I truly believe that this is a great time to be a writer. There’s so much concern, it seems to me, about the state of publishing–bookstores closing or stocking fewer and fewer books, publishing houses not accepting new submissions, or not supporting the authors they’ve already signed, or offering far lower advances than they once were. And not that those are not absolutely valid concerns. But I still say–this is a great time to be a writer.
The e-book revolution has opened up so many doors to us authors that would have been nailed shut before. I also hear a lot of both written and spoken opinions that self (or indie) publishing is somehow ‘too easy’, that the book world is going to be buried under a deluge of dreadful books that the quality control of the major publishers would once have kept from ever seeing the light of day. I hear those arguments, but I’m honestly just not buying it. Yes, it is now ‘easy’ to get your book up there for sale on Amazon. You do not HAVE to rewrite it until you know it forwards and backwards, edit it, polish it, and format it until it shines. If you are crazy enough to try it, you theoretically can throw up a lousy first draft of a sloppy book. But–here’s the thing–it is almost certainly not going to get you anywhere except a possible handful of sales and a lot of bad reviews.
I truly don’t think that indie publishing is any easier than going the traditional route. Writing a good book is HARD, it has always been hard and it always will be. The authors who succeed–the authors who are even now succeeding–are the ones who are passionate and driven enough to make their stories the very best they can be. They are the ones who hire an independent editor, who workshop their book with critique partners and friends, who do their absolute best to ensure that they are bringing a book that they are truly proud of into the world.
And even then, once their books are out in the world–publicizing, spreading the word about your story is by no means easy. We’ve all been talked to about social media and platform and finding your book’s market–and there is no question, it all takes a huge commitment of time and hard work.
So, I hear you say, why is this such a great time to be a writer? [Read more…]