Sunday, May 8, 2016

Why I Like Being Hybrid

Happy Mother's Day to everyone, whether your mom was good or terrible, still with you or not, and whether anyone's ever acknowledged your own mothering. Special love and gratitude to both my own mother - the blonde in our family photo there - and to my second mother, my aunt sitting next to her. I'm blessed to have you in my life!

Secondly, we have a winner in the WORD WHORES REBRANDING BAKEOFF! Okay, no pastry items were involved (more's the pity), but we sorted through name suggestions from numerous sources and voted on our favorite.

The new name?? THE SFF SEVEN.

I like it a whole bunch! The change will kick in next Sunday, May 15. We'll keep you apprised!

In the meanwhile, we have seven winners! People who kindly brainstormed name ideas are:

Sullivan McPig
Stacy McKitrick
Kevin Reitz
B.E. Sanderson
Lynne Facer

You get to pick any book from any of the SFF Seven! Comment here to let us know the book and format preferred, along with a way to privately contact you to send it. Thank you, everyone, for playing!

In other news, to celebrate the upcoming release of THE PAGES OF THE MIND (and the concurrent release of THE CROWN OF THE QUEEN), Book One of the entire series, THE MARK OF THE TALA, is on sale for only $2.99. If you've been thinking about getting caught up on the series, now's a great time to get started!

Amusingly (or not, really) I saw a customer review somewhere that said they'd bought the book at the sale price, but then "the author raised the ebook price to $9.99 for the subsequent books." So, yeah, I know that MY PUBLISHER, Kensington, has the standard ebook price set at $9.99, which is a lot for the current market. I can't do anything about that. That's a drawback of traditional publishing - which is having a publisher, like mine in New York City - that was established before newer publishing models, and focuses on print book production, distribution and sales.

It's kind of interesting to me that self-publishing has become so well-established and prevalent these days that readers assume the authors set prices. But I also understand that these things are not transparent to the average reader. 

This week, we'll all be discussing the different forms of publication and which work best for us. We've got a variety of publishing paths in this group, so there should be a nice variety in the discussions. 

For my part, I consider myself to be hybrid at this point - which means I have books both with my traditional publishers and that I self-publish. I'm ever so grateful that I have the option to do both. A lot of authors who've been successful in the traditional publishing model had difficulties with the drawbacks there - price-setting, yes, but also long lead times, corporate politics, books going out of print, never to be resurrected, etc. With self-publishing so much more accessible and acceptable these days - and here I'd like to tip my hat to the intrepid writers who truly blazed this trail and made it so smooth and even for later-adopters like me - being a hybrid writer makes a great deal of sense to me. 

There are a lot of things I do like about traditional publishing, and I'm forever glad I both took that path and had the opportunity to do so. That's something important to remember - many authors who self-publish took that path because the doors to traditional publishing remained firmly closed to them, for a variety of reasons. For them, it wasn't a "choice" so much as the most viable alternative.

Similarly, however, authors who did take the traditional path are not stupid. And I feel I have to say this because I've been told to my face by more than one person that I'm stupid for going with traditional publishing instead of self-publishing, where I could have more control and make more money. I have many good reasons for making the decisions I did. One of them is that money isn't everything. It's not even the most important thing. 

Also, we decisions we do for complex reasons, many of them in the privacy of our hearts and minds. Chuck Wendig once said that, when people criticize him for going with traditional publishing when he could be making more money self-publishing, he feels like they're saying he should have married someone other than his wife.

I asked him if I could quote him here on that because that's a perfect analogy of how it feels. Nobody else can make these choices for us, these powerful decisions that affect the course of our lives. Second-guessing those choice, particularly by someone who hasn't been inside our skulls, hasn't walked in the quiet of our hearts, is simply inappropriate.

So, this week, as you hear each of our seven weigh in on the various publishing paths, keep that in mind. The kind of publishing that will work best for you is the one that works for YOU. Educate yourself. Weigh the options. But choose according to your heart, mind and gut - not someone else's.

After all - you'll be the one married to your decisions. 


  1. I'm often surprised by how some readers think.

    And yay on getting to pick a book! thank you! I have books by Jeffe, Marcella, Linda and K.A.K. so I'm going for a new to me author and picking A Murder of Mages.
    I can be reached at sullivanmcpig at gmail dot com

  2. Oh, how fun! I'll have to right a wrong from RT Convention 2016. I didn't get a book from Veronica Scott--for shame! I'd love to get a paper version of Outbreak. I'm at

  3. Love the new name. I'm glad you are addressing that there are a variety of ways to publish, and that it is a personal decision.

  4. You know, my main takeaway from the whole Trojan War story is that the smart man refuses to award golden apples in the first place. And this is definitely a golden apple kind of situation. But, free mind-candy is free mind-candy. So, with the disclaimer that this choice in no way constitutes favoritism amongst a ridiculously talented field of artists, may I please have a copy of Marcella's Nightmare Ink in Kindlish format?