Thursday, October 28, 2010
CHAPTER TEN: The Old and the New.
I think I forgot that I had a blog for a week or so. With the Idaho Book Extravaganza and all the things going on in the book world I lost it there for a time. No worries, I am back or so I think.
This event was great and the thing that got me was the response from the classes. So many authors out there are hunting a deer that does not exist. The big publishers all seem to have this hold over the minds of us authors and breaking through is like trying to get a boy to stop jumping in mud puddles.
Here is what I got from most the authors I come in contact with.
Why? Well they are told from the start that the way to publish is to write well, submit a great compelling query letter and wait for a response even if it takes a lifetime. And to make matters worse they want to make everyone go to the approved agents who are not taking on new work or they cannot get the big guys to buy any of the books they are selling!
They think that the books they spent their hours and soul on are not good enough to be published. They are rejected over and over or not even responded to from the so called big houses. The "Lucky" ones who make a deal are taken on a ride filled with low royalties and empty promises. The end comes and they are left with their work gone and their dreams crushed.
The rest of the story:
I look at this and wonder why no one told this mass of authors and writers that all the rules have changed? Why did no one tell them that book agents are going away and the small publishers are taking their place? The publishing world is not just changing it is no longer the thing it used to be. And is that a bad thing?
I say no.
The big 5 have had their day in the sun, they controlled the hill for far to long and it is time for the indi presses and authors to take back what is rightfully theirs. Now I am not saying that all traditional publishers are like this. most of the small ones are great but this monster that needs to be fed called the book business is about to loose its food source.
Now for you authors that fall into this mess cycle I have good news. You do not have to submit to a agent. You do not need to go to a big publisher to have your dream of having a book on the market realized. You have the power now and if you will only take it back, if you will do instead of wait things will turn.
Here is how things can be:
You write a great book and you submit it to a small publisher one that is a out of the box sort. Maybe one that loves eBooks and social media. You go through the process with a real person to hold your hand and in the end you are able to see your dream and become a published author.
This new way of publishing is not the one where a group of 5 men pay you an advance of 5-10k and after that you make 5-7%. NO, this is not sell your soul and rights away to a big publisher. This is freedom and 50% royalties on all eBooks and high back end royalties. This is "Make a living" selling books and be paid by the fans not some high on a hill house.
Really, which would you rather have, a advance because you convinced 5 guys at a house or money every month because the public loves your work? Do you want 5k up front and .25 per book after that or do you want 5-10k every month because your fans are buying? Are you in this long term or just want the pat on the back that comes with Random House?
The other thing is most publishing houses are not looking for new titles. Most good agents (the ones you want) are not taking on new work. So you can keep submitting your letters to people that are not buying or you can take control of your own future.