If you’re a writer, and have visited Twitter with any regularity this week, you may have noticed there’s lots of talk going on in publishing right now about various issues: small press/indie press debate, how fast/slow you write and whether or not any of this is good for your career.
While I love Twitter, all the subtweets, rants etc. have REALLY worn me down. The clichéd phrase “can’t we all just get along?” keeps rolling through my head. Just when I was getting frustrated (and sad), this great little hashtag (#keepgoing) popped up and suddenly my feed was positive again. Hooray!
In my own opinion, we all have our own paths to forge. Some writers will find success through traditional publishing. Others will work with small or indie presses, while some will choose the self-publishing route. None of these paths are WRONG. It is up to the individual to decide what is right for them. But, there should be vigilance on each writer’s part to vet and seriously research whatever path they choose.
Going with an agent and a traditional publisher? Make sure you know what kind of sales the agent has and how long they’ve been working in the publishing world. Did they work for a reputable agency before going out on their own? Were they an assistant, and learn the business from the bottom up, before becoming a full-fledged agent? These are all things that should be assessed before signing on the dotted line.
Decide on taking the deal with a small/indie press? Check them out. Is their website professional? Do they have strong sales and a marketing plan that will help promote your books? What does the contract say about your ebook rights? These are all things that should be considered.
What about self-publishing? Again, lots of RESEARCH required, but it can be done successfully if you are willing to put in the work.
My point? Do what is right for you.
The #keepgoing thread reminded me that each person has their own vision for success. It may not be the one you choose, but we need to respect each other’s individual choice.
Did I participate in the thread you may ask? You bet! Here is my tweet:
“One ms needs a complete rewrite, the other one is 20k away from being finished. I’m exhausted, but I’ll
#keepgoing because I WANT THIS!!!!”
I started writing full-time three years ago when I was on the cusp of a milestone birthday. My first manuscript (now lovingly placed on a shelf) was simply a gift to myself to prove I could write a book. Was I bummed when I realized the truths about publishing and knew it would never get published? Yes. But I kept going. My newest WIP is the love of my life right now. It is almost finished, and when I write that final word, it will go through many revisions I’m sure. But when it is polished, I’ll take the route I think is most valid for this book. That’s me forging my own path, whatever that may be.
We all want the same thing in this process: for people to read our work. And in the end, no matter what path you choose, that is the end goal.
So if you’re a writer, and you’re reading this, I encourage you to follow what your instincts say. Choose the right publishing path for yourself and get your work in front of the readers, because realistically they are the ones who really matter.