Tuesday, May 28, 2013

How to Get Published...?

Every day I see a new article on how to get published. And not just published, but best seller, quit-your-evil-day-job published. Because as everyone knows, it's totally probable that writers make a bazillion dollars out of the starting gate. Uh, no. Not really. Not at all. 

Granted, self-publishing has increased the odds that a writer can now earn beyond poverty wages, but the majority of writers out there are not making six figures. Many are happy to sell enough to take a nice vacation or pay the water bill. With as much offerings as are available lately, is it any wonder how difficult it is for a writer to stand out among his/her peers?

Some writers mandate that you throw yourself into social media. Others claim that does nothing, and you just have to write a good book. Some insist you need an agent, while others will tell you agents are obsolete. While yet another group hops on one foot, writes using a green pen, and praises Thoth, the Egyptian god associated with writing, because that worked for them. Everyone has a different story or way of doing things, and every writer thinks his/her way is the right way. Who the hell knows why one book sells and another doesn't? I sure don't. 

In the old days of the Big 6 publishers, agents and editors controlled what readers could read. If you weren't traditionally NY published, forget it. Then small presses, what used to be called indie presses, opened the doors. Places like Ellora's Cave and Samhain made erotic romance huge. And indie authors--small press authors--started making a lucrative living.

Fast forward a few years and self-publishing is the new "indie." Today's indie authors are doing well, sharing information, and making it possible for others who've toyed with the idea of writing to actually publish. Personally, I'm glad for the ability to stop relying on a select few to dictate who reads what. However, that said, I've also seen many, many projects that should have been vetted by someone other than the author's best friend before becoming published.

Writing is a very subjective field. But there are pros and cons to self-publishing and traditional publishing. This particular link highlights a great list of things to think about.

And this link details why you might not want to be a writer, when all's said and done. Hilarious, and very, very true.

Happy Monday!


Paty Jager said...

Hey Marie, I agree writers need to make sure the work they put out if it is Indie is clean and worthy of someone (if it's free) taking the time to read it and if it has a price, plunking their money down. I'm starting to stay with my reliable authors because there are so many books that are free or cheap that aren't worth my time to read. But I am enjoying the ability of being Indie published to put out the books that are near and dear to my heart after they have been through my minions and are in the best shape I can make them.

Marie Harte said...

I agree, Paty. I don't mind taking a chance on a cheap read by an author I don't know, but if I run into a poorly edited book with plot problems, or even just a poorly edited book, I decide not to buy from that author again. I'm guilty of wanting to rush publication myself, but I've learned it really helps to sit on a project, go over it a billion times, THEN release it. I love finding a new author, but it's so difficult now because there are so many and it's hard to know who to take a chance on. With me, if the cover is nice and the blurb makes sense, plus I like the sample first chapter, I'll buy it.

Karen Duvall said...

I've been a victim many times over as the reader who ends up reading a poorly written book. I was curious about the self-published revolution so downloaded quite a few free and cheap books. Wow. Very disappointing. Unedited, poorly written, nonsensical plotting, mind-numbing characters... They all had potential if the writer had just taken the next few steps toward making a professional product. Instead, they may have shot themselves in the foot.

What I truly do enjoy are the hybrid authors who were traditionally published first and are now doing it on their own. What a treat. They've done their due diligence, hired an editor and sometimes a professional cover designer, and end up with winning results. Those are the authors I keep tabs on because I trust they'll give me a good book to read.

Marie Harte said...

I think it's obvious when writers know the craft. I love that Amazon lets you read the first chapter. I get so much out of that.

What surprises me is that a lot of trad published authors who go indie have no grasp on grammar. You would think that after their experience with editors and publication, they would know to get their work edited properly.

I no longer pay attention to an author's "pedigree" with publishing but put a lot of stock in the blurb and chapter I get to preview. It makes all the difference. :)