Insight…

A friend of mine recently stepped into the indie publishing world with her book, Wildflowers. While I am very excited for her (Rhonda McCormack) and her adventure, there is much insight to gather.

As many of my visitors know I am under contract, and have been for about a year and a half with my middle-grade book. I will admit, I am starting to wonder what will ever become of my so-called book. While I continue to achieve growth in numbers of published magazine stories, the end result of success will remain with published books, and many of them!

Writers, however, know that the publishing world can follow strict rules or no rules at all. Excellent writing plays a smaller role to connections and often times luck. Writers also know that becoming published is an increasingly difficult task as the publishing world fails to compete with other media vices. (Any SCBWI members notice that The Bulletin shrunk in size with their latest issue?)

I am wondering what other writers are gathering from the ever evolving publishing world? Will most books soon be indie published? What will happen to writers/authors current and future submitting to publishing companies as they continue to merge? Will agent-ed work become the only way?

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10 Comments Add yours

  1. J.R. LeMar says:

    I believe that self-publishing will continue to increase, especially with the rise in ebook publishing. It used to be that you needed a major publisher because they could get your book into bookstores, but now more and more people just go online and get their books off sites like Amazon anyway. When I go to download a book on my Kindle, I’m just looking @ the synopsis, and see if it sounds good. Whether it’s published by a big company, a smaller company, or just directly from the author doesn’t factor into it.

    The trade-off with self-publishing though is that it puts a lot more of the onus on the author to promote themselves. So that’s extra work, and requires creativity.

    1. Karin Marie says:

      From what I have gathered, even the bigger named publishing companies are putting more on the author to promote as their budget gets smaller. It would for sure require creativity, which can be difficult to make it not seem like a sales pitch.

      1. J.R. LeMar says:

        Yep, that’s true, it’s increasingly up to all authors to find their own ways to get themselves out there, regardless of whose publishing their work.

        And some don’t do it well. I’ve seen authors on Twitter or Facebook where all they do is post links to where to buy their books, or links to review of their books, just relentless self-promotion. But that starts to just feel like spam, I think most folks tune that out after awhile, so you’re not really reaching anyone anyway.

  2. To be honest, I don’t know. People will continue to want stories, that I’m sure about. How those stories will get out into the world will surely change. I’m just focusing on keeping my head down and writing more stories…and hoping people will want to read them. 🙂

    1. Karin Marie says:

      Do you think the format people, readers, will want to read stories in will continue to grow only in digital forms Anna? I personally don’t ever see myself picking a book other than in the “old school” format.

  3. Mirka Breen says:

    I think of the self-published (can’t get used to the ‘Indie” term) as braver than I am.

    I need a publisher, because I don’t think an editor paid by me will give me the tough love I think I need. At best I’d get good line editing. I don’t think I can be more than a part-time marketing machine, because I’m a writer who spends what time I have primarily on writing. I don’t think I can learn good book design on the fly, nor am I inclined to spend $ on a designer. I *do* think I can write, so I continue to, and have published the ‘old way.’
    But, and you are so right- Things they are a-changing in publishing. We’re watching the shifts in real time.

    1. Karin Marie says:

      The word “indie” I think gives a better chance for writers/authors because the self-published term has a sense of negativity to it at times by other writers.
      I have paid for editing services on one manuscript long ago, and I would agree, there was a massive amount of line-editing, but as far as editing (the giving advice or telling the writer what they don’t want to hear, like additions or complete cutting and rearranging) it might fall short, unless one gets lucky.
      I find the shifts in real time to be a bit daunting.

  4. richhell says:

    I think some writers are feeling more vulnerable and at the mercy of publishing companies that provide smaller advances and less advertising support. Then there are some writers who seem quite happy to have made a go at being “indie.”

    And yes, the shifts are daunting and challenging, not just for writers, but for publishers, too. The changes in publishing, thanks to technology, really are quite amazing.

    1. Karin Marie says:

      I never thought in my life that I would see such a change in the “reader” world. I have only been apart of the writer’s world 2003/2004 and even then I didn’t envision such a shift would happen, and so quickly.

  5. rhonda says:

    Karin ~ Thank you for the plug for Wildflowers, and for generating such an interesting conversation about Indie publishing. And there are some differences in the Indie label versus calling yourself self-published, but not many. This summer I dove head-first into this world, and there’s more to learn everyday. From what I’ve seen, I think there’s room for everyone as the industry evolves. Still, there’s no denying that print-on-demand and eBooks will play a big role in this movement. I’ve been to two writing conferences in six months, and most are predicting exciting changes to both the Indie/self-published world and the traditional marketplace. And yes, there will continue to be readers who always want an actual book, and writers who want their work in tangible, not eFormat, form. But print-on-demand will probably become more popular than mass printings of hard cover books. For economic as well as environmental reasons.

    I think Anna has made a valuable point for writers and authors, just write great content. But, the Indie movement–and here’s one of those small difference from the old self-pub way–provides a space for those writers/authors, illustrators, and artists who are ready to create a niche product, who love the idea of designing ALL the elements of their book, who want to be involved in the WHOLE creative endeavor. It’s like the Indie film community in the way that it’s a place for unique, artistic expression. The kind of expression the big publishing houses can’t take a chance on. Sure, there are going to continue to be quality issues with those artisans who aren’t dedicated to craft. With that said, I still want to stand on the side of allowing space for all creative expression, good and not-so-good, because we can all learn from it, even if we don’t like it. I’m going to do a series of posts on what I’ve learned so far in my Indie publishing experience starting next week on my blog. I’d love for you to stop by and comment more. Here’s the link: http://www.rmccormackwrites.blogspot.com

    I wish you all the best with your continued journey with your middle grade novel. Hang in there. You have a voice that deserves to be heard.

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