There’s been a great discussion over the past few days over at Magical Words, which is a group blog by some fantastic writers. Because I can’t stay out of a good debate, I’ve been sticking my nose in the comments. One of the best things about this series of posts is not just that everyone involved has some type of experience, from NYT bestsellers to multiple short story sales, to dozens of novels, to my little couple of years on the front lines of self-publishing. I’m by far the least experienced writer in the comments, but there’s a lot to be learned just by hanging out at that site on a regular basis. The other great thing about this discussion is that everyone has remained civil, unlike a lot of internet discussions on these topics. Everyone has shown a lot of mutual respect, and that’s kinda key when talking to other people in the field. Even if you disagree with someone, there’s no need to be nasty. And who knows, the person you’re a dick to on the internet today might be the same person you’re on panel with next summer!
One thing that I posted, that I want to be really clear on, is that I’m not anti-traditional publishing. If a big publishing house wanted to pay me a pile of money, I’d sell the rights to my books so fast it would make your head spin. But the doors of those publishing houses are buttoned up pretty tight, and I haven’t ever made any progress getting my knocking heard. So I self-published, and thanks to all of you and all of your friends, I’m making some decent coin doing it. If that causes NYC to take notice and come calling, that’s very cool. I’d love the chance to go through the process and work with a good editor and make my books the best they can possibly be. If it doesn’t happen, that’s cool too. I’ll maintain all creative control and pocket a larger share of smaller overall sales.
My overall point is that I’m keeping as many options open as I can. I hope that by self-publishing my work so far that I haven’t closed any doors, but if I have, so be it. If NYC wants to come calling, I’ll happily listen. If not, I’ll happily sell books on my own. But if you are interested in other people’s opinions on this topic, go check out Magical Words and the comments from the past few days.