a blog about authors and author concerns
It’s tough to be an author today. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” Don’t you all feel this way?
Traditional publishing is dying, self-publishing is the only way to go.
You’re crazy if you self-publish, too much work and the numbers don’t hold up.
I go back and forth. Do I want an agent. Do I want to submit to this publisher or that publisher or stay with my current publisher. Every day I feel like I have to make a new decision, but do I really?
I’m in this for the long haul.
I chose my publisher for several reasons. One, they liked me. (Let’s face it. When someone wants to go out with you, its very flattering.) Two, I receive several rounds of edits from the staff. My editor, the line editor, the copy editor. And then (there is always the final copy if anything is drastically wrong) the formatting editor. And three, they paid for the cover, the editing, the formatting. All things I have little to no experience in. Overall a great small press experience.
So that leaves the big decisions. Should I send my next book to them? What about agents? What about self-publishing and striking it rich?
If you don’t hop on board the gold will be gone. But the truth of it is most miners didn’t make much more than survival money. A few made it big. Self-publishing is like that. Unless you are there for the long haul. Unless you have a back-list and continue to create a back-list.
Want to see someone in it for the long haul? Someone who is quietly panning in the stream and doing very well? Check out Kristine Kathryn Rusch’s blog. I think she actually goes by Kris, so it’s kind of confusing, but she is an up front honest and prolific self-publisher who will tell you like it is. And the best part is she has lots of experience in the traditional publishing industry. Lots.
The post that got me started today is: http://kriswrites.com/2012/09/26/the-business-rusch-watching-the-numbers/.
Also check out her series on publishing http://kriswrites.com/business-rusch-publishing-articles/.
It’s gold. All gold. When someone with her experience shares it with a tenderfoot, you should pull your seat up closer to the campfire and listen. She’s been in, she’s been out. She’s had multiple pen names. She’s never been the BIG name, but she is doing what I would love to do, living the life and making it as an author. More than making it, she is successful.
And she’s in it for the long haul.
Stop worrying about the tiny decisions. Come up with a plan and stick to it. Make it work. And above all, write (and make sure you keep your rights, and copyrights). Your stories, whether or not you have an agent, a big six publisher or a small publisher are your ticket to the LIFE. Think ahead and realize, this business has a long tail and you want to be there, on the front porch of that cabin, with your gold bars safe in the cellar. OR the bank.
Right now, I’m choosing traditional publishing. But every contract I make sure that if I decide to do what Ms. Rusch has done, I have that choice. I want to be panning for gold, not pan handling.
How do you make your career decisions? Do you have a business plan? How far out does it go? My goals go out at least five years, but every year I check to see if they are still valid. Staying in the gold rush means stretching out your supplies, and making sure you’ve planned ahead. Where are you in your life?