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Writers: DIY vs traditional publishing

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Last month I posted a piece in appreciation of director Kevin Smith after attending one of his Q&As.

Today I ran across Alex Greenwood’s guest post, Shoot the Gatekeepers on Shelly Kramer’s blog. It reminded me again of that indie spirit I love to see.

I’m not telling anyone to go independent exactly. Going rogue is not for everyone because not everyone has the entrepreneurial spirit.

You can find the knowledge and tech support you need to make it happen, but if you don’t want to do all that in the first place, it’s not for you. I guess that’s why I straddle the line here between traditional publishing and going indie. I talk about how to get an agent and a publisher. I also talk a lot about maintaining control of your work, DIY, and marketing yourself to the world. Authors from both sides of the coin need many of the same skill sets, anyway. For instance, even if you’re a traditionally published author, you’re crazy to depend on your publisher to promote and publicize you much at all and none of those efforts are sustained.

It’s frustrating when one entrenched camp mocks the other for their choices. It’s especially bad when those opinions are not so much informed as they are outmoded dogma. For instance, once again today I ran across writers and editors who fail to make a distinction between vanity publishing and independent publishing. I gritted my teeth. Then I found the link above, took a few deep breaths and smelled the roses of someone who gets it. Thanks for a solid post, Mr. Greenwood. I love the indie spirit.

Here’s the shameless plug: If going alone is for you, I’m an editor so I can help. However, if you’re going the traditional route, I’ve been on the inside, so I appreciate what you’re going through and can help with that, too. (At my business site you’ll find more information on getting editing help for your manuscript or web content.)

Here’s the crux: I love books, no matter how they’re produced. It’s about story! Love of story is at the heart. Contrary to what you’ve heard, the medium is not the message. I care much less about a book’s process to publication than I do its narrative. Sometimes I think people who fetishize paper over electronic books love stories much less than they think they do. They’re worrying too much about how the story go to their brains. Dump that worry. Just get your art out there!

Write your story. Make it the best you can. Send it to agents, publishers or directly to fans. Whatever. Just commit to art and the value of your creativity.

Filed under: DIY, getting it done, Publicity & Promotion, publishing, Rejection, self-publishing, , , , , , , , , ,

5 Responses

  1. Thanks so much. I feel no animus towards anyone lucky and talented enough to get a publishing deal. I simply arrived at a point where I couldn’t shelve a beloved book I had worked on for years. Indie publishing (and thank you for making the distinction between it and the old vanity presses) is tough sledding, but worth every moment of it. Who knows–maybe someday a publisher will take a chance on me. When they do they’ll find in me a self-sufficient writer very practiced at marketing his work, I can tell you that.
    Thanks for the kind words, and best wishes to all who go either route.

    • Chazz says:

      Thanks for reading. I hope you didn’t have the impression I thought you were dissing anyone who went the trad publishing route. I applaud you for making your own way when people would stand in your way.

      I have a post on this issue coming up Tuesday morning. Please keep an eye out for it. I’ll be interested in your thoughts. (I question the traditional agent-author model.)


  2. […] Writers: DIY vs traditional publishing (chazzwrites.wordpress.com) […]

  3. […] Writers: DIY vs traditional publishing (chazzwrites.wordpress.com) […]

  4. […] Writers: DIY vs traditional publishing (chazzwrites.wordpress.com) […]

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