What Did You Do Today?
Very little writing was done today. Instead lots of administrative tasks had to be attended. This is the balance I oft refer to, the one between writing and the business of writing. Today I worked on planning my promo items for GayRomLit in October. Then I took time to review current submissions and upcoming submissions. I did edits on a novella, jotted down notes on a new short story, fed the dog, paid bills, planned ahead for deadlines that are approaching over the next twelve months, walked the dog, read the publishing news of the day, yadda-yadda-yadda. In between all of that, I did my usual check up on Twitter, Goodreads, Facebook, and now adding into the mix an upcoming Amazon author page.
I think I ate a bagel somewhere in there. And more than likely had too much coffee.
Before I hyper-link and close tabs I wanted to say a bit about my personal thoughts on publishing:
This is a unique and evolving time in the publishing industry. As much as I advocate small press, e-publishing, and self-publishing I am not completely opposed to what is often referred to as the "legacy publishers" or "big six." What I am opposed to is uninformed opinions and misrepresentations of the publishing industry. And I by no means am any kind of expert. But, I am well informed and educated on what works in my genre of the publishing industry.
But, what I feel comfortable about saying as a general forecast of the industry is this-- e-publishing is not going to go away and it is only going to grow in popularity. Whine all you want about precious tree books, it isn't going to stop technology. Along with that shift comes possibilities in publishing that we haven't even thought of yet. What I caution authors to think about is that the "big six" are only going to have so much space available to them in bookstores as consumers demand products differently. Keep in mind readers are the bread and butter, not the publishers. Publishers are nothing without authors and readers. Nothing.
So, as the landscape continues to change the major players are going to put most of their time and effort into their money makers. The authors who have a brand, an audience, in other words a guaranteed sell. Amanda Hocking, another exception and not rule, did not get where she is now by waiting around for agents and publishers to finally open their doors. Ms. Hocking branded herself. Then the big guns came looking for her. Consider the odds of that happening?
E-publishing is not easy. It's lonely, but you are not alone. You are no less an author for e-publishing or self-publishing. You did the work, you put in long hours in front of the keyboard, and assuming you have a brain in your head you've hired an editor not only for grammar, but content as well. Yes, there's a ton of crap out there. Make sure you are not part of the crap. Join a writing group, find a critique partner, get help, and do the research to know your genre well.
I'll talk more about my thoughts on publishing soon. Right now I need to close some tabs. I direct you to Courtney Milan and her continuing discussion. First, read her mea culpa then to her continuing thoughts on Agency Publishing and Conflicts. Ms. Milan is a former attorney and lays out the ethical conflict in an easy, understandable way. I cannot stress how important it is for authors to realize and accept that one's agent cannot be their publisher without a serious conflict of interest. It is not a healthy relationship.
In other news, if you haven't heard or noticed, Apple has set up new rules that disallow Kindle, Nook, etc from including an external link in their apps to point of purchase for books. I love Apple, really I do, but I think this is stupid. But, someone more articulate than I am has stated why at eBooknewser.
And to wrap this up I'll just wish Chris Baty the founder and creator of NaNoWriMo all the best as he sets off into this crazy world of full time writing. From Mr. Baty:
Today, I'm sending you an email I've never written to participants before. I'm writing to let you know that this January, after competing in NaNoWriMo XIII, I will be stepping down as OLL's Executive Director. I am going to be taking a page out of one of my pep talks and heading off on the big, fun, scary adventure of being a full-time writer.
Good luck and happy writing.