April 30th, 2012
Stephen Watkins has done a lot on his blog to try to separate the thinking from the chaff in all the verbiage being thrown around these days on The State of (and The Future of) the Publishing Industry.
I always read his posts on the subject, though I don’t always read the posts he links to and quotes from (my interest only goes so far, since I’m not really considering either independent or major publishing). But sometimes I do follow the links, and the thing which has struck me most is how emotional some bloggers get about the whole thing.
A lot of independent-publishing enthusiasts talk like they’re plucky Rebel fighters trying to explode the Death Star of traditional publishing (and they seem confident that the Death Star is about to implode anyway). Others stand firm in the camp of the traditional publishers, sarcastically dismissing small-press and indie works (often while cheerfully admitting that they’ve never actually read any).
My comment on one recent post (“Logic Error“) said:
I’m getting the idea that some people have a really strong emotional reaction against traditional publishing – the endless waiting, the rejection, the loss of control – and so they decide to go indie. But then, since this is a “business decision,” they feel obligated to construct an edifice of logic (good or, in this case, bad) to justify their choice. (This goes back to what we were discussing a few days ago – the anger that some people seem to feel about Big Pub.)
This goes the other way, too. To some people, publishing doesn’t seem “real” if it isn’t with a major. That feeling doesn’t have any effect on whether the traditional publishing model will continue to be viable over the next few decades or not, but once the decision is made, the retroactive logic is brought into play.
My reaction to both camps is the same: if your decision is based on logic, your logic needs to be good; but if you’re going with your gut, just relax and say so.
I publish the way I do because it gives me great pleasure to do so. Period. And for me, that is more than adequate reason.
So, here’s my question for any and all writers. How have you made your decision yet (small/indie press vs. trying to get picked up by a major)? If so, how much of it was based on analysis, and how much by gut? Or, if you haven’t yet made the decision, are you tending in one direction or the other? If so, is the tendency more from your gut or your head?
Entry Filed under: Publishing