NetGalley

Author Topic: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.  (Read 31872 times)  

Offline Jill James

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1248
  • Gender: Female
  • Biggest Little City in the World
    • View Profile
    • Jill James, romance writer
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #50 on: January 27, 2014, 04:11:01 PM »
From kdgould
Maybe I'm reading this article differently than everyone else, or maybe it's because my personality tends to focus criticism inward rather than out, I don't know.  But what I got was not that we should be judging each other's work or preventing others from publishing, but being honest about our own.

I was going to say this, but you said it so well that I just copied it. :)
Ghostly Deceptions: 8%

Ghostly Perceptions: 1%
A Little Sweet. A Little Sexy. A Lot Happily-Ever-After.
Jill James | blog | website | Facebook | Twitter | newsletter

Offline ToniD

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3720
  • Gender: Female
  • California
    • View Profile
    • website
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #51 on: January 27, 2014, 04:18:52 PM »
See, but again, you're conflating "writing" with "publishing."

I celebrate writers of all levels at their careers or non-careers.

Publishing, though, I think you have to stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about readers. And at that point, that means being your own critic, your own gatekeeper. Just my opinion, of course. I respect your point and I'm not out to inhibit anybody's freedom here -- just out to ask that they think about what they're putting out in terms of the work.

Hopefully folks found something to value in the post. This is all, as with everything I write, very much a Your Mileage May Vary situation. But I can already speak to some experience that it's reaching folks in the way I've intended. Got a bunch of emails and seen some conversations on FB from authors who self-published who are saying, "You know, I didn't really take this seriously, maybe I'm not selling as well as I could have."

At the very least, it's stirred some conversation. And at the end of the day if you're (the Royal You, not the Hugh You) are going to criticize traditional publishing for all that it does wrong, it's at least worth considering what self-publishing can do differently and do better in an ongoing conversation.

Good luck, all! Glad the post worked for some folks. Er, for the record, it's not "link-bait." It's me saying stuff that's on my mind and stuff that's on my mind. I don't have advertising on my site outside my own books, and readers at the blog are not immediately and instantaneously readers of my work. Also, Hugh, I don't consider you part of any problem -- though I don't always agree with you (what fun would that be?), you're obviously an example to hold up as a paragon of Doing It Right. *shrug*

-- Chuck

I find it interesting that the only one you respond to in this long thread is our superstar ;)

As to quality work: readers are pretty much sorting out the worth-reading from the not-worth-reading. Certainly good stuff gets buried (I can think of one truly brilliant piece of Indie work that is buried), and crap gets on bestseller listsso yeah, its a messy democracy. Beats the oligarchy, though.

Offline Courtney Milan

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1048
  • Gender: Female
    • View Profile
    • http://www.courtneymilan.com
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #52 on: January 27, 2014, 04:29:55 PM »
I guess I don't understand why everyone has to be publishing for exactly the same reasons and with exactly the same end goal. That's not called a "contradiction" or a "double standard." That's called "life."

We call something a "double standard" when two things that should be treated the same are treated differently. Quite frankly, there are some traditionally published books that fall in the "...how did anyone publish this?" camp. And yes, there's a minimum floor that I think people should aspire to--anything less than that, and it's just not right to put up a commercial product for sale.

But castigating people for not wanting to earn a living off their writing is ridiculous. The whole point of self-publishing is that you can decide which league you want to be in.

If I don't want to be in a major league, who are you to come along and tell me that I have to play ball with the big guys? Maybe I just want to toss the ball around with my friends. Maybe I like my day job and have tennis elbow and I can't play in the major leagues. Telling people they can't play a low-key game comes off as a little mean-spirited.

I really don't understand why there's any contradiction between saying, "I can self-publish myself in to the major leagues, BUT ALSO, if I want, I can have a low key publishing career where I put out a book every two years."

Work for the career you want, and if you're happy with the one you have, well, nuts to anyone who says you have to want a different one.

Courtney Milan                                                                                                                                                        <coming soon>
http://www.courtneymilan.com

Offline Terrence OBrien

  • Status: Jeffry S. Hepple
  • *******
  • Posts: 9872
  • Gender: Male
  • Kansas City, MO
    • View Profile
    • Terrence OBrien
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #53 on: January 27, 2014, 04:35:06 PM »
Seems nobody has the power to stand between the author and Amazon. And nobody has the power to stand between Amazon and the consumer.

Aint this a great country?
When ideas become weapons, modern Templars make a last ditch attempt to stop
terrorists from using an ancient treaty to rally moderate Muslims to their Jihad......

My Web Site: www.OBrienTerrence.com
For UK Readers At Amazon UK
For Canadian Readers At Amazon CA

Offline Usedtoposthere

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5880
    • View Profile
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #54 on: January 27, 2014, 04:36:15 PM »
See, but again, you're conflating "writing" with "publishing."

I celebrate writers of all levels at their careers or non-careers.

Publishing, though, I think you have to stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about readers. And at that point, that means being your own critic, your own gatekeeper. Just my opinion, of course. I respect your point and I'm not out to inhibit anybody's freedom here -- just out to ask that they think about what they're putting out in terms of the work.

Hopefully folks found something to value in the post. This is all, as with everything I write, very much a Your Mileage May Vary situation. But I can already speak to some experience that it's reaching folks in the way I've intended. Got a bunch of emails and seen some conversations on FB from authors who self-published who are saying, "You know, I didn't really take this seriously, maybe I'm not selling as well as I could have."

At the very least, it's stirred some conversation. And at the end of the day if you're (the Royal You, not the Hugh You) are going to criticize traditional publishing for all that it does wrong, it's at least worth considering what self-publishing can do differently and do better in an ongoing conversation.

Good luck, all! Glad the post worked for some folks. Er, for the record, it's not "link-bait." It's me saying stuff that's on my mind and stuff that's on my mind. I don't have advertising on my site outside my own books, and readers at the blog are not immediately and instantaneously readers of my work. Also, Hugh, I don't consider you part of any problem -- though I don't always agree with you (what fun would that be?), you're obviously an example to hold up as a paragon of Doing It Right. *shrug*

-- Chuck
I don't think "self-publishing" is an entity, though. Of course, "traditional publishing" isn't an entity either, but with four or five or whatever-it-is-now major players, it's a lot closer to being something about which one can generalize.

Certainly, most of the writers on this board seem to be trying hard to do things "right," as you say--because we know that if we don't, we will probably not succeed. Of course unedited books are put up with lousy covers and blurbs. But those books are not likely to be bestsellers. I think we all get that.

And lots of us (myself included) have posted on our own blogs about craft things, or "how-tos" on covers and blurbs. So, yes, if "policing" oneself means striving to put out a quality product (because that will increase our sales), we're doing that. If it means sharing our experience with others on their way up, we're doing that, too. But if it means "discouraging others," I don't think most of us want to be in that position.

I mean, how well do the people whose business it is to judge "quality" do it? How many of us who sell moderately-to-big as indies are in this game because we were turned down over--and over--and over by the experts? I'm certainly no expert in what will sell. I wouldn't deign to tell anybody else, unless they asked me, and even then, I'd be hesitant.

But kudos to you for coming on here and responding. It was a thought-provoking post, that's for sure.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 04:39:05 PM by Rosalind James »

Offline she-la-ti-da

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 6450
  • in the bunker
    • View Profile
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #55 on: January 27, 2014, 04:53:37 PM »
Of course we should all strive to put out the best possible work, as that gives us a better chance of selling. I know that from many, many years of studying the craft, and writing (though my sales didn't show it). But, not everyone has had the benefit of years of learning and experience. They get blasted by sites/books/videos that tell them all they have to do is write a "book" and self-publish, and watch the money roll in.

If someone asks for a critique, then they'll get one, and most likely react negatively (from my experience). But should I be trolling Amazon, and sending out criticism to writers who I consider "sub-par"? I don't think so. I know I wouldn't like getting unsolicited "advice" from a stranger like that.

Good on you, Chuck, for joining and posting.
Queen of Procrasti Nation

Genres: speculative fiction under main pen name.




Offline Terrence OBrien

  • Status: Jeffry S. Hepple
  • *******
  • Posts: 9872
  • Gender: Male
  • Kansas City, MO
    • View Profile
    • Terrence OBrien
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #56 on: January 27, 2014, 04:56:10 PM »
Suppose a book has a plain white cover, with title and author printed in simple, black letters. Suppose it becomes a best seller. Should we be concerned?
When ideas become weapons, modern Templars make a last ditch attempt to stop
terrorists from using an ancient treaty to rally moderate Muslims to their Jihad......

My Web Site: www.OBrienTerrence.com
For UK Readers At Amazon UK
For Canadian Readers At Amazon CA

Offline jackz4000

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2819
    • View Profile
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #57 on: January 27, 2014, 05:10:16 PM »
You can't control what others may do. You can't tell them how or what to write or publish. You can control what you write and publish. Pretty simple.

When I go skiing down a mountain I pay attention to what I'm doing--I'm not trying to watch everybody else to see if they are skiing well. I pay attention to me and where I'm going.

Offline Cherise

  • Status: Emily Dickinson
  • *******
  • Posts: 8004
  • Gender: Female
  • Spokane, WA
    • View Profile
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #58 on: January 27, 2014, 05:10:28 PM »
Publishing, though, I think you have to stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about readers. And at that point, that means being your own critic, your own gatekeeper.

-- Chuck

Thanks for stopping by!

Take your own advice, though, and go proofread that article.  :o

Offline Hugh Howey

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3440
  • Gender: Male
  • Jupiter, FL
    • View Profile
    • Hugh Howey
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #59 on: January 27, 2014, 05:13:39 PM »
I guess I don't understand why everyone has to be publishing for exactly the same reasons and with exactly the same end goal. That's not called a "contradiction" or a "double standard." That's called "life."

Yup. If someone wants to publish a family history on Amazon for 10 relatives to purchase, or just to leave out there as a virtual monument to another human being, more power to them. I can think of dozens of reasons to publish that don't further the goal of high literature or big entertainment.

If someone had made a blog post about how they personally hadn't been taking self-publishing seriously enough, and they vowed to do a better job going forward, I'd support the heck out of that. People should be their own gatekeepers. Asking other people to do a better job assumes they aren't already.

I think most people are doing the best they can. If they could do better, they would. The best we can do is be good examples. And trust that not everyone has our same goals and motivations when it comes to publishing. And yeah, I say that people have the same right to publish, as well as write. No gatekeepers but ourselves and the readers. For all I know, Bigfoot porn will catch on next year. So don't put me in charge of what passes. I'm not waving people through. I'm just waving at them.
 
Hugh Howey | author website | facebook | twitter | goodreads

Offline Jim Johnson

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 6488
  • Gender: Male
  • Alexandria, VA
  • Storyteller and Cat Minion
    • View Profile
    • Ineti Press
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #60 on: January 27, 2014, 05:25:02 PM »
Suppose a book has a plain white cover, with title and author printed in simple, black letters. Suppose it becomes a best seller. Should we be concerned?

Not at all. I would cheer that day. It'd be a refreshing reminder that you can't judge a book by its cover. :)

Offline syrimne13

  • Status: Lewis Carroll
  • **
  • Posts: 102
    • View Profile
    • JC's website
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #61 on: January 27, 2014, 05:26:21 PM »
Okay, so sounds like i was the (possibly one of several?) people who might have misread the prescription implied in the article. I guess, being a practical sort, I'm still left at kind of a loss on how to make this actionable. I mean, there have been a million studies (and terms, just do a quick search on wikipedia and elsewhere) showing that people are the worst judges of themselves and their own abilities, in every conceivable way...and that the worse we are at something, the more likely we are to see ourselves as geniuses and at the top of our game.

So while I appreciate that it's a thought-provoking article, I guess I keep coming back to this: what to do with the recommendation/implications here? I already feel like I do my best to put out the best product I can at the time. I still look back on my early efforts and cringe. I'm sure I'll look back on a lot of what I'm doing now and cringe too.

I guess I'm sort of left with the same as before. Who decides? And why is this so important? Are these supposedly "inferior" products doing any harm to anyone? And, I guess more to the point for me, would any amount of "proving" ourselves to the trad industry and its gatekeepers either a) convince them that indie is anything but the minors, given that to NOT see indies that way undermines their very existence, or b) ever be remotely practical without some form of (external) gatekeeping?

Either way, I say, "meh." Sounds like a waste of time.

And for the record, I'm a big Wendig fan and read a lot of his posts, so this isn't about him, more the practicality of his argument. I also think it's cool he came on here to rebut.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 05:28:53 PM by syrimne13 »

Offline Annie B

  • Status: Edgar Allan Poe
  • *******
  • Posts: 5118
    • View Profile
    • My website
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #62 on: January 27, 2014, 05:30:54 PM »
Yup. If someone wants to publish a family history on Amazon for 10 relatives to purchase, or just to leave out there as a virtual monument to another human being, more power to them. I can think of dozens of reasons to publish that don't further the goal of high literature or big entertainment.

If someone had made a blog post about how they personally hadn't been taking self-publishing seriously enough, and they vowed to do a better job going forward, I'd support the heck out of that. People should be their own gatekeepers. Asking other people to do a better job assumes they aren't already.

I think most people are doing the best they can. If they could do better, they would. The best we can do is be good examples. And trust that not everyone has our same goals and motivations when it comes to publishing. And yeah, I say that people have the same right to publish, as well as write. No gatekeepers but ourselves and the readers. For all I know, Bigfoot porn will catch on next year. So don't put me in charge of what passes. I'm not waving people through. I'm just waving at them.

What he said (especially that last line).  We're all in charge of our own careers. I don't want to be in charge of another person's career, too. Their goals might not be my goals.

Offline terribleminds

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #63 on: January 27, 2014, 05:38:19 PM »
I find it interesting that the only one you respond to in this long thread is our superstar ;)

As to quality work: readers are pretty much sorting out the worth-reading from the not-worth-reading. Certainly good stuff gets buried (I can think of one truly brilliant piece of Indie work that is buried), and crap gets on bestseller listsso yeah, its a messy democracy. Beats the oligarchy, though.


Hugh and I spent a very special night in San Antonio. We sat by the river. There was meat. And beer. AND INTIMATE PUBLISHING TALK.

Anyway.

You're right that readers do some of this work for us. My point is just that we don't always want them to have to do that work. I don't mean making the effort to sort out what they prefer from what they don't -- I mean the effort of having to figure out what's actually meeting a somewhat objective professional standard and what's not. Sometimes I feel like in this environment we put too much of the onus on readers and not enough on writers. But then again, I approach this thing differently from other people. Terribleminds is a blog that talks a lot about the creative stuff but also the application of the creative to the professional. So, that's my audience, and ultimately I'm speaking to them, there.

Like you said, though: messy democracy beats any oligarchy.

-- Chuck

Offline terribleminds

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #64 on: January 27, 2014, 05:41:52 PM »
Thanks for stopping by!

Take your own advice, though, and go proofread that article.  :o

While I'm sure I missed an error or two -- I usually do! -- I thought it was pretty clean.

That said, I'm happy to refund the price of admission.

-- Chuck

Offline Gentleman Zombie

  • Status: Arthur Conan Doyle
  • ****
  • Posts: 850
    • View Profile
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #65 on: January 27, 2014, 05:44:03 PM »
It's all subjective really. There are people who have put out work, that I didn't think was all that great. Some of those of those people have a dedicated fan base, and hell sell way more books than I do.

The fact is my opinion as a fellow writer doesn't matter. Editors and publishers opinions don't matter. It's the readers that matter.

And if their readers don't care about the horrible typo on page 121, or the bad cover etc... then why should I? It's quite frankly none of my business.


Offline ToniD

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3720
  • Gender: Female
  • California
    • View Profile
    • website
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #66 on: January 27, 2014, 06:00:33 PM »
Hugh and I spent a very special night in San Antonio. We sat by the river. There was meat. And beer. AND INTIMATE PUBLISHING TALK.

Anyway.

You're right that readers do some of this work for us. My point is just that we don't always want them to have to do that work. I don't mean making the effort to sort out what they prefer from what they don't -- I mean the effort of having to figure out what's actually meeting a somewhat objective professional standard and what's not. Sometimes I feel like in this environment we put too much of the onus on readers and not enough on writers. But then again, I approach this thing differently from other people. Terribleminds is a blog that talks a lot about the creative stuff but also the application of the creative to the professional. So, that's my audience, and ultimately I'm speaking to them, there.

Like you said, though: messy democracy beats any oligarchy.

-- Chuck

Im all for intimate publishing talk.

The thing about putting the onus on readers to determine quality: no matter what we as writers put in front of them, theyre going to make that determination and likely without much effort. Its good, its meh, it sucks. I do agree that we should hold ourselves to the highest standards and put out the highest quality work we are capable of. And then let the readers decide. Who else, really?


Offline Susan Kaye Quinn

  • Status: Scheherazade
  • *****
  • Posts: 1415
  • Susan Kaye Quinn, speculative fiction author
    • View Profile
    • Susan Kaye Quinn, Author
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #67 on: January 27, 2014, 06:08:58 PM »
I guess I don't understand why everyone has to be publishing for exactly the same reasons and with exactly the same end goal. That's not called a "contradiction" or a "double standard." That's called "life."
+1

You're right that readers do some of this work for us. My point is just that we don't always want them to have to do that work. I don't mean making the effort to sort out what they prefer from what they don't -- I mean the effort of having to figure out what's actually meeting a somewhat objective professional standard and what's not. Sometimes I feel like in this environment we put too much of the onus on readers and not enough on writers.
That "objective professional standard" is... what exactly? One of the best parts of that "messy democracy" of indie publishing is the freedom from a standard. Innovation thrives in that environment.

Dictating the "right" way to do something is pretty much antithetical to art. Reminds me of another post today (Nate B.'s blog), where agents and professors were insisting that first person POV works were "unserious." What's unserious to me is the idea that some people think they have a lock on creative expression.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 06:14:32 PM by Susan Kaye Quinn »
Susan Kaye Quinn, SF author www.susankayequinn.com
See the live-action trailer for the Mindjack Trilogy, my future-noir Debt Collector serial trailer, and the trailer for my MG fantasy novel Faery Swap.
 

Offline kurzon

  • Status: Jane Austen
  • ***
  • Posts: 431
  • Gender: Female
  • Sydney
    • View Profile
    • www.andreakhost.com
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #68 on: January 27, 2014, 06:12:04 PM »
I'm more than happy to be personally responsible for the work I produce, and to strive for it to be the best it can be.  I'm also tactfully honest in feedback if it's requested.

But I'll be taking responsibility for the output and attitudes of the "self-publishing community" around the time Chuck Wendig takes responsibility for Snooki.

Self-publishers should be no more expected to control and guide the behaviour of other self-published writers than the average trade published writer is expected to give Laurell K Hamilton a quick nudge in the direction of "more plot less menage".
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 06:13:55 PM by kurzon »

Andrea K Host

Offline jaredspub

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 5
    • View Profile
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #69 on: January 27, 2014, 06:14:56 PM »
I'll just be over here writing and publishing the titles I want to write and publish in the most professional manner I can, and having fun doing so. If anyone thinks they can take that from me, they can go spit in the wind.

Truth.

Offline ElHawk

  • Status: Dostoevsky
  • ******
  • Posts: 3930
  • Gender: Female
  • San Juan Islands, WA
    • View Profile
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #70 on: January 27, 2014, 06:15:02 PM »
I totally agree that more critical examination is warranted.  But I think that's always a good policy in the arts.


Take Off Your Pants and see what everybody is talking about!
Libbie Hawker | Site + Blog | Mailing List | Twitter

Offline terribleminds

  • Status: Dr. Seuss
  • *
  • Posts: 15
    • View Profile
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #71 on: January 27, 2014, 06:16:55 PM »
Where are these writers who say: Who cares about readers as long as Im satisfying myself?

I really want to know where you get this from.

You describe a "culture" that I don't recognize.

This is one of the reasons I call this stuff low-effort linkbait. You don't establish the truth of your statements. You don't say "I saw some writers over on this forum saying x, y, z". I don't know where you are hanging out to grab your description of the "culture" from. Where do you get all those absurd things?

You do understand that Traditional publishing screws you and you wont get paid anything! is true for the vast majority of writers and that "Its okay to make $100 off your self-publishing because you just bought yourself dinner, now youre living the high-life" is also true. You know they're not opposites right?

The actual, non-hyperbolic statement is "traditional publishing is inaccessible to the vast majority of writers. For those writers who do get into it, traditional publishing has a long history of abysmal contract terms, terrible royalty rates, delayed payments, non-delivered marketing and other problems that overall reduce the amount of books published, harm authors and limit creative expression. Self-publishing pays more per unit, allows control over your work and freedom and does not come with onerous horrible contract terms designed to screw you and your career over. Furthermore, self-publishing allows you to make $100 a year off a book that would not exist under the traditional publishing system and that is a good thing".

No one is expecting references or hard proof but you fly so far away from it that I wonder where it is you are actually spending your time. You describe and argue against a culture that, in my opinion, does not exist.



To be quite frank, your comments are the culture I'm talking about.

When you say:

"And my answer is: I celebrate mediocrity. I celebrate half-assing things. I celebrate someone writing a book that objectively is terrible and going through the steps to make a terrible cover and a terrible blurb and publishing it and then they keep on going and write something a little better, with a better cover and a better blurb and then they keep going some more."

That's the culture I'm talking about. Literally, that. It shows amazing support for writers and at the same time grave disdain for readers.

Writing and rewriting and reading and writing some more is a very excellent place to do all those things you talk about. All the half-assing, all the going through the steps from terrible to less terrible and onward. Publishing, in my opinion, is not a good place to do those things. Publishing -- by which I mean the marketplace where you charge readers money -- is not a place to celebrate mediocrity. You're asking readers to give you money in exchange for -- what? A solid C+ effort?

Obviously, you disagree. And the system supports that disagreement. You are free to and should be free to publish what you want at the price you want it. I don't think that suggesting taking that a little more seriously is worth such hostility on your part -- but so it goes.

-- Chuck



Offline CEMartin2

  • Status: Arthur C Clarke
  • *****
  • Posts: 2104
  • Gender: Male
  • Indiana
    • View Profile
    • Troglodad
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #72 on: January 27, 2014, 06:35:50 PM »
Question: if you never publish, how do you know when your writing is good enough? Isn't publishing a way to judge honest consumer response?

Joliedupre

  • Guest
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #73 on: January 27, 2014, 06:38:08 PM »
See, but again, you're conflating "writing" with "publishing."

I celebrate writers of all levels at their careers or non-careers.

Publishing, though, I think you have to stop thinking about yourself and start thinking about readers. And at that point, that means being your own critic, your own gatekeeper. Just my opinion, of course. I respect your point and I'm not out to inhibit anybody's freedom here -- just out to ask that they think about what they're putting out in terms of the work.

Hopefully folks found something to value in the post. This is all, as with everything I write, very much a Your Mileage May Vary situation. But I can already speak to some experience that it's reaching folks in the way I've intended. Got a bunch of emails and seen some conversations on FB from authors who self-published who are saying, "You know, I didn't really take this seriously, maybe I'm not selling as well as I could have."

At the very least, it's stirred some conversation. And at the end of the day if you're (the Royal You, not the Hugh You) are going to criticize traditional publishing for all that it does wrong, it's at least worth considering what self-publishing can do differently and do better in an ongoing conversation.

Good luck, all! Glad the post worked for some folks. Er, for the record, it's not "link-bait." It's me saying stuff that's on my mind and stuff that's on my mind. I don't have advertising on my site outside my own books, and readers at the blog are not immediately and instantaneously readers of my work. Also, Hugh, I don't consider you part of any problem -- though I don't always agree with you (what fun would that be?), you're obviously an example to hold up as a paragon of Doing It Right. *shrug*

-- Chuck

Chuck,

I reread your blog post, and I come to the same conclusion - as a whole, I like it.

My favorite quote - "Defeat naysayers with quality and effort and awesomeness so blinding they cannot see past you. "

~~~

For me, self-publishing is not a place to "test" my craft or a path to traditional publishing.  For me, it's a path AWAY from traditional publishing.

Your post implies indie books are inferior to traditionally published books. (You may not mean that, but you imply it.) However, any avid reader knows that implication is false.  Many (not all) of the indie books today are as good or better than the books traditionally published.  

But self-published books, just like traditionally published books, have gatekeepers - the reader.  If readers reject your work because it's crap, then it's crap.

However, I have ZERO interest in worrying about, or judging, another person's indie career.  My focus is on MY indie career.

I didn't get into indie writing to produce a poorly written book.  I got into indie writing to produce the best work I can for the genre I love.  Every year, I want to continue to improve my writing, and I'm willing to invest in my indie career with professional covers, professional editors, promotion, etc.  

After that, I've done my job, and it's up to the readers.    

Jolie  :)

Offline Terrence OBrien

  • Status: Jeffry S. Hepple
  • *******
  • Posts: 9872
  • Gender: Male
  • Kansas City, MO
    • View Profile
    • Terrence OBrien
Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #74 on: January 27, 2014, 06:42:26 PM »
Quote
Publishing -- by which I mean the marketplace where you charge readers money -- is not a place to celebrate mediocrity. You're asking readers to give you money in exchange for -- what? A solid C+ effort?

We can observe many markets that offer a whole range of quality. Consumers don't seem to have trouble navigating them. They know how to do it. There is no reason to presume they need help with the book market.
 
When ideas become weapons, modern Templars make a last ditch attempt to stop
terrorists from using an ancient treaty to rally moderate Muslims to their Jihad......

My Web Site: www.OBrienTerrence.com
For UK Readers At Amazon UK
For Canadian Readers At Amazon CA