Kindle Forum banner

1 - 20 of 45 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,329 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've embedded a clip from Jackson Pearce, a traditionally published YA author, who doesn't seem to look down on indies, but has some concerns. Okay, she thinks it should be harder, and lists the reasons why.

Let's say, 1:45...

Does anything she says hold water? Do you think the ease of publishing this way come with a price? I like her, and think she has some great girl-power things to say and sensible advice, but I saw this clip and you know I thought of you guys!

And how would you answer the question she was posed -- if you could change anything about the literary world, what would it be?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,388 Posts
Yes and no. I look at self-publishing the way I look at home website pages in the 1990s. Was anyone there to remember? For a bunch of years, some of the HUGEST companies in the world had no websites, or had lame ones.

Mary Sue Jones had a site that sucked. She posted baby pictures and pictures of her cat. So did everyone else. This was before Frontpage, and other web development software. Everything out there screamed AMATEUR!

The earliest years of the Kindle Revolution are similar. There's a bunch of crap, and that's what you see wherever you look. HOWEVER. The time has arrived - it HAS ARRIVED - when the crap websites are getting turned over to professionals, and they're getting spruced up.

Authors are beginning to see the value in editors, and good cover art, and professional-looking websites. It won't be long before bad e-books will be like bad personal websites. They'll be sad - they'll always be there, but they'll be sad - and everyone else will be respectable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,329 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yes, I vividly recall those ugly websites.

 
G

·
I'm not too worried.  We'll probably pay our dues a little differently, but quality books will still get out there, and without all the overhead of legacy publishers more of us will be making a living, even if we sell fewer books (seriously: why sell your rights to a corporation when you can DIY, produce a better product, and connect with readers directly??).  It's just a question of changing paradigms, and it doesn't surprise me that people who broke in under the old paradigm are resistant to change.

It'll be interesting to hear what she says in five years. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,781 Posts
I think Pearce is too concerned about Ebooks.  She should have stuck to kiddie questions.  The market decides by either buying a product or not buying a product.  They don't really need her or publishers to make their decisions for them.  The last few years I have read some very disappointing books from big 6 publishers so I don't see their seal of approval necessary in todays world.  I think they keep some good reading in their massive slushpiles.  Also publishers can only release a certain number of print books per year so they can't sign everyone and talented writers get rejection slips.  Just plain economics of what will be on their list.  If the writers choose to publish their own books who can blame them?  The good ones seem to get bought and read and it makes for a larger selection for the reader.

I remember the old Ebay site.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,508 Posts
I was around the web back in '95 and lots of folks once making those ugly web sites are now professional programmers and web designers. They learned and got better and developed the tools to do more. And so will we all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,688 Posts
The world is full of people who want to make decisions for everyone else. Usually they have no standing indicating anyone should pay attention to them. She fits this profile. She wants to remove a person's choice to self-publish by making it harder. Who cares what she wants?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,683 Posts
I really like Jackson Pearce. The books of hers that I've read were great, and her videos are always fun.

That being said, I'm starting to feel like this "easy" argument from traditionally published authors is beginning to sound a lot like, "And when I was your age, we had to hike to agent's office in ten feet of snow, and then they rejected us a trillion times, and we liked it, because it built character! You indie kids today just have it way too easy."

People who think indie publishing is easy have never indie published. And it's human nature to distrust things that are new and revolutionary, especially if you think the way you're currently doing it is just fine with you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
91 Posts
jackz4000 said:
I think Pearce is too concerned about Ebooks. She should have stuck to kiddie questions. The market decides by either buying a product or not buying a product. They don't really need her or publishers to make their decisions for them. The last few years I have read some very disappointing books from big 6 publishers so I don't see their seal of approval necessary in todays world. I think they keep some good reading in their massive slushpiles. Also publishers can only release a certain number of print books per year so they can't sign everyone and talented writers get rejection slips. Just plain economics of what will be on their list. If the writers choose to publish their own books who can blame them? The good ones seem to get bought and read and it makes for a larger selection for the reader.

I remember the old Ebay site.
Word up! Frankly, i get so bored with industry writers/exec's constantly chiming in on what self publishers do.

If the industry really cared they would DRASTICALLY change how they treat their writers. I really don't care about what excuses/rational they produce. To me it is inexcusable for me to be getting 5% royalties on a book I created. Then to have to give 15% of the royalties for that book and all my other books to an agent. It's inexcusable that I then have to ask said agent's permission before I produce any other works. It's inexcusable that I have to do things on said agents time schedule. If I have three books ready to go, I have to wait on said agent to be ready to get them produced and if I went to another agent, jeezuz Khrist! Well, i've been to enough agent blogs and seen how they curse writers with the darkest pit of hades for daring to even THINK about doing something like that.

Yes, yes, I know. Not all agents are like that, but I haven't the patience to sit around hunting for the diamonds in the rough. I could be doing something else, like WRITING and controlling my own career.

Mind you, i'm speaking as someone who had a top agency interested in her work. But after doing some serious research, it just did not make any sense to me. It still doesn't! I never got back in touch with the agency, took about a year to research and make an educated decision, then decided I'd rather do it myself. Yes, I'm sure traditional publishing has it's perks. But instead of them always questioning the self publishing industry, ask them why don't they treat authors with more respect and a fair portion of the profits? Especially seeing as how most traditionally published authors have to do their own marketing anyway...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,017 Posts
modwitch said:
Well, I think she's drunk some of the koolaid assumptions:

2) A good book would get picked up if the author just worked harder, revised more. I get why this is an essential koolaid ingredient, but I don't really see the evidence for it.
Yeah, well I worked and worked and revised, etc., for year after painful year. It never happened. I got close a zillion times and fell just short again and again. So I guess I could have kept trying (and I would have, because I'm a writer), but now I can publish them myself and you know, tens of thousands of people have bought my books. So fine, I don't have any animosity toward the mainstream publishing world, but they didn't like me and now I've learned it doesn't matter.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,081 Posts
Some stuff just does not fit the 'Big Six' model. I don't care how awesome a writer you are. I told my agent I had a romance that had conquistadors, dinosaurs, and cavemen in the Bermuda Triangle. Oh, and it was about 60k long. She was really happy when I decided to self-publish it. ;)

In all seriousness, there are a lot of reasons why something might be self-published rather than going the traditional route. Someone go tell all the horror writers and epic fantasy writers that if they just revised a LITTLE MORE and pushed a LITTLE HARDER they could...what? Make it to acquisitions and then get rejected because the numbers aren't there?

Generics don't always work. Sometimes they are just generic. Plus, I think her argument was valid about 5 years ago, but not now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,329 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
jackz4000 said:
I think Pearce is too concerned about Ebooks. She should have stuck to kiddie questions.
She v-blogs about twice a week and has done so for a while now. I don't think, what, 20 seconds devoted to the topic counts as "too concerned," and YA is teens, not Fun With Dick and Jane -- not that those writers don't deserve respect as well. I find it also worth noting that her comments made clear that she's not one of the people who thinks indies simply can't cut it.

While I started the thread, I can't control it's direction, but it would be nice to have a discussion of a different perspective from a traditionally published author and have things remain courteous. We don't know how her view will evolve, but I thought it could be an interesting discussion.

There is a nuanced discussion to be had here.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,329 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Joe Vasicek said:
It'll be interesting to hear what she says in five years. :)
Agreed, really, agreed -- but I also want an excuse to say that I just noticed your book is out. I feel like I sorta know it. :D

Terrence OBrien said:
The world is full of people who want to make decisions for everyone else. Usually they have no standing indicating anyone should pay attention to them. She fits this profile. She wants to remove a person's choice to self-publish by making it harder. Who cares what she wants?
I see her as saying she thinks it would be more valuable if it were harder won, not that she would personally stop anyone -- or remove their choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,329 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
valeriec80 said:
I really like Jackson Pearce. The books of hers that I've read were great, and her videos are always fun.

That being said, I'm starting to feel like this "easy" argument from traditionally published authors is beginning to sound a lot like, "And when I was your age, we had to hike to agent's office in ten feet of snow, and then they rejected us a trillion times, and we liked it, because it built character! You indie kids today just have it way too easy."

People who think indie publishing is easy have never indie published. And it's human nature to distrust things that are new and revolutionary, especially if you think the way you're currently doing it is just fine with you.
Yeah, obviously I like her stuff too -- well, Sisters Red.

I think there is some of what you say there, that "when I was your age..." but I also think that traditional publishing teaches some writers to play well with others, to work to improve. That doesn't mean it doesn't leave some people out in the cold that deserve to be let in, because they don't know how to market some people. That doesn't mean they aren't too quick to drop authors. I don't agree with her on the "too easy" point with the exception that some indie writers publish way too soon -- because they can.

Traditionally published authors don't know what to do with this new(ish) thing, it's true. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
249 Posts
I'm traditionally published and I don't regret a moment of my time spent in the trenches, learning my craft. It took me 10 years to get traditionally published and while it was filled with moments of near desperation, each time I was tempted to give up, I pushed on because I had a singular goal. With that said, I value indie publishing because there are certain pieces of work that simply would not find a home within traditional publishing, particularly within my publishing line. So, in essence, I'm enjoying both worlds. I agree times are changing rapidly and it's an interesting journey to say the least. I definitely think there's room in the pool for everyone who has the courage to jump in. :)

Kimberly V.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,200 Posts
MichelleR said:
I see her as saying she thinks it would be more valuable if it were harder won, not that she would personally stop anyone -- or remove their choice.
Most things are more valuable to a person if they are harder won. However, working incredibly hard on something and putting a lot of thought and effort into a book then choosing to self publish can be just as valuable.

I think most Indies get their back up when traditionally published authors belittle their decisions as the easy way out. As with any successful business, choosing to be your own publisher is hardly easy. Those statements get awfully irritating.

Now, does traditional publishing have value? Of course it does. I'd consider it if approached, but I would be very careful about anything I signed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,329 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
DChase said:
Most things are more valuable to a person if they are harder won. However, working incredibly hard on something and putting a lot of thought and effort into a book then choosing to self publish can be just as valuable.
Completely agree. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,258 Posts
I think it's silly to say a person who self-publishes and doesn't sell well is dead to publishers.

What if a person puts a book out there, and it sells a few copies a month for ten years. Then, one day, Oprah picks up the book and talks about it on TV. Suddenly a million people are buying the book. Do you think traditional publishers aren't going to be interested in the book because it sat unnoticed for ten years??  Of course not. No one cares if a book doesn't sell. They only care if a book DOES sell.

Take my book. It sold 100,000 copies. It took a year to sell that many...and started out slow. It took 6 months just to sell 1,000. No one tells me that my book won't sell traditionally because it got a slow start.

And so what if someone publishes a book that isn't "ready" to be published. If it has potential and the author cares enough to revise and work on it, that's what matters. If they can polish it up and re-release it as a revised copy, and sells a bazillion copies...no one will care that it was revised. They'll be all over that because it now has sold a bazillion copies.

So, the moral of the story? If your book isn't selling well, find out why and fix it. That's the power of indie publishing. And we do have a lot of power.

Vicki
 
1 - 20 of 45 Posts
Top