Monday, August 16, 2010

No Snap Decisions

We often question the sanity of publishers, bookstores and agents. We see a new decision, new school of thought, a diversion from the norm, and we shake our heads. Blog comments pepper the blogosphere. List groups rev up and inundate email boxes as writers fuss over the logic (or apparent lack of).Examples:

1. When Harlequin decided to open a self-publishing imprint, the world went nuts. Professional organizations banned their products and authors from being acceptable for membership (i.e., MWA, RWA, SFWA).

2. When Dorchester Publishing decided to stop mass paperback in lieu of electronic publishing (at least for now), people Twittered and Facebooked and wrung their hands, wondering what other publisher would follow suit.

3. When Amazon and a string of publishers fought over fixing prices for ebooks, leading some to gravitate to Apple, everyone felt they had to pick a side and lamblast the other.

4. When traditionally published authors took their backlists and self-pubbed them in ebook form, less-seasonsed authors everywhere got excited about a new venue for them outside of the traditional market (i.e., avoiding rejection yet again).

We are so quick to watch the major players and make quick assumptions. Listen, people. Those entities are making decisions that suit THEM. They are not thinking about you. Your situation is not theirs. Let the dust settle before passing opinion.

AND . . . do not make a decision based upon someone else's conclusions.

With the industry bouncing around like a pinball game, you have many more options. That also means you have more chance for mistake. And whatever the change, this does not give you a short cut to publication!

Slow down. Breathe into a paper bag. Then go back and write - with blinders on to the fray around you. Good gracious, you'd think this was a soap opera or something. Frankly, someone ought to write a book about such a writer - the one who can't publish for changing her mind on how she ought to be doing it - to the point she never publishes. Or the opposite - where she publishes each book for a different reason, via a different method, resulting in different ends. To the point she has no clue what she's doing. In the midst of all the hoopla, she forgets the fact she is a storyteller, and alienates the public she initially meant to please.

1 comment:

Jessica Ferguson said...

They better not publish a book about a writer who can't publish for changing her mind on how she ought to be doing it - to the point she never publishes. I'll sue! I'd be certain they were talking about me. :)

Hope, in my writing world, you're the voice of sanity.