Monday, May 9, 2016

Kicking it Old School

I'm an old fashioned guy. I believe in the sanctity of marriage. I vote my conscience. I try to remember to pay my bills on time. Oh, and I prefer traditional publishing.

Here's the thing: I have no problem with self-publishing, but if you're going to do it you have to do it right. i was recently on a lunch date with the lovely EJ Stevens who is, in fact, a very successful self-published author. We were discussing the matter in depth and what she said made perfect sense. She said, And I'm paraphrasing," Self-publishing works for me, because I'm a control freak. I want input on everything and I want the world to fit my schedule."

I respect the hell out of that, I also know that trying to be in control of everything would make me homicidal. Because I know in my heart of hearts that I would fail at least as often as I succeeded.

So for that reason alone I'm a traditionalist. Do you know what the publishing houses have? An ARMY of people working with them to make sure the books un on time. Oh, don;t misunderstand me. I KNOW most of that army is dedicated to other authors. But they re there and they can be employed in some circumstances.

Angry Robot, for instance, the publisher on a good number of my books, employs a small army, God love them, and in a most unusual fit of circumstance and intelligence, they use that small army to spread the word on books coming from all of their authors. That means the PR team in the UK and in the US of A are actually looking at my work and finding the best places to market it. They may not have a zillion dollars for advertising, but what they DO have is people who know how to employ that smaller budget properly (as opposed to spending more than I make in a year on a single ad in Publishes Weekly for an author who is already selling millions of copies, but I'm not pointing fingers here.).

Aside from that, they also have editors, book designers, distribution deals,  the aforementioned marketing department, and EXPERIENCE. I'm not saying that said experience is always monumental and all knowing, all wise, but I'll take my chances with someone who knows all the things that I am too high strung to learn about publishing myself. Too high strung and too busy. Full time job, full time writer. Got a novel due in three weeks. No time to worry about marketing plans and edits. That's what my publisher is for.

Lastly, what you get from a publisher with any smarts is a good vetting. Is my book any good? No clue. I'm too close to it. Maybe. Hey, I know, I'll try sending it through a few publishers and see what they think. No takers? It might need more work. Someone wants to buy it? Wants to PAY me? Sweet! Let's get the agent in there to handle the dirty work. now I can go back to writing. Later, when it's dreadfully inconvenient, they'll send me edits, and I will pause in what I am doing and take care of them. but that is another tale.