First, don’t forget the Summer Breeze Anthology to support breast cancer research, and my giveaway for military families (a copy of Life, Liberty, and Pursuit and a gift card) – please spread the word!
I’ve read a lot of blogs this last week about changes in the publishing industry. As the fabulous Laura Pauling says, it’s enough to give you whiplash. But something real is happening.
Beginning writers are advised to learn the industry. But what if everything about the industry is changing before your eyes? My first glimmer of the consequence of this was back in April, when I posted on writing to trends and asked, “What if everything we’ve been told is wrong?”
Then I read Robin Sullivan’s insightful post about the NEW RULES, where she says, for authors to be successful, they need to write a series to establish themselves – the exact opposite of an industry that discourages you from writing the second book in that series you’ve started until you’ve got a book contract (from that industry) in hand.
Then I read a post by Indie author Susan Ee about how the industry couldn’t move fast enough to get her angel book (which is awesome, BTW) into readers hands, so she did it herself, and was wildly successful.
Then I read John Locke’s book (How I Sold a Million e-books in 5 months) and this quote smacks me in the face:
“When I invested my own money to start my insurance agency no one accused me of making a vanity investment. …When Bill Gates and Paul Allen invested their time and money into developing code for the Altair computer, no one accused them of writing vanity code. But if Bill Gates and Paul Allen invest their own money to write a book, they’re no longer businessmen, they’re vain!”
And a lightbulb goes off in my head.
When a businessman can come into an industry and turn it on its head by ignoring the rules, and be wildly successful, then change isn’t coming. It’s already here.
And the thing that has changed is our VALUES.
Now value (read: money) is found in writing a series quickly, building a fan base, and ignoring all the rules heretofore set by the industry. Value is found in giving customers (i.e. readers) what they want, quickly, not two years from now.
I know I’m sounding like a self-publishing advocate. And maybe that’s the path I will end up on (I’m still pursuing traditional publishing, as of this moment).
But my point is this: More than ever, writers need to trust their own intuition. Take risks. Envision the career you want to have. Then go make it happen.
Because it’s a Wild West out there, people, and you don’t want to be a stuffy East Coast scribbler hiking up her petticoats and saying “Ew!”
Or maybe that’s just me.
Please leave your erudite thoughts in the comments! I very much want to hear what you think of all this.
p.s. and there’s this post by the amazing agent Rachelle Gardner (via Nathan Bransford), that is the driving force (I believe) behind so many quality authors choosing e-publishing.