Keeping with the theme that’s emerged this week, I just read an agent blog espousing why we should want to be traditionally published. I found myself rejecting most of her points easily. Validation? I can get that straight from readers. Marketing? Unless you’re Stephen King, very little is spent on marketing and I can do the promotion myself, just as they’d expect me to do with a trad contract (for free.) Partnership? Working in traditional publishing is not a partnership. Editors? I can hire editors. I can do just about everything a regular publisher can do because I am a regular publisher! (Get it?) I just happen to publish myself. Yes, I wish I had more resources, interns and more time in each day and it would be great to have the help, but I don’t have to give up the rights to my books forever to do that.
The article went on and some of the comments were misinformed and dismissive. I became exasperated because all this stuff is too familiar. I heard it in my twenties when I worked inside traditional publishing: Pay your dues, make your bones, and wait, wait, wait! We’ll value your opinion some day. Maybe.
I’ve promoted indies and traditionally published authors. I know going indie isn’t for everybody just as trad publishing isn’t for everybody. Circumstances change so we do switch back and forth. We’re all writers. We should strive to support each other because it’s a harsh world and we can each share information to become the tide that raises all boats. We are undervalued but we can value each other, respect the craft, respect the reader and respect ourselves. At least some of the people who say, “Wait, wait, wait,” are self-serving or past their “best before” date. Fortunately the world has changed and we don’t have to let someone else drive this bus and go where others want us to go. We can drive now, too.
And then I thought how tired I am of the trad vs. indie discussion and whom does it serve? I’ll do no more research today. I will not wallow in negativity. I’ll go write something great, work on my books, be the example and prove the naysayers wrong.
Trad or indie, that’s my challenge to you today:
1. Go write something great.
2. Work on your books.
3. Be the example.
4. Prove the naysayers wrong.
- Indie publishing is getting better (chazzwrites.com)
- Let’s End the Author vs. Publisher Feuding and Indie vs Trad (writeitforward.wordpress.com)
- Slush Pile Snark (chazzwrites.com)
- Traditional publishers should learn from self-publishers (teleread.com)
- Top Seven Reasons to Self Publish and Three Reasons not to Self Publish (pamelahegarty.com)
- In traditionally or self-published books, quality is where you find it (teleread.com)