Tuesday, October 16, 2012


As you may have gathered, I've decided to go the indie route for publishing my books.  Yes, this will mean a great deal more work, but it also provides a sense of freedom that is incredible.  In essence, I can speak my mind and not worry about pissing off agents and publishers.  In the traditional publishing world, a writer has to tread carefully and not annoy the wrong people, or that writer will find themselves on the outs of the profession.

A few of my writer friends have, very calmly and politely, said, "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!?!  NO PUBLISHER IS GOING TO WANT TO TOUCH YOUR WORK BECAUSE YOU'RE PISSING THEM ALL OFF!!!"  Many of my posts have gone out of their way to call out some of the troubling practices that agents and traditional publishers engage in, and several people have emailed me, horrified that I would say such things where anybody, including agents and publishers, could read them.  Not that my friends have disagreed with the content, but that I'm being too bold as a nobody in calling them out.

Ten years ago, or maybe even as little as five years ago, this would've been an exceptional hurdle to overcome.  I'd like to say I would still be just as brash, but I can't say that honestly since I'm not in that situation.  I hope I would still be straight, but I really don't know.

The advent of print on demand and the Kindle or Nook digital publishing markets have removed that obstacle.  A writer no longer needs to kiss the ass of publishers or agents to make a good living and get his or her work in front of the public.  I can go directly to the audience, and the traditional folks can do little but sit on the sidelines and fume.  Yes, that puts all the burden on me, but since I'm a control freak, that sits just fine with me - I've never been keen on handing all that control over to someone else anyway.

Too many fledgling writers refuse to be honest about the process.  They're content to be stepped on, accept crappy treatment and terms, and come back begging for more.
(Please please please think that I don't mind your arrogance and condescending ways)
The indie movement has allowed aspiring writers the ability to tell traditional folks to take a hike.  In the end, I think this will create a better environment for writers since publishers, who are going to become irrelevant if they don't change their ways, will have to start treating the talent better if they want to stay in business.  The change will come slowly as traditional publishers find themselves combing the indie circuit for new writers rather than getting them from cold querying.  The indie writers who attract notice are likely already doing well and will have the ability to accept or not accept terms, which will lead to better terms.  This change won't come quickly, but it will come.

In the end, it allows us to express ourselves freely and not worry about freezing to death in the winter because we have no money to pay our bills.  We can speak our minds, confident that there is more than one way to career success.  And calling out the more questionable practices should lead to those practices changing.

Or I might just be an asshole.  You make that judgment.

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