Until recently writers who wanted to be published, the really serious ones who'd done everything right were finding their queries to publishers unanswered. If a manuscript was requested, it was perhaps relegated to the circular file, i.e. the trash can. They faced the stark reality that though many had told them their work was amazing, the publishers who created the marketplace by what the published didn’t see the merit readers did. For publishers publish what they believe with sell. And promotion, as all authors can attest is what makes a bestseller or places a great book in the recycle bin.
Yes! It’s true; some publishers will pick up a book, so…Since this is a compare and contrast post, I’ll call this the ‘Ying Land’ part of being published. If you’re lucky enough to have written a manuscript that hits a publishers, “Start the PR right now!” hot button, your work and you will be treated as any perfect diamond that’s fully formed, has exquisite luminosity, color, cut and was found without searching, and acquired without a fight. In Acquisitions Land, your work, to paraphrase scripture is ‘that pearl of great price’, so the publisher must acquire your work!
Authors who spend their days in ‘Yang Land’ experience the opposite. These writers’ may have labored more diligently and for more years honing their craft than “Yang Land’ writers did. Most likely they’ve attended more critique groups, workshops, conferences, and if the truth were told might know that the reason they and their work haven't received the ‘Yang’ treatment isn’t about its merits but about the current and forecasted marketplace trends, ie sales.
With the advent of self-publishing a new phenomenon is now gaining traction because Indie Authors, many of whom until a few years ago were those very authors courted by the top publishers, and many of which had very successful and financially rewarding experiences as an author published by such and such firm have now discovered that as an Indie Author, they have control of and higher earnings from their work. These authors fully experience the ‘Ying Yang of Indie Author Land’.
Still readers desiring a great book, and writers longing to be published, wanted to have a book that’s been published by a recognized firm, thus leading some unsuspecting authors into contracts where they lose all rights to their work, except the bragging rights of having been published by…without knowing that a loss of all rights is worse than being Partner Published by a vanity press who for money will let one keep their rights and give them a very expensive book. And the unsuspecting reader, who having tossed their latest purchase into their circular file, will try an Indie Author's work.
So we see as publishers have, that those who love to read, and those who write are 'Experiencing the Ying Yang of Inie Author Land' because publishing options leveled the field for authors who now have the ability to do what is necessary when all else fails and challenge the status quo by choosing to affirm the value of their own work by not waiting for a publisher to contact them. Writers able to affirm their work this way have created a unique situation where publishers are offering contracts to those Indie Authors whose books they probably would have rejected but whose sales show that the readers love them.
This shift within publishing happened because readers voted by purchasing what they liked. With the advent of Create Space, Kindle, Smashwords, and a slew of others too numerous to mention, writers have other options, which I’ll explore in my next post.
This shift within publishing happened because readers voted by purchasing what they liked. With the advent of Create Space, Kindle, Smashwords, and a slew of others to numerous to mention, writers have other options, which I’ll explore in my next post.
Paula Rose Michelson is the author of “How Did We Become Angry? LAMB Ministries 7X7 Biblical Recovery for Women Suffering from Trauma & Abuse”, “The Purple Pitch Seduction of America: Inalienable Rights” , and ‘From Why Johnny Can’t Read’ too “See Paula Write’.
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