Traditional Publishing is rapidly becoming not so traditional. A new world develops, along with a new set of rules. There are certainly mixed feelings about this new world, but now more than ever agents are skeptical and pristinely selective. The inveterate publishing houses look to foster their recurrent, reliable authors, for they represent what is guaranteed.
I am a subscriber to Publisher’s Lunch (For those of you who don’t know, this is the less costly version of Publisher’s Weekly). From what I can tell, the percentage of fresh meat being tossed around the butcher’s shop is paltry. There is a niche; a very small, tightly molded niche, and if you’re lucky enough to fill it then you’ve beaten the odds.
As the mainstream doorway for budding authors continues to inch shut, writers — facing rejection and presented with other options — are taking their labor and their rights into their own hands. This yields incredible hope and promise for many, but there are those that would say this “progress” hinders the advancement of Great Fiction being read. And to that I would say, “Are you kidding me?”
The masses will decide what they do and don’t like.
The reason I support Indie Authors and Self-Publishing is not because of my own failure to attain representation; it is because I have always and will always believe that everyone deserves the opportunity to prove themselves. Of course it is up to the author to make the most of their arrival. We hope they have spent years and years reading books, developing their craft, entering contests, participating in writing prompts and critique groups. We hope they have failed and we hope this failure is not a reflection of the writing itself, but of a market tending to generate what it knows and perpetuate its own comfort level.
Risk is scary, and when it’s the agent’s head on the chopping block, when their livelihood depends on your success, well gosh, I don’t blame them one bit for being cautious. (Occasionally they will be unnecessarily rude and snarky, and that I don’t condone because it’s just not classy. Put a dollar in the jar.) But if it were me and my head, I would respond no differently.
And this is what I have come to love about self-publishing: the risk is entirely at the discretion of the author. It is the author — not the agent, not the publisher — walking themselves into the fire; and either they will be refined or burnt to a crisp, but either way it’s their business, so why the fuss? Why the arched brows and pursed lips? Why the need to criticize the whole tree because of its assortment of rotten apples? It’s not the trees fault. It was planted there to grow and bring something good to the people. It cannot be held responsible for every wayward fruit. So, if the apple turns to mush in your mouth, for cryin’ out loud reach up and pick another! Poor editing, lousy characters, a drooping plotline, less than convincing dialog — all these I have found in self-published titles, and all these I have found among imprints.
Just the chance; everyone deserves that.
In this post I am introducing six Indie Authors. Their genres and interests span from one end of the spectrum to the other. Below you will find their bios, photos, blurbs, and media-kits. Get to know them; perhaps one will be your next favorite author.
Before you meet them, though, read the article I have copied and pasted from KDP (Kindle Publishing Direct) about one stalwart author’s persistence and her well-earned success in the self-publishing market. This success is very rare, and entirely the result of a tenacious attitude hard work, and let’s not forget the most important part — great writing. Had agent rejection punctuated her career, a great series might never have been discovered. This author saw her chance and she took it. Good for her.
So, in closing, we need not have our hands groping for the throat of the publishing industry. We need not choke or strangle it into submission. The pulse remains tried and true. And it will beat of its own accord, the way it always has, whether or not there are people who wish to dictate it.
Let the masses decide. We the people don’t exist under an oligarchy; and neither should our books.