For authors there are many roads to the Oz of publishing—thoughts from Publishers Launch
Since Mike Shatzkin published his blog on True “do-it-yourself” publishing success stories will probably become rare things have exploded in the argument of traditional publishing versus self-publishing versus agent publishing versus using those little gray guys at Area 51 publish you. I attended Storyworld and Publishers Launch last week in San Fransisco and I’m still trying to sort through all I’ve learned. I just emailed a couple of Microsoft execs I met there and it took me a while to figure out exactly what I’d say there.
Here’s the deal. There are many roads to Oz and, not only that, but Oz means different things to different writers. And not ever writer is coming from Kansas. Some are coming from planets far, far away.
There’s so much false fighting going on over what path is right, who is wrong, who is crossing ethical boundaries, yada, yada, I told you about the bisque right?
The key for a writer is to sort through all the facts, opinions and flat out lies being thrown about, figure out their own situation, decide where they want to be as an author in the future, and the smartly and courageously choose their own path.
If you don’t have over 40 books of backlist you own the rights to, you can’t really follow my path. That’s not to say I can’t give you great advice, but it also means factor that advice into your specific situation. If St. Martins hasn’t offered you a half million-dollar book deal, I’m not sure you can go to Thomas and Mercer and negotiate a deal. If you haven’t hustled and fought your way into your niche and had sales explode, St. Martins isn’t going to offer you a two million dollar book deal.
I’m going to do several posts on all I’ve experienced and learned in the past week, but let me throw a few things out:
Mike’s post was in a large part based on our conversations where I said it’s really, really hard to truly self-publish. You need help. Whether that help comes in the form of one-time contract work or forming a publishing company like Jen Talty and I did, is up to you.
I’m shocked there wasn’t a single rep from a Big 6 publisher at the Publishers Launch. That indicates a certain degree of arrogance. Of “we know all we need to know”. Not. The editor from Random House who is the tip of their digital spear was at Storyworld. Publishers Launch was the next day. Why wasn’t she attending? Anyone from writer to bookstore, to agent, to publisher, who ever thinks they know all they need to know about the digital revolution is going to find themselves left far behind.
There’s a lot of technology and software coming that is changing the playing field as fast as we can adjust. Barnes and Noble just announced its tablet today. And that they are going foreign. Big time move.
Speaking of software, there’s something called Vook which I will do an entire blog post on. Very interesting.
Let’s take the emotion out of the business end. I’ve admitted I’m wrong more times than I care to admit in this past two years. I just admitted I was wrong to an editor at Amazon Encore just two weeks ago about a decision I’d made. I admitted I was wrong to Joe Konrath back in March. And I might even be wrong in some of the things I’m putting in this blog post. But if I am, I’ll admit them and move forward. That is part of the key to success that we at Who Dares Win Publishing have as part of our business plan.
And, oh yeah, Readers Rule continues to expand. We’ll have several more authors who have earned the stamp of approval of the gatekeepers in publishing: READERS.
Posted on November 7, 2011, in Write It forward and tagged Barnes & Noble, Bob Mayer, business, ePublishing, Future, Random House, Readers Rule, Self-Publishing, The Future of Publishing, Vook, Write It Forward. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.