This week has seen wide ranging discussions on where authors and publishing are positioning themselves.
Hugh Howey kicked it off with a piece in Salon where he said None of this is meant to say that everyone who self-publishes — even those who study the craft, take their work seriously, and produce a constant stream of material — will find material success. There is also luck involved and the fickle tastes of readers. But what is becoming more apparent with every passing day is that you have a better chance of paying a bill or two through self-publishing than you do through any other means of publication.
Chuck Wendig countered with a piece on his blog warning readers that only going down the self publishing route was courting disaster. I traditionally-publish. I do pretty well at that, too, I think, and actually over the last two years have well-eclipsed anything I made self-publishing. Just the same, I don’t think one is better than the other.
Both make important points which have been debated all over the blogosphere this week. Hugh agrees with Chuck...and compared with diatribes from last year on these different perspectives of Publishing Now, these guys are politeness personified (yes, I said that about Chuck...)
Susan Kaye Quin, an Indie midgrade writer, has also been engaging in this topical debate and she has some good points to make. She looks at both positions coming down firmly on the Indie side...as she would. Take the time to read the debate. Mostly everyone agrees Hybrid is the way to go if you can and different types of publishing for separate projects.
However what everyone is saying on both sides is that quality of content matters. You cannot knock off an ebook in a weekend and make thousands of dollars. This week I was invited to speak to a tertiary Creative Writing Programme. I was blunt because sugar coating reality helps no one. However one very important point I hoped they got was they are already on the right track, by being in a course that will teach them to write to their best ability. There after, it is as Chuck says,...’Art Harder’.
Jane Friedman in her new role as VQR guru brought together a high powered think tank to look at where digital is going in literary publishing. Get a big cup of coffee, the ideas fly thick and fast in the middle with multi media, freelancing and earning income. Porter Anderson, covering the HUGE Writers Digest conference last week, also looks at these ideas including the move of agents to become managers. This is an interesting idea and a way forward for agents.
Another big topic getting lots of talk time is Author’s Guild president Scott Turow’s opinion piece on Amazon buying Goodreads. Unfortunately Scott’s anti digital tirade did not go down well in the blogosphere. Dave Gaughren talks about what went wrong for Scott. He is mostly polite (not like other tirades.) In my humble opinion someone who slams Amazon as much as Scott shouldn’t have his books for sale on it.
Futurebook is asking Can Publishers Disintermediate Amazon...should publishers become retailers...so then....(Check out the article, discuss amongst yourselves.)
Elizabeth Spann Craig has a great blog and this week she is looking at making your comtent work harder for you...I know how she is feeling and have been doing my own investigations down this route...
Anne R Allen says there is a time and place to blog your book...Have you got the right time and place?
PaidContent has looked at Flipboard’s new moves and warns...publishers have not seen this coming and maybe they should be a little bit afraid....The video will knock your socks off (This is a must read!) Your own magazine in 30 seconds...
And to help you with graphics content, new kid on the block, Imgembed, which is revolutionising image capture for blogs, websites etc...no more dodgy steals...and it looks great from the photographers side too. That’s where the blog pic came from.
Jami Gold on Revising for Stronger Themes.
When there is no time...How do you write on the GO
Video Book Trailers...putting one together.
Book Signings that WOW (great ideas from Bookshelf Muse blog)
Author Platform - Are You Being Cautious or Lazy (Catherine Ryan Howard takes you to task.)
In our biggest daily paper was a great article on a Pacific Writer, Lani Wendt-Young who looked at the gap in pacific islands fiction and started writing a Spec Fic series which has taken off among her target audience, Pacific Island youth and then into the wider world. It is a great project and shows what you can do when you stop talking and just write.