The world of publishing is changing, especially because of these precarious economic times. Mainstream publishers are still looking for the Stephen Kings, Dan Browns, and John Grishams, as well as the next blockbuster novel. It's out there somewhere, of course, but it may not be yours or mine! Does that mean the rest of us are doomed to be unpublished? Absolutely not.
As I wrote yesterday,
some in the publishing business consider anything put out for public
consumption as published--and that includes fan fiction on sites
visited only by their members. "But," you say, "I want to be in
print--and I want to be paid for what I write." I have no statistics on
the freelance writers who make a living, even a comfortable one, but
But back to the changing world of
publishing. Smaller publishers have stepped in to fill the need of
authors whose manuscripts populate the slush-piles of mainstream
publishers--and they are having great success. Not every novel is a
blockbuster--that doesn't mean it's not worthy of being published--and
smaller publishers are taking savvy advantage of this fact. It's a
win-win situation: authors see their work published and earn money from
royalties--and publishers cover their expenses and then some. No, the
six-figure advances aren't there, but that simply isn't a deterrent for
most of us who consider ourselves writers and just want to write.
still brushed off by some, is a viable option for publishing,
especially shorter works. POD publishing, a venue embraced by smaller
publishers, makes total sense. Print the books as they are ordered--why
spend money before it's guaranteed to come back to you? (Don't
bakeries, for example, bake what they expect to sell fresh in
the course of a day?)My personal opinion is that this business practice
is a brilliant concept. How many of us browse bookstores where unsold
books wind up to be sold for discounted prices? (They go in the trash
after that, or so I understand.)
still widely debated. Some authors have chosen this route and then had
their novels picked up by a publisher. These cases are, so I'm told,
the exception rather than the rule. That doesn't mean that an author
hasn't enjoyed some success otherwise. It is necessary, of course, if
one chooses this route, to distinguish between the kinds of
self-publishing. With a vanity publisher, you could be out "big bucks"
and have cartons of books stacked in your garage from now 'til
eternity. Learn the difference.
A savvy author is not
in such a hurry to see her name on the cover of a book that she doesn't
check out all possibilities. And, writers who want to write, love to
write, and are determined to write should never discount or dismiss any
possibility--and that includes fan fiction! Get the experience--make
lifelong writing friends--hone your craft. It's all good.
it looks like my three-parter is going to become a five-parter! I
still want to discuss the future of my personal fan fiction, and I want
to share resources and publishing possibilities with readers of this
blog. So stay tuned for Monday and Tuesday!
Monday: The Future of My Fan Fiction