Author Topic: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article  (Read 36651 times)  

Offline Lisa Grace

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Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
« Reply #175 on: April 07, 2013, 04:36:52 pm »
Just wondering what would happen if everyone stopped querying and started self-pubbing instead. How long would it take for the publishing houses to totally change their approach. Imagine, they come begging to self-pubbed author who are having reasonable sales, offering top dollar to be able to print and distribute.

Pretty cool, huh?

Sometime, and probably soon, one big publishing house is going to see the light, and start shopping indie's/SP's. The only thing they can do that we can't is widespread print distribution. (And more effective marketing, if they stepped up their game.) With all the money they'd save on editing and cover design (since it's already done) they'd have more to spend on marketing.

It will happen. Just a matter of when. It will be glorious.

(P.S.  GO THUNDER!)

My feeling? I agree more with Hugh than Chuck.

And I think publishers are starting to use self publishers' work as a slush pile. As authors build fan bases and get on genre best seller lists, publishers will make offers to authors because of these authors' proven ability to build a fan base.  Some authors will take deals, and some will decline. As more publishers see these deals become profitable for the publishers, more will jump on the bandwagon.
 
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    Offline Lisa Grace

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #176 on: April 07, 2013, 04:44:18 pm »


    I can tell you from talking to a dozen imprints at the big 6 publishers that even with my sales history and platform, if I had told ANY of them that I "just wanted to write," they wouldn't have offered me a contract. Everyone wanted to know what my marketing strategy would be going forward. They all checked my Twitter account and FB page to see how much clout I had. They probably checked my Klout score! I wouldn't be surprised if they pulled up site metrics for my home page. I know they looked at how many comments my posts got (several commented on this). They expected me to have a business plan.


    I've had to write a business plan for my movie producer and for my agent. I have to update it as new developments happen. I'm buiding my presence in social media as it's a little weak.
     
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    Offline sunnycoast

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #177 on: April 07, 2013, 04:57:15 pm »
    @Hugh:


    I know that I've never been busier than AFTER signing with publishers.



    For me, none of what you wrote in that comment sounds like a remotely enjoyable experience. In fact, I'd probably PAY to get out of that kind of experience!


    Offline dianasg

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #178 on: April 08, 2013, 11:11:50 pm »
    At the risk of reviving that dead horse (sorry Betsy!), Chuck posted another response, particularly to comments made on this board. 

    http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/04/09/indie-first-what-is-best-in-publishing/

    Although I'm one of those aspiring authors who will likely/eventually go the "Indie First" route, I understand and respect what Chuck is saying. (And am sorry the thread got kind of hostile!) I think there are some ways of publishing that might earn a midlist author more money, for sure -- just as there are ways of publishing that offer more prestige, or more control, etc. etc. But to say what is "right" or "best" for someone else? I wouldn't feel comfortable saying that, since a statement like that would probably depend on an individual's priorities, desires, and so on.

    The great thing is that no one has to be "right" in this discussion -- I'm grateful to have two very successful authors willing to (calmly and wisely) discuss the publishing climate/options, so that as an author, I can look at all the information, and make the best decision for myself. I'm a fan of both Chuck and Hugh, and this whole discussion has been enlightening and inspiring.

    Offline Ty Johnston

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #179 on: April 09, 2013, 12:49:57 am »
    At the risk of reviving that dead horse (sorry Betsy!), Chuck posted another response, particularly to comments made on this board. 

    http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2013/04/09/indie-first-what-is-best-in-publishing/

    Now this sounds much more reasonable. Maybe I just wasn't understanding Chuck before, or maybe I didn't like his earlier approach. Maybe I was having a bad day, or maybe he was. Either way, this post explained a lot. I still think going indie is the better move for most writers (at least those wanting to be professionals), but to each his own.

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    Offline Susan Kaye Quinn

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #180 on: April 09, 2013, 06:03:29 am »
    It's a measure of how revolutionary the Indie First idea is, that it's gained a lot of traction and the need for multiple rebuttals so quickly. Powerful ideas are that way.

    I won't fisk every point that Chuck has in his article, but I did submit a comment that countered his genre-may-be-a-problem point:

    Quote
    I publish indie YA and have done well. Im far from alone. You remember Amanda Hocking wrote YA, yes? I know a lot of successful YA indie authors. You almost got this right, in that its really an age issue: YA books that appeal solely to young teens, and especially middle grade and picture books, still rely heavily on print distribution and gatekeepers like parents, teachers, and librarians who rely on reviews/recommendations not (currently) available to indie authors. But if you have a YA book that appeals to adults, the adults-who-read-YA market is HUGE.

    For books that appeal to anyone over the age of 13, anything that sells well traditionally will sell well as an indie book and likely better, because indie authors price lower.
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    Offline djameson74

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #181 on: April 11, 2013, 06:32:12 pm »
    I was very disappointed in Wendig's latest. He STILL claims Howey is saying something that he's not. And in the comments section (which is almost solely made up of "attaboy, Chuck!" messages, he engages in a LOT of snark towards KBoards that I think is very unfair.

    Offline Susan Kaye Quinn

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #182 on: April 11, 2013, 06:57:19 pm »
    I was very disappointed in Wendig's latest. He STILL claims Howey is saying something that he's not. And in the comments section (which is almost solely made up of "attaboy, Chuck!" messages, he engages in a LOT of snark towards KBoards that I think is very unfair.

    I engaged Chuck for a while in the comments section. It took a lot to get him to where he would even address the main point: that Hugh was saying that people had a better chance to make money with indie publishing. Chuck seemed to really conflate saying the indie path made more money with being intolerant of anyone taking another path. The two are not the same - actually not even close. Indie writers are some of the more open-minded people I've ever met! Making the observation that midlist writers are making money on the indie path sure seemed to be a powerful (and threatening) statement, though.
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    Offline Terrence OBrien

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #183 on: April 11, 2013, 07:17:20 pm »
    Well, someone has to take over from Scot Turow.
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    Offline djameson74

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #184 on: April 11, 2013, 07:25:57 pm »
    I engaged Chuck for a while in the comments section. It took a lot to get him to where he would even address the main point: that Hugh was saying that people had a better chance to make money with indie publishing. Chuck seemed to really conflate saying the indie path made more money with being intolerant of anyone taking another path. The two are not the same - actually not even close. Indie writers are some of the more open-minded people I've ever met! Making the observation that midlist writers are making money on the indie path sure seemed to be a powerful (and threatening) statement, though.

    I engaged him a bit on Twitter, after his first post. I tried to explain that he wasn't arguing w/Hugh's actual point so much as he was setting up a straw man, contending that Hugh was saying something that he wasn't really saying. For a bit, it seemed like a good conversation. But then, he chose to end the conversation with an obscenity, which was the point at which I decided to finally check out as one of his Twitter followers. It's sad, really, because he's taking issue with a point that no one is making: that indie is good and traditional publishing is bad. He thinks saying one option is better than the other means that Hugh is saying that traditional publishing is bad or something to that effect. The way I understand Hugh, he's simply saying that it's faster and more straightforward to start EARNING MONEY by going indie. That seems like a fairly straightforward, utterly uncontroversial point to make. In best case scenarios for new authors it's maybe 12-18 months from agent query to published book, with tons of pitfalls along the way. That's not to say that people who choose to do that are doing something BAD, they're just choosing a path that means they'll not start earning out as quickly as if they'd went indie. Why is that position controversial to Chuck, I wonder?

    Offline djameson74

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #185 on: April 11, 2013, 07:38:26 pm »
    Well, someone has to take over from Scot Turow.

    I don't think that's fair to Chuck. He's not ANTI-self publishing, he just refuses to address the actual heart of Hugh's argument, that the route to actual money-making is faster with going indie. Instead he argues with a straw man of his own construction. Turow is virulently anti-indie.

    Offline JumpingShip

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #186 on: April 11, 2013, 07:41:43 pm »
    If you want to be published, whether self or trad, this isn't an option for anyone except the massively rich and famous who can either wave their hand and have other people paid to do everything, or their fame is such that no handler in the world can force them to do anything they want to do.

    If you are an aspiring writer -- and these are the people I care about -- you are going to have to work your butt off no matter which way you go. You may have to work HARDER if you go the traditional route. I know that I've never been busier than AFTER signing with publishers. I just spent five weeks away from home and am about to spend two weeks in Australia. I have four more trips planned this year, none of which I would have taken if I were only self-published. All are at publishers' behests. All require brutal 12 - 16 hour days. I answer dozens of emails a week (sometimes a day) from my agent and 25+ publishers. I wish I could go back to the days when I just wrote, which is what I did before WOOL took off!


    It sounds glamorous until you think about it realistically. If I had to travel like that, I would hate it. One trip, sure. Maybe even two, but not for weeks on end. There is just no way I could leave my 12 yo daughter for that long. Maybe in a few years when she's fully into her teens and doesn't want to be seen with me, ;) but not right now while she still thinks I'm pretty cool and she still likes hugs. Just thinking of leaving her for weeks on end makes my stomach clench up. Nope. I guess I'll just keep plugging along as an indie.

    It's not like I have a choice anyway, but I think we all daydream about how fantastic it would be to be going on tour and having readers lining up to buy our books.

    Offline Susan Kaye Quinn

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #187 on: April 11, 2013, 07:49:03 pm »
    Why is that position controversial to Chuck, I wonder?

    I don't think it's controversial so much as compelling. And Chuck has a laundry list of reasons why indie is not the way to go (non-monetary reasons), but most people are going to sit up and take notice when you start putting things in terms of money. He did eventually say that he didn't think indie publishing paid more (which is fine; that's his observation, based on his experience), but that certainly wasn't his main point (which was beating upon the straw man, as you say).
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    Offline djameson74

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #188 on: April 11, 2013, 08:02:27 pm »
    I don't think it's controversial so much as compelling. And Chuck has a laundry list of reasons why indie is not the way to go (non-monetary reasons), but most people are going to sit up and take notice when you start putting things in terms of money. He did eventually say that he didn't think indie publishing paid more (which is fine; that's his observation, based on his experience), but that certainly wasn't his main point (which was beating upon the straw man, as you say).

    One thing that bothered me is that he keeps referencing the "Taleist (sp?) Survey", but never gives any data from that survey. He just quotes the title, ("Not a Gold Rush") as if that proves something. I looked into the "survey", and you can't look at it's "findings" without paying. I'm not going to pay someone to read a survey, just because Chuck claims it supports his points.

    Offline mathewferguson

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #189 on: April 11, 2013, 08:13:33 pm »
    I like Chuck but it's pretty frustrating that he doesn't mention actual royalty figures.

    $2.99 Amazon = $2.06 to the author.
    $16.99 paper publishing = $0.40 - $1.00 to the author at 10% net receipts depending on how steep the retailer discount is.

    It comes down to some very basic maths and the great thing about maths is that the figures don't lie. 1000 sales in a year as a self-pub and you take home $2060. The same sales with trad pub could get you $400 - $1000 paid out up to six months after the sale happened.

    Add in the tiny percentage of authors who end up with traditional publishing contracts, the tiny amount of time a book spends in a bookshop and the failing fortunes of traditional publishing companies and I'm finding it very hard to see how Chuck arrives at his position.

    But then again, the guy is a contrarian and loves that juicy juicy web drama that draws people to his website. And no one ever gets smacked hard for presenting what looks like a reasonable position: there is more than one way to the top of the mountain.

    Offline Susan Kaye Quinn

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #190 on: April 11, 2013, 08:16:48 pm »
    One thing that bothered me is that he keeps referencing the "Taleist (sp?) Survey", but never gives any data from that survey. He just quotes the title, ("Not a Gold Rush") as if that proves something. I looked into the "survey", and you can't look at it's "findings" without paying. I'm not going to pay someone to read a survey, just because Chuck claims it supports his points.
    I have a (free) copy of the survey because I participated. It was a great attempt, but still flawed - not least because it didn't take into account how long you had been indie publishing. I participated, but I'd only been published for a couple months. Which made it look like I'd earned very little. Now, a year later, the story is very different. Even if the study was a perfect and true representation of all indie authors, it's not something you can directly compare to trad-pub authors: indies are everyone from the slush pile, whereas trad-pubs are only those who have been picked up by a publisher. But somehow that nuance gets lost.
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    Offline Mathew Reuther

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #191 on: April 11, 2013, 08:20:07 pm »
    I have a (free) copy of the survey because I participated. It was a great attempt, but still flawed - not least because it didn't take into account how long you had been indie publishing. I participated, but I'd only been published for a couple months. Which made it look like I'd earned very little. Now, a year later, the story is very different. Even if the study was a perfect and true representation of all indie authors, it's not something you can directly compare to trad-pub authors: indies are everyone from the slush pile, whereas trad-pubs are only those who have been picked up by a publisher. But somehow that nuance gets lost.

    I probably have a copy of it available to me, or in my email somewhere. I did participate. And for all I know depending on how things were evaluated, I too was responsible for skewing the average towards the bottom...
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    Offline djameson74

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #192 on: April 11, 2013, 08:24:31 pm »
    But then again, the guy is a contrarian and loves that juicy juicy web drama that draws people to his website. And no one ever gets smacked hard for presenting what looks like a reasonable position: there is more than one way to the top of the mountain.

    And he's right about that. The problem is, the traditional publishing "way to the top of the mountain" is scattered with obstacles, most of which the author has absolutely no control over. The other also has obstacles, but most of those are actually within the scope of control of the author. He refuses to even entertain the notion that indie could possibly be the BETTER way for MOST aspiring authors to make money SOONER. Won't even consider it.

    Offline djameson74

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #193 on: April 11, 2013, 08:27:36 pm »
    I have a (free) copy of the survey because I participated. It was a great attempt, but still flawed - not least because it didn't take into account how long you had been indie publishing. I participated, but I'd only been published for a couple months. Which made it look like I'd earned very little. Now, a year later, the story is very different. Even if the study was a perfect and true representation of all indie authors, it's not something you can directly compare to trad-pub authors: indies are everyone from the slush pile, whereas trad-pubs are only those who have been picked up by a publisher. But somehow that nuance gets lost.

    I'm actually becoming more and more convinced that it doesn't become "lost" so much as it's just intentionally ignored, in pursuance of point-making.

    Offline Terrence OBrien

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #194 on: April 11, 2013, 08:35:08 pm »
    Does the Taleist survey have a self-selected sample? If so, it's not nuance. It's not reliable.
    « Last Edit: April 11, 2013, 08:37:16 pm by Terrence OBrien »
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    Offline djameson74

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #195 on: April 11, 2013, 10:16:41 pm »
    Does the Taleist survey have a self-selected sample? If so, it's not nuance. It's not reliable.

    I think that question was asked of Chuck on Twitter. If I remember right, he didn't have a good answer for that, which makes me think that maybe it was self-selected.

    Offline matthewturner

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #196 on: April 11, 2013, 11:18:02 pm »
    Chuck certainly speaks his mind, and no matter what side of the line you stand on, it's great to see more and more people talking about the legitimacy (or not so) of self-pubbing.

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    Offline Mathew Reuther

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #197 on: April 12, 2013, 12:42:21 am »
    The Taleist Survey was absolutely self-selected. Anyone who wanted to opt in was allowed to do so. AFAIK everyone who opted in and completed the survey was used. There was no random sample from within that self-selected group.
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    Offline Edward W. Robertson

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #198 on: April 12, 2013, 01:29:53 am »
    Which means it was probably skewed in favor of self-publishing, if anything.
        

    Offline AbbyBabble

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    Re: Chuck Wendig's Response to Hugh Howey's Salon Article
    « Reply #199 on: April 12, 2013, 03:19:13 am »
    The thing is, a new author needs reader exposure more than cash.  I'd rather earn $10 and gain 10,000 new readers than earn $10,000 and gain 10 new readers.  Traditional publishing can mass produce paperbacks and get you into print bookstores.  Self-publishing is at a disadvantage when it comes to exposure.

    Or am I wrong?  I'd like to hear the counter-arguments.

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