Okay, I admit, this entry is a bit later in the posting than I might have liked. I’ve been sitting on it since May 21st, when someone retweeted a comment from agent Sarah LaPolla. Other worthy topics kept coming up that required my attention; in particular, the posts about standards, and blah blah blah. Now I’m ready to climb up on the soapbox.
Let’s start with the tweet in question:
Indie writer = published w/ a small press who gave you a contract & had an editor & packager who wasn’t you or someone you hired separately.
I’ll own it: I saw some red when that came up in my feed. The whole thing smacked of the sort of dismissive attitude that does absolutely no-one in publishing any good, even those who work through the traditional system, though they don’t always realize that. Not having the greatest of days, I tapped out a scathing reply and hovered my finger over the trigger.
Nah, I thought, best to give yourself a second. No need to fly off the handle.
So I allowed myself a moment to calm down, and as I did so, I realized that she might be quoting a source, perhaps a writer. I didn’t agree, but I’d like to see the source I asked her where it came from, and if this meant that writers like JA Konrath and/or John Locke were not “indie” – the idea seemed patently absurd, but what the hell, she might have been pulling it from somewhere.
Not so much. She sidestepped John Locke altogether, but replied about Konrath:
Both are used because people misuse “indie.” He’s self-pubbed & proud. Self-pubbers shouldn’t hide behind a mis-label.
Today will be another short entry – I will be back on my standard schedule on Monday, once I’ve gotten through the editing of The Corridors of the Dead.
Back in September, I started writing a blog detailing my questions about the then-current self-pubbed market. I never got around to writing it, but the central question was whether we are (or were) in a bubble, and whether that bubble was about to burst, along with some ideas of how authors could weather that bubble and come out even stronger on the other side, in a few years. As time passed, I felt that I just didn’t know enough about sales figures one way or the other, and would cover it more once I had actually self-published a full-length work.
Well, turns out I no longer need to, as JA Konrath’s guest post today adequately covers exactly what I wanted to say, especially his five points, as I think they’re really key to weathering what may be to come with self-publishing and the glut of ebooks. Check it out here: Guest Post by Stephen Leather.
See you all soon on the other side!
I’ve seen some posts recently about how to game the system at Amazon and other web sites and become a fairly successful author. At first I read these ideas as sacrificing quality at the cost of getting more “product” out there faster, but I think that I’m understanding that the question is more about how much quality one is willing to accept. The author in particular had eschewed an editor and gone for self-editing, while throwing together his own covers.
But the whole thing made me question what it is that I want out of this: am I looking for a business, or am I aspiring to something different? Not that I say different, not more. I’ve talked about how I want some sort of lasting fame, but getting down to brass tracks – practically – not a pie-in-the-sky possibility of fame or prestige – what is my ultimate aim? Do I want to be the guy cranking out 80 stories in 8 months so that I can subsist on those works? Putting out robotic prose that sells but never quite satisfies me? Continue reading