Sunday, July 10, 2011

When It's You vs. the Naysayers

Ever felt like this picture? That it's high noon and at one end of the street is you and the other end is your your inner editor or people who are whispering or down right shouting that you're making a mistake? I've gotten both supportive comments and negative comments when it comes to how I'm deciding to run my career. Sure there's that part of me which longs for a print contract  that while showcase my book in a store.
But folks here are the facts.

1. The last few times I've been to my favorite bookstore to work and have a coffee and a bagel the place has been DEAD. The most recent being yesterday on a Saturday for a few hours with my dad. Sure it was nice being able to grab a table easily. But at what cost in the long view?

2. The e-reader is here to stay and the revolution is on. Print may not be dead but there's less room for people like me. A newbie looking for her first print contract. Established writers with a strong sales record will scoop up that precious shelf space. Not that I couldn't continue looking for it. But I have to ask myself, what makes the most sense for a writer like me.

3. Should I go indie and just what does that entail for me?

In this case that's where the backlash and fear of the naysayers come in. I always wanted to be a contracted writer. I've made that dream come true with a little help from MuseItUp :). But now I want something different. I want to be indie. I think I have that attitude, if I'm doing a lot of work then I want more control.Now as for a publishing house Muse is great. Lea is wonderful and the percentage of royalty I get is fair. But it's that little c word that drives me. Of course it entails putting a team together and having them work as unit to make my books a success and there seems to be a feeling in the old school that this is all very unseemly. Well, I disagree.

I don't like the idea of me in a gunfight at the OK Corral. I prefer the vision of me sitting at my desk. Writing my brains out and creating a virtual bookshelf for people to enjoy.

I think the reality is people are scared because change is scary. And the advent of the e-reader brought about big changes. Hell, I'm choosing to travel down the indie road and it's scary to me.

So please print folks, there's no need to fear us epub and indie folks. There's no need to castigate us. Just as there's no need for us to thumb our noses at you. There's a lot to be learned from one another.

Until next time...


Maeve Greyson said...

Excellent post. I'm a "member" of all three teams: Indie, E-pubbed, and traditional print. It still makes my heart hurt when one group of writers "snubs" another group. It reminds me of those unfair high school clics. We're all writers. We all belong. We need to remind ourselves that we're all on the same side with the same set of goals: treat the world to the wonder of our stories. :)

Anonymous said...

Great blog, Amy. Now if I can leave a comment - seems like blogger doesn't love me today.
I've been a member of RWA for a long time, and have experienced every level of acceptance or prejudice. Reading about some of the new decisions makes me wonder if we're ever going to make progress.
A book is the written expression of a writer's imagination. Supposedly the story is all important, the method of publication secondary to a great story. Yet only the "right" books can enter the Rita, as if somehow a self published book would be too much of a challenge to one of the more traditionally published books. If the self pubbed or indie pubbed story raises the bar, doesn't the entire romance family profit?

Unknown said...

Thanks for the insight and I happy I'm not the only who sees this prevelant attitude. But it's also nice know there are those at there with mine.

Cellophane Queen said...

I'm on a few teams myself. It drove me crazy that I couldn't get a "qualified" sale so that I could join SFWA or RWA. Same thing with an agent.

I had pubbed an Indie book based on my father's stories. The book was too short and made from short stories. No way that I'd get a publisher for that. I wanted his stories in a book for him. It's been a steady seller for the last four years.

That made me realize I didn't need an agent, recognition by some formal organization, or even a publisher.

It sure helped me get to the "screw 'em" place. I'm very happy to be hooked up with MuseItUp now, but I do not regret any of my self-pubbed books.

If people miss out on them because they shun indies, then it's their loss.

gail roughton branan said...

I've said this often. E-pub will do to print publishers what Netflix and Pay-Per-View did to the Video stores. I have heard so often from the younger generation (even the ones that grew up carrying paperbacks with them constantly) that book books just don't feel right in their hands anymore. I am thankful I finally woke up and smelled the roses and have gotten in on the coming wave.

Jean Joachim said...

Love your post. You make good points.

Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Amy,

I started out in print, twelve years ago. Then my print publishers folded. All three of them.

I have to say, I'm much happier in the indie/ebook world.The editing is much more serious. The marketing assistance is more intense. The turnaround and level of communication can't be compare. And you know what? The money is better too!

Kimberly Ivey said...

Thanks for your blog post, Amy.

I've been in this business a while and have been e-published, print published and indie published (between 4 different houses). I make quite a nice sum from all my books and to date I've have 13 pubbed in all. Two more will be released this year.

I'm not sure what the climate is with RWA right now on indie pubs, but I remember just a few years back how they were snubbing e-pubs. If you weren't with "so and so" publisher, you weren't recognized. It was disheartening because I tried for years to snag that great contract or get my work in front of editors and agents. The books were good. Some went on to win awards or be nominated! I think the product speaks for itself.

I DO miss my RWA chapter--it was the absolute best, but I honestly must say I do NOT miss the crummy attitude RWA has "inflicted" upon its membership over the years. Scuse me, but isn't something wrong when a person or group of people pay to be abused or not represented at all? That's why I left RWA a couple of years ago. I felt it was time for RWA to get their act together and stop being so condescending to the very people that kept them operating.

I'm a published, working author who chooses to submit my work to the best venue, whether that be e-book, print, or indie through my own company. I teach writing at a college, I present workshops at conference, I facilitate a private writer's workshop, and now...I write for my readers, not the market, and certainly not to help line someone else's bank account.

Writers DO need to take control of their careers and get their books published. We aren't stupid. We write books for Pete's sake. We don't need to have someone hold our hands or spoon feed us. I believe that when we avoid the naysayers and negative people, positive energies and people will flow into our lives and our careers flourish. I've seen it work in my life and in my career.

Amy, thanks again for a great blog post! Here's wishing you much continued success with your writing career!

Donna B said...

Great post, Amy! First and foremost, I agree with what's being said here, Writers are writers. We all want to be published, hope to have our work seen and read and accepted. The world is changing and epublishing and indie are here to stay. I have two stories out, both e-pubs and I have loved the process. I haven't made it to print yet, although I think that's a goal most writers still have. To be able to hold a book with your own name on it is still the dream. So I am hoping that the future still holds bookstores as well as e-stories because I love 'em both.