I often point over to Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch in this here blog. Naturally, I do that because they’re both very experienced writers, very smart with business, and they make a hell of a lot of sense. Plus, they both seem like great people, and their thoughts are fun to read.
Well, I’m going to do it again. Kris, today, had yet another great post about the transition the publishing industry is going through, and in particular how it’s affecting writers’ state of mind.
Now that I’m done with this quarter’s Writers of the Future submission, I intend to get back to novel number two: the science fiction thriller I started a few weeks ago that continues the tale from Passing in the Night. I had been toying with sending it out on the guery-go-round, to borrow a phrase from Robin Sullivan. No, I wasn’t going to send it to agents: straight to publishers, thank you very much.
But geez, every time I read one of Kris’ articles about the current state of the publishing world, I just cringe. Today’s post, with its several paragraphs detailing the litany of chicanery being perpetrated out there, left me thinking, “Yeah. Never mind. I’ll just indie-pub this one, too.” Because I don’t need to deal with all that crap. It’s not worth the headache. And frankly, I’d probably get in big trouble if I found myself having to deal with it, because someone from the publishing house would get hurt. Badly. Daddy don’t play that, son.
But I’ll probably go on the query-go-round with it, regardless. It’ll be fun, in a sick and twisted way. Plus, it makes sense to try both sides of the publishing coin. I can always work hard to negotiate myself out of the truly horrid clauses they’re putting into contracts these days. So that initial reaction was short-lived.
Then, reading the rest of her post, I had two other thoughts.
The first came from my mean Navy-trained mind, when I read her description of the various states of despair some of her friends are in. The thought went something like, “Geez, would you people stop whining? Suck it up, grow a backbone, and get to it. Grow a pair, will you?” I suppressed that thought rather quickly, because it was mean. But I don’t necessarily think it was completely invalid. What Kris said at the tail end of her post was more or less what I was thinking there, just in a much nicer way. The future isn’t all bleak and dreary. You can improve your situation if you try. You can do it, so get started! Oh, and have fun! Good words of advice.
The next thought was that I am really grateful I’m starting this writing gig now, vice five or ten years ago. Because now, I don’t have to deal with all that soul-crushing crap that Kris is talking about here. Not if I don’t want to.
Man, I love the freedom that innovation and entrepeneurship brings. Of course, that’s a bit of circular logic, because without freedom (I’m talking economic freedom here), innovation and entrepeneurship is impossible. But my purpose here isn’t to go off on a diatribe about why everyone should be a libertarian like me, so I’ll just stop here. 🙂
I’m also grateful that there are folks out there like Kris and Dean, and David Farland, Bob Mayer, Joe Konrath, Robin Sullivan, Mike Stackpole, the guys at Writing Excuses, and, hell, numerous others. Folks who take time from their busy schedules to pay it forward to the little people like me who are just starting out.
I don’t want to think about what my thought process about this business would be if I hadn’t come across these folks.
So that’s me feeling grateful. Right. Back to it, then.