worried about what the establishment would think.

    • dwsmith says:

      Larry, I never said to not do FB and Twitter. I just said don’t overdo it. Do it once so your family and friends know the book is available and then move on. The people who Tweet ten times a day for two weeks about their new book are the ones to avoid. But once or maybe twice over two weeks to get the word out to your family is fine.

    • Actually, I don’t suggest that. I personally have almost no twitter presence, and a casual one on FB. I say that *publishers* will expect you to do that. Another argument for going Indie. ;)

  3. Thanks for the reblog, Dean! I’d love to have conversations here (and at the original post) about things people agree/disagree with.

    • Great post, Anthea. Almost everything you mentioned happened to me at four different “trad” publishers. So many editors disappeared (like the drummers in *Spinal Tap*). With each new contract, hopes would build and then crash. It was so demoralizing. I am happy to have the indie option, although I have much to learn and haven’t sold many copies. Thanks to Dean and Kris for lighting the way.

  4. Jon Guenther says:

    Having myself been the “victim” of the publishing industry implosion back in 2008 when my publisher just dropped out of the contract six months before my book was released, I think Anthea’s points are well-made. Quite frankly, I have no use for the Machine. They are mega-corporations now, conglomerates, that make their money off “branding” authors instead of publishing books; they couldn’t care less about authors if there’s no money in it for them, and their business model is so antiquated and ineffective they had to start cutting editors (who had mostly become glorified schedulers) to keep the heads of the Hydra above water.

    Having self-published my three books after letting traditional publishers kick me around for years (I’ve been a published writer since 1998 with nearly 40 novels written, to date), I will never, never, ever look toward another traditional publisher for any work with my name on the cover. Now I have complete control, I collect the vast majority of the profits from my efforts, and most important I’m HAPPY!

    • dwsmith says:

      Jon, that’s what I am realizing as well after all these years of writing. For the last ten years I wasn’t happy with writing and working with younger and younger idiots in traditional publishing. And suddenly now I’m happy doing what I want to do when I want to do it. Great fun! That is the thing that has surprised me about these changes. The joy I am getting out of being free.

  5. Thanks for the link, very interesting article. Just got around to reading it, as I published my first novel yesterday, under a pen name. :) Yay, me!

    I read about so many writers with the same stories about “traditional” publishers, it confirms my decision to go it alone. I’m a nervous wreck about the book, but whatever comes of it, I wrote the story I wanted to write.

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