On Friday, November 2, Kamy and I will be talking with Linda Joy Myers, president of the National Association of Memoir Writers---at their FREE Fall Telesummit---about publishing. It’s a timely conversation on the heels of announcements this week about the downsizing and restructuring of Simon & Schuster and the merger between Random House and Penguin.
As these already-huge publishing entities get huger, the impact on authors is great. Big publishers are already risk-adverse, which is exactly why they place great importance on so many other things besides good writing. Savvy readers can take heart in knowing that they can look for books elsewhere. Yes, Amazon is teeming with options. But the issue there becomes how to know whom to trust. The criticism with self-publishing has long been that the quality isn’t there. It’s been called “vanity publishing” because authors have hastily self-published, on their own and without a team. Now the tides are shifting, however, and we’re happy to be a part of a new movement toward high-quality, vetted, self-published books.
Just the other day one of my clients was asking me if I thought she should self-publish on She Writes Press. I told her we’d love to publish her, but that she needed to consider her options. She’s fed up with the experience she’s had out in the traditional publishing world. She had an agent who couldn’t sell her book. She got bites from big presses who strung her along but never bought her project. In essence, she’s been burned. She desperately wants to be signed by a press who will nurture a relationship and feel like they have a stake in her project. Geez, isn’t that what we all want?
The trouble is this: If you’re not bringing to the table what a publisher needs (readers!) in order to sell your book, then they’re unlikely to acquire it. And if you have your own fan base in the form of a wide reach and customers who are willing to buy your book, then the question becomes, why would you give away all of your profits to your publisher?
Kamy and I both chose/are choosing to self-publish with She Writes Press for specific reasons that we’ll be sharing on November 2. My book is out and I’m in the throes of my publicity campaign and learning A LOT! Kamy’s book is in progress and on track to publish in 2013.
We invite all of you to join us for a lively conversation about your publishing options and our feelings about the crazy state of the industry at large.