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.
I appear to be on a new blog streak. I wouldn’t be sitting in my hotel room writing this, if I weren’t. This is the thirty-third week in a row that I’ve posted a Business Musing. I guess that counts as a streak.
I’m having a bizarre week. I’m redesigning my website, so I don’t have time to update any of the other websites I’m responsible for, including the Women in Science Fiction project. I’m continuing to read for that, though, and am having a blast, although I’m deeply overwhelmed by the amount of material.
Next week, I’m taking a Shakespeare class, partly for a project I’m working on and partly to get my mind on other things. So I’m reading three different Shakespeare plays in prep — Much Ado About Nothing, Pericles, and Antony and Cleopatra, as well as some supplemental material that I need to finish by the middle of the week.
Dean handed me his latest novel on Sunday, and he’s doing a short story per day, starting today. (Well, starting yesterday, really.) And he’s blogging about that.
And because I’m me, I’m keeping up my leisure reading Just Because. And buying too many new books, and not writing enough, and aaaaargh!
(Excuse the meltdown. Am a tad overwhelmed. Moving on…)
I started the major reading for the women in science fiction project I’m editing for Baen Books this month. Most of what I’m reading is stuff I should have read in the past. I’m also rereading stories that I remember from twenty years ago. Some hold up. Others don’t.
I’m stunned at what I’m finding and what’s been lost. I find it overwhelming at times. But it’s such a worthwhile project and so much fun. Some of the material here duplicates what’s on the site, because I’m enjoying what I’m reading so much.