Many have weighed in on this discussion. Some genuinely seek information, while others just want to argue or split hairs. So please, let's clear the air. I posted because people wanted information. There is still confusion. So we'll try one more round of Whack-A-Mole, as every statement gets pulled like taffy in different directions, and some folks don't seem to parse the discussion well.
When I put forth my reasons for going with an independent publisher, that got off into traditional (which some feel is the best, or in some cases the only method) vs other methods (independent publishers and self-publishing). We got sidetracked into the discussion of other means, and some folks got confused again.
I have repeatedly said that writers now have options, and that each writer should research what is available and make a business decision based on proper information. Traditional, big-house NY publishing is one way-- yet there are other, viable options.
Does everyone get that now? Because more than a few missed that before.
To those who stridently deny that there are other, viable options, there is an abundance of proof. Thousands of data points of proof, backed up with facts, figures, and sales numbers. It's not "a few"-- priceless1, please note.
Yes, we all know writers who have done well by the traditional, big-house way. Yes, traditional, big house publishing benefits some people, and is good for those it benefits. People whose livelihood depends on a system are naturally going to support that system, as we've repeatedly seen here. That does not mean there aren't other systems that benefit other people.
And yes, this new world has changed the landscape drastically in the last two years. I've changed my mind by doing the research and weighing the information.
For those who feel I donít know much about the publishing business, I've been studying the publishing business for years, communicating with agents, publishers, booksellers, distributors, writers. I've spent hundreds of hours researching different methods of publication, and talked to many people in the business, and attended professional conferences to get more information. Books, articles, websites, blogs, personal experience and contacts from all stages of publishing.
Oh, yeah, had an agent for 2.5 years, who said I had a professional manuscript, and an acquisitions editor at a big house who agreed.
Sorry if that's too uninformed for you, Old Hack...
Priceless1, having a big house with money and the desire to promote you is a wonderful thing-- if you can get it-- but thousands of writers donít have that. Study the many, many examples-- such as writers who were told by multiple NY editors that their book was brilliant and beautiful-- and turned down. Did you read about the pub house that went ballistic on their prize-winning author, because a different book of hers was-- gasp-- non-traditionally published? Or hear from the power agent who told another writer that his terrific book would do better self-published (he did, and it's doing rather well). Most of all, read the working, professional writers-- who've made their living in the traditional publishing field for years-- who now say that the model is broken.
While priceless1 may not like hearing it, it's being said so often because many thousands of writers have experienced it-- and continue to tell other about their experience. Priceless1, since you make your living using one method, of course you'll defend that to the death, and pooh-pooh other options. No one's telling you that you shouldnít do what puts food on your table, but it's not the best path for everyone, as you've been advocating.
Old Hack, I also urge writers to learn from people who know what they're talking about. Guess you consider long-time, professional writers like Barry Eisler, Dean Wesley Smith, Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Michael Stackpole, and others to be "agenda-driven shock bloggers"? Yeah, what do those naÔve, uninformed dumbasses know, huh?
Why not put your money where your mouth is-- go and post your comments on their discussions, telling them why they donít know what they're talking about, and why you think they're full of pony poop. If you've got time to post over 5000 comments here, you should be able to knock off a screed or two there.
This should be fun. Epic smackdown. I'll bring the popcorn.
Oh, and Old Hack, please don't paraphrase for me-- it gets all twisty when you try. I said Iíd beat an average midlist advance of 5K minus standard agent fee (4250 once again, for those who keep missing it). Modest numbers, but some still couldn't fathom it from an independent.
And it's not a ceiling, as others seemed to surmise.
Don't worry about product scarcity, folks-- we'll have enough of my books to go around. Are you people hand-calligraphing your books by monks, or what? J
JulieB-- in the course of research, there were quite a number of stories of publishers who did little promotion on numbers of books, which indeed floundered. You can find a lot of horror stories.
And shall we talk about how many publishers have dropped the backlists of midlist writers, killing sales on series and other titles?
LillyPu-- sorry you got confused. I champion options, and I was blending them at certain points, in opposition to the One-Way method proponents.
And I wasn't trying to imply that Briona Glen didn't do editing, nor that they expect perfect self-editing from all their authors. I was saying that as a professional, my manuscript was quite clean before it went to them. Read my book, and if you think it's sloppy, let me know, because that's 99.98% of how it was submitted. Many people submit sloppy manuscripts, expecting others to do the work for them. I don't prefer that method.
Sure, some professional editors are good at editing. And most writers need at least one really good editor, however that happens. "Some" critique groups and editing workshops aren't good, yet some are. Again, check the results-- and then make a decision. But I've seen a lot of "professionally edited" material that was crap-- published books from NY houses, including books on the best-seller list. Stuff that wouldnít have got past any of the critiquers I use.
I also stated before that Briona Glen uses professionals that are not listed on their website, and that the website is outdated.
LillyPu-- what I'm happy about is that I now have two quality series novels out-- in many distribution channels, finding more readers every day, while I write more books. I can now publish more good books, and find more readers. To me, that is preferable to the unpublished limbo, waiting to win a lottery of sorts, hoping that the NY gods of traditional publishing will swoop down and propel you to fame and glory.
And yes, books sell in many more places than AmazonÖ
LillyPu-- don't know about the Facebook thing, but my guess is that they were contacted by folks who'd seen a book advertised there. As I said, new to me.
Be sure to come back and let folks here know what publishing option you decide to go with, and share your experience. That will add information for others. Best of luck!
Swvaughn-- if you're burning both ends, I think they have a cream for thatÖ
Glad you're happy with your publisher. Didnít say you shouldnít be, go with whatever option you prefer. Donít promote if you donít want to. I was sharing my experience, responding to people who wanted information. I sure didnít say it was for everyone.
Any publisher only publishes a fraction of what's available, so they're not feasible for "most authors." They can only publish so many, leaving many thousands of others without the benefit of their expertise.
Yeah, that myth about Konrath only being successful now because traditional publishing made him famousÖ it's been debunked, at painstaking length, in a number of places. Sorry we got into the aside, but people keep bringing up other issues than Briona Glen.
Okay, let's summarize, so we can stop beating a few of these dead horses. Pay attention, there will be a quizÖ
There-- now we can all get back to writing! Good luck, all!
- People posting here arenít bad people, we just have differences of opinion.
- In today's world, there are different publishing options.
- No publishing option is right for everyone.
- Each person is free to choose the publishing option they want.
- A person can be quite happy with their choice, despite the fact that others think they could do better with another option.
- There are different measures of success.
- People do not have to do what you or I think they must do. As Yoda would say, "Is no MUST-- is only do, or do not."
- Having a professionally published book out that is selling while you build a larger readership is better than an unpublished manuscript with no sales or readership.
- Whatever your opinion of others backgrounds, methods, or beliefs, this is not an ideological battle of good vs evil.
- Things that help writers are good, even if you think it wonít help you personally.
- Briona Glen Publishing has helped some writers to professionally publish quality books. That does not mean you are supposed to publish with them if you donít want to. They are building, and growing. They are not perfect.