Author Topic: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.  (Read 31921 times)  

Joliedupre

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #75 on: January 27, 2014, 06:42:53 PM »
Thanks for stopping by!

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

Ouch!  :-X

Offline C. Gockel

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #76 on: January 27, 2014, 06:52:17 PM »
I started with a sub-par cover, and have changed my cover of my first in series about 4 times (one of the changes isn't on Goodreads, but you can see the rest there if you want a laugh.  ::) )

I had a technical-editor review my work, because she is a fan and when I started out it was all I could afford (but since then have re-edited).

I won't decry anyone making the jump, even if they are not completely "professional".

Still...I do get a little touchy when I see people buying reviews. On the one hand, a place like Kirkus seems to be pretty reliable. But then the model separates the reviewer from the author (or am I wrong?) On the other hand...I see ads on Facebook for places where I don't think an unfavorable review would be possible because it would destroy the business model.

Recently, someone who writes in my genre got into the "Highest Rated" category. There were a few negative reviews, and a LOT of unverified purchases where the reviewer said they were a "Professional Promoter", etc...and these people also reviewed this writers other book. What was disturbing, was the negative reviewers who said they would NEVER take a chance on an indie published book again because the book was so bad the reviews were obviously fake. It was very discouraging.

Both of the author's novels are sinking in the rankings. But I do think of those unhappy customers who won't give my work a chance.

« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 07:52:40 PM by C. Gockel »


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Offline dalya

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #77 on: January 27, 2014, 07:06:07 PM »
I find it interesting that the only one you respond to in this long thread is our superstar ;)

....

OUCH.

Offline jackz4000

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #78 on: January 27, 2014, 07:07:31 PM »
The market sorts it all out. Vigilante groups aren't needed to police the quality of publishing. I see nothing wrong with people having the freedom and ability to publish their own book.

Before the 70's it was nearly impossible to make a film without a big studio. Then film school grads showed they could do it and there was an explosion if Indie films. Some were bad and some were great. Indie films have only gotten better over the years. Scorsese, Tarentino, Cameron and many others...Lucas et al.

Before the internet and digital music relatively few could produce an album without a record company. Those barriers were removed and digital distribution allowed them to not only create the music, but to distribute it. There are so many. This has only made the music we hear better and more diverse.  

Books will go the same way.

Offline RichardWolanski

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #79 on: January 27, 2014, 07:12:39 PM »
Or maybe everyone is better served by leaving it up to the reader and getting on about their own business of doing their own work.

ETA: I happen to hate, I mean absolutely loathe, 50 Shades of Gray. I read most of the sample and was sickened by the poor quality and the cover sucked. Did I have the right to tell readers they couldn't buy it or EL James that she didn't have the right to publish it?

No.

And she would have very rightfully ignored my opinion. It's not my business. My next novel is my business and that's all. The author of the blog piece needs to get over himself.



***SLOW CLAP***

I like Chuck, and I understand his point. However, I agree with the s--- all over dreams guy and JR. At the end of the day, it's about the readers. I'm too busy worrying about my own f-ups to be concerned about someone else's. And one person's f-ups is another person's treasure and all that.  I think that was the metaphor I was going for...

Anyway, it's best to ignore the voices and focus on learning and writing as much as you can, IMO.

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #80 on: January 27, 2014, 07:14:02 PM »
Folks, a reminder about tone...and Chuck, thanks for jumping into the fray.

 :D

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Offline Andrew Ashling

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #81 on: January 27, 2014, 07:14:37 PM »
I'd like to know who has the right to stand between my books and the readers who like to read them.












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Joliedupre

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #82 on: January 27, 2014, 07:18:30 PM »
I'd like to know who has the right to stand between my books and the readers who like to read them.

Nobody . . . unless you let them.

Offline Fishbowl Helmet

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #83 on: January 27, 2014, 07:42:48 PM »
I'd like to know who has the right to stand between my books and the readers who like to read them.

It's funny what people read into that article. No one's saying anything of the sort.

Offline Ty Johnston

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #84 on: January 27, 2014, 07:44:01 PM »
We can bemoan the poor quality of various indie works, or even various trad-pubbed works. We can use terms like "objective quality" when no such thing actually exists, though others will argue otherwise ... yet they are wrong ... a "consensus of quality" perhaps, but not objective. We can gripe about bad covers, bad writing, etc. We can promote good writing, quality covers, etc.

And at the end of the day, not one little bit of it is going to matter, with the possible exception of nudging a handful of writer/publishers into upping their quality.

Why?

Because we don't live in that world anymore.

Equating publishing with business is no longer an objective reality when anyone can publish.

Former newspaper journalist here. We fought the good fight a decade and more ago. The traditionalists didn't win, mainly because they couldn't or wouldn't open their eyes to the new reality. One could argue (easily) that the current state of journalism is atrocious, print and otherwise, but it still changed regardless of what many wanted, and to some extent that even includes the wants of the readerships and viewerships.

Two decades back it was television killing newspapers, then it was the Internet killing newspapers, and then it was blogs killing newspapers, while all along the truth of the matter was newspapers were killing newspapers. I see the same thing happening today in book publishing, many of the same complaints and concerns, many of the same disputes, and in the end there will likely be the same period of fragmentation followed by a handful of corporations controlling practically everything because they saw the future while the rest of us bickered and rung our hands worrying about what everyone else was doing when we should be focusing upon our own work.

Maybe that's part of what Chuck is suggesting, maybe not. I don't want to put words in his mouth.

But I do disagree with anyone who continues to believe not just writing, but that even publishing, is still a business-only venture. It's not. It's a business for some of us, perhaps the majority of us, but not for everyone.

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Offline GMSkarka

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #85 on: January 27, 2014, 08:01:57 PM »
Hmmm.   Let's see:  Hostile, snarky responses, as though Chuck had murdered your puppy, rather than just suggesting that everybody should up their game and encourage/help others to do so as well.  CHECK! 

Lots of bandying about of the word "gatekeeper."  CHECK!

Flat-out denial that self-publishing has a quality stigma (not a "vanity press" stigma -- that's well and truly defeated now) due to examples everyone can cite without trying hard: no editing, high-schooler-with-photoshop covers, etc.  CHECK!

The thoughtful rhetorical jujitsu of "there are also trad published books which are bad quality!"   CHECK!


Gosh... I wonder what "culture" Chuck could *possibly* be referring to?



Let's put it in a more positive light:   We have successfully torpedoed the old stigma of self-publishing as fly-by-night vanity press operations.  It's viewed as a valid option, and that's a huge change to have brought about.   Kick ass!

So now, let's do what we can -- by example, and via encouragement -- to tear down the NEXT stigma.    The quality stigma, which, bluntly, DOES exist -- just like the fly-by-night vanity presses exist.

We already took down the big stigma, so this one should be easy!



How's that?  Better?   Or did I murder puppies, too?

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Offline Andrew Ashling

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #86 on: January 27, 2014, 08:02:07 PM »
It's funny what people read into that article. No one's saying anything of the sort.

Did I ever say that this is what the article said?

Ever heard of corollary questions?












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Offline Ty Johnston

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #87 on: January 27, 2014, 08:13:15 PM »
How's that?  Better?   Or did I murder puppies, too?

-- sniff -- The poor puppies.

Murderer!

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #88 on: January 27, 2014, 08:19:04 PM »
Hmmm.   Let's see:  Hostile, snarky responses, as though Chuck had murdered your puppy, rather than just suggesting that everybody should up their game and encourage/help others to do so as well.  CHECK!  

Lots of bandying about of the word "gatekeeper."  CHECK!

Flat-out denial that self-publishing has a quality stigma (not a "vanity press" stigma -- that's well and truly defeated now) due to examples everyone can cite without trying hard: no editing, high-schooler-with-photoshop covers, etc.  CHECK!

The thoughtful rhetorical jujitsu of "there are also trad published books which are bad quality!"   CHECK!


Gosh... I wonder what "culture" Chuck could *possibly* be referring to?



Let's put it in a more positive light:   We have successfully torpedoed the old stigma of self-publishing as fly-by-night vanity press operations.  It's viewed as a valid option, and that's a huge change to have brought about.   Kick *ss!

So now, let's do what we can -- by example, and via encouragement -- to tear down the NEXT stigma.    The quality stigma, which, bluntly, DOES exist -- just like the fly-by-night vanity presses exist.

We already took down the big stigma, so this one should be easy!



How's that?  Better?   Or did I murder puppies, too?
Snark comes with the territory. You have an interesting number of posts, I see. You are free to consider that snark.

Who denied that there were novels out there with no editing and poor covers? Please point to the comment. What some people don't think is that it is a big problem. 99.9% of the readers will never see those anyway a they sink to #2,000,000 in the Amazon rankings with no also boughts. However, if you want to go out and have some kind of a campaign to keep the people who do write them from publishing, have at it. It's your time and your headache. (Or Chuck's as the case may be  :P )

I have better things to do. Now keep your hands off my puppies.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 08:21:26 PM by JRTomlin »

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #89 on: January 27, 2014, 08:27:31 PM »
Let me point out that no actual puppies were murdered to create this thread.



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Offline GMSkarka

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #90 on: January 27, 2014, 08:29:27 PM »
Snark comes with the territory. You have an interesting number of posts, I see. You are free to consider that snark.

Yes, I'm a relative newcomer to your little kaffeeklatsch, despite having been self-publishing for over a decade, and being featured in AP articles on the topic back in 2007, before the big Kindle boom.  So are we done "qualification-measuring" now?  

Thought so.

However, if you want to go out and have some kind of a campaign to keep the people who do write them from publishing, have at it.

*Slow Clap*  You show that straw man who's boss!   Get him!

Nobody has said anything about keeping anyone from publishing.   The only thing that's being discussed is offering honest critique when asked, and, better yet, advice and help, rather than cheerleading... which a lot of people already do, which is great.    A call for more of that is not a call to keep people from publishing.

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Offline GMSkarka

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #91 on: January 27, 2014, 08:32:34 PM »
Let me point out that no actual puppies were murdered to create this thread.

I have to share -- I'm dying laughing over here, because my browser didn't load the picture in your post, just the "?" of a missing image... which I thought was kinda ironic when it turned out it was a pic of a puppy.

My browser killed a virtual puppy!    ;D

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #92 on: January 27, 2014, 08:34:43 PM »
Glad to hear it.

Let's have more laughing, less snark, everyone.

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Offline PatriceFitz

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #93 on: January 27, 2014, 08:37:59 PM »
I think the bad painting analogy works well.  You love to do it, you paint it, you frame it, you put it up in the local free-for-all show at the community art league, and it's bad.  But who cares?

You do it again and maybe you get better.  Or maybe you just do it for joy.  Somebody might come along and love your purple cow in a field of dandelions.

I know I'm a better writer than I was when I published my first book in 2011.  I noticed that J.K. Rowling got better (and more wordy!) as she progressed through the Harry Potter series.

And I can think of two self-publishing friends in particular who have made marked strides between books 1 and 2, and are now both penning book 3.  Between you and me (don't worry, they're not on here) I don't even think their books are any good!  But people are buying them to a tune of 100 copies a month, so... somebody must love them. 

If Chuck's post was meant as a "be as good as you can be, don't slack, realize that professionalism matters" pep talk, I'm all for that.  But he didn't have to tell me that.  I try every day to be as excellent a writer as I can be. 

I'm just another happy indie bobbing along in the tsunami of creativity.  Pinch me, I'm a published writer!   8)

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #94 on: January 27, 2014, 08:40:18 PM »
Hi,

I agree with a lot of what Chuck has said. As writers we write for ourselves, but when we publish we do have to recognise that we publish for readers, and like it or not there seem to be a lot of indie publishers who seem to forget this fact. Just scroll through the bottom ranked books and do a few look insides.

These people published because they were of insufficient skill to get their book up to snuff, or they lacked the funds or the expertise to do it, or they were too precious to accept criticism, or they were in too much of a hurry to finish, or etc etc. Now you can argue the toss about whether or not this is disdain for the reader. My thought is that it may not reach the level of disdain, but it does equate to being less concerned about the readers than they are about getting their work published.

Now there are no gatekeepers as we keep saying, so there is absolutely nothing that can be done about this. And like it or not these works will always leave a mark on the world of indie writing. They will reinforce the idea that indie books are of inferior quality to trade published. As Doctor Phil says (yes I admit I have seen the show!) It takes a thousand positive comments to overcome one negative one. And in this case when we as indies have a viable opposition in terms of the trade published who can simply pull up any one of these works and hold it up as an example of how bad self published works can be, it may be worse than that. But there is nothing we can do about that.

The only thing we can do as indies is concentrate on our own writing, continually trying to improve ourselves and our work, and take as much care as we can to make sure our work is ready before we publish. And that's really what I get out of the blog post.

Cheers, Greg.
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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #95 on: January 27, 2014, 08:51:33 PM »
As a card-carrying realistprobably the only one hereI know that Reality (like winter) is coming and that she will be unmoved by all your paeans to mediocrity and Kumbayas about how everything is subjective and everyone equal (except subjectivity and equality, of course, which are absolute values that everyone must profess on penalty of death). Reality calls herself content curation this time around, and she is most decidedly a gatekeeper. Shes already stalking YouTubeyou remember YouTube, dont you? Its the go-to example when you want to show why gatekeepers are unnecessary.

You can run down Wendig or anyone else all you want. You can praise free-flowing flotsam all you want to, but gatekeeping will return for the simple reason that readers value it. And that value will increase as content increases. 

 



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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #96 on: January 27, 2014, 08:52:52 PM »
I read the article and probably a year ago I would have agreed with much of it. It's not that I don't agree with it now, it just doesn't make me go rah rah. Why? I've come to realize that the major difference between traditional publishers and self-publishers is simply one of experience.

It's not a difference of passion, talent, storytelling ability, or anything like that.

Traditional publishers have been making a business of publishing books for years. How many self-publishers have been doing that? There are a few but the majority of us have 2-4 years (or less!) under our belts. Please correct me if I'm wrong on that. The thing is one of the best ways of learning is by DOING. When we published my first novel, let's just say there was room for improvement. Do you honestly think I knew that when I hit the publish button? Of course, I didn't. I thought it was the best thing I could possibly produce. And it wasat that moment in time. Should I not have published it because of it's shortcomings? Shortcomings that I would only be capable of discerning as I continued to gain experience in self-publishing?

Right now, I'm re-working three-quarters of the books I'd published as of December 31 of 2013. Why? Gosh, with the 17 months of experience I now have, I have learned so much! It's kind of mind-boggling. I don't think there's any way I could have learned all that without jumping into the waters. Do I wish the re-releases I'm preparing for the next few months were the original releases. Oh, you bet. But I also can't let things stand that I know, without a doubt, can be improved. Most of these things are publishing decisions. Not writing decisions. PUBLISHING DECISIONS.

So while I guess it's nice to say lets all hold ourselves to higher standards, the thing about self-publishging is it's really self-correcting. Your book flops, gets poor reviews, guess what. Most likely you're going to grow as a self-publisher or quit. So I read a blog post like this, and I'm just kind of meh. People who want to write and self-publish will. The ones who are committed and stick with it will most likely get better.

That's my big understanding. The traditional publishers, they just have experience. But experience is something that can be gained.

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #97 on: January 27, 2014, 09:01:51 PM »
Yes, I'm a relative newcomer to your little kaffeeklatsch, despite having been self-publishing for over a decade, and being featured in AP articles on the topic back in 2007, before the big Kindle boom.  So are we done "qualification-measuring" now?  

Thought so.

*Slow Clap*  You show that straw man who's boss!   Get him!

Nobody has said anything about keeping anyone from publishing.   The only thing that's being discussed is offering honest critique when asked, and, better yet, advice and help, rather than cheerleading... which a lot of people already do, which is great.    A call for more of that is not a call to keep people from publishing.
Since you are the one who wants to do "qualification-measuring' for publishing, no, I suspect we aren't done. And that isn't what I was saying. Subtlety isn't your strong point. *slow clap*

See we can both do that.  Are you more impressed than I am? ::)

That is most definitely not the only thing being discussed. People here give honest critiques all the time. We don't need someone coming in and telling us to help each other out as though this is an idea that no one had ever thought of and considered. But if someone wants advice and help, they need to ask.

I am not going to force it on anyone and deny it all you like, that is what is being discussed. Hunting down 'inferior' authors who aren't being professional enough for me is not on my agenda for today, tomorrow or any time in the future.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 09:04:56 PM by JRTomlin »

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Offline Terrence OBrien

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #98 on: January 27, 2014, 09:08:12 PM »
As a card-carrying realistprobably the only one hereI know that Reality (like winter) is coming and that she will be unmoved by all your paeans to mediocrity and Kumbayas about how everything is subjective and everyone equal (except subjectivity and equality, of course, which are absolute values that everyone must profess on penalty of death). Reality calls herself content curation this time around, and she is most decidedly a gatekeeper. Shes already stalking YouTubeyou remember YouTube, dont you? Its the go-to example when you want to show why gatekeepers are unnecessary.

You can run down Wendig or anyone else all you want. You can praise free-flowing flotsam all you want to, but gatekeeping will return for the simple reason that readers value it. And that value will increase as content increases.  

Realist? Independent sales just keep on increasing.

The market offers content curation. Those who want it can find it with the established publishers. Consumers have a choice. If it really matter, then the established publishers will run the independents out of the market.  Gatekeepers don't have to return. They never left the established publishers.
 
« Last Edit: January 27, 2014, 09:31:28 PM by Terrence OBrien »
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Offline Rykymus

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Re: More Chuck Wendig: Self-publishing is not the minor leagues.
« Reply #99 on: January 27, 2014, 09:08:57 PM »
Of course self-published books are more likely to be of lessor quality than traditionally published books. You'd be an idiot to believe otherwise. But you'd also be an idiot to assume that a book is of lessor quality simply because it is self-published.

I don't care is someone makes that assumption about my books. Heck, they could be correct, for all I know. I simply appreciate that I can publish whatever I want and let it stand or fall on its own merits. It is not at the whim of someone else who assumes that they know best what readers should be allowed to read.

The result? A lot more stories, both good and bad. And that's a great thing. It's also something that you cannot have with gatekeepers.