Fortunately for me, indie publishing came along. I was able to get out of the traditional publishing novel merry-go-round, which never suited me, and able to publish my novels on my own.
There are a lot of capable people working in traditional publishing, some fantastic editors, and publishers who really care about writers and books. I love working with those people. I consider it a privilege to interact with them.
But now, I’m straddling both worlds, and I find myself a bit overwhelmed by the weirdness of both pace and deadlines.
That’s how I described my brain today to a few folks. Fried cheese. Not Swiss cheese, which would imply that there’s space for air to go through. Fried cheese, all melted together—crusty on the outside and unrecognizable goo on the inside.
I’ve written five openings to this blog today. I want to write a completely different blog—and I will. In fact, I’ll write five completely different blogs, but I can’t publish them for several months. If I publish them now, then the people I’m referring to will know I’m referring to them, and that would be […]
I’m sure you’ve all seen the first. Stephen King wrote one of his every-five-years or so essays defending the prolific writer. His essays are always a little defensive, because he’s writing for the literary crowd, and always a little perplexed, as if he’s not sure why people complain when someone writes fast. (I’m perplexed about that too.)
I cringe at times, because I came of age when the arguments were loud, particularly in sf, about what was and wasn’t appropriate for the genre. Whether I agreed or not, those arguments went in.
It took me forever to write space opera, and it took some creative traditional editors to buy it. Nowadays, we can publish what we want, indie if traditional publishing doesn’t want what we’ve done, and public opinion shouldn’t make a difference.
I admit: I haven’t read enough Leigh Brackett. I fell in love with her stories as I read for the women in sf anthology. I’m beginning to believe that all sf roads ride through Leigh Brackett.
Once upon a time, a writer taking on a big publisher like that remained secret, partly so that the writer could sell another book. (Even then, the large publisher would often bad-mouth the writer in private to any other publisher who would listen.)
Times have changed.
The traditional publishers are screaming about Amazon. I’ve learned over the years that when someone screams about something, they’re doing so because they feel some kind of pressure, some kind of pinch.
How could traditional publishers be feeling a pinch from Amazon? After all, in the United States, Amazon is selling more books than any other retailer. Why would that hurt traditional publishers? Is it hurting traditional publishers?
As I thought of all that writing I wasn’t doing because of promoting my own projects, I had been feeling sorry for myself.
And then I flashed back on that conversation with friends who were trying to sell to a traditional publishing house and who weren’t getting anything back from that house. The house expected those writers to do what indie writers do, and get paid less for it.
My realization? Pretty simple, really…
Over the weekend, I headed to traditional publishers’ websites and look at their paranormal romance covers only to discover…that the damn books are branded like urban fantasy or like an E.L. James knockoff or like a cookbook or travelogue. All of this points out a huge problem in the paranormal romance genre. There’s nothing that screams modern paranormal romance. Believe me when I tell you that readers look for such things.