Magical Words and Self/Traditional/Small Press Publishing

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 onĀ  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.

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2 thoughts on “Magical Words and Self/Traditional/Small Press Publishing

  1. Read the articles and comments and while not a writer I am a voracious reader and what i’ve noticed over the last couple of decades is that the traditional houses no longer like to speculate, they want a sure thing. Because of this more money is spent on promoting the Pattersons that are already out there than looking for the next big thing. Yes, there is some openings for new writers just because you can’t not have resourses to back you up and restock the shelves when other wells go dry to mix a few metaphors but compared to what I used to see on the shelves years ago the amount of new writers being nutured by traditional publishing is way down.

  2. I want to assure you that you are definitely NOT the least experienced writer contributing to the Magical Words comments [the word “newbie” flashing on my forehead].

    Your insights have been valuable and informative, and dare I say it, inspirational. I’ve been impressed by your savvy and your progress, so I’ll be closely watching your fiction publishing journey. I can only hope to be as successful as you have been.

    Best of luck to you!

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