Very pleased to recommend Kristen Lamb’s author blog, which I just discovered. Have just started with it but I can already tell it will be helpful for me and any other aspiring author.
In a post titled Author Animal Farm—New York Goood, Self-pub Baaaaaad she responds to a piece in The Huffington Post trashing self-publishing. She addresses whether self-pub is a legitimate path for an author, whether traditional or legacy publishing is really better, and whether we as writers should contribute to sites like Huffington Post that only pay in “exposure.” Here is the comment I left on this post (with a few proofing corrections, bold and links added here).
This gave me a lot to think about. On Huff, I thought it would help me to get published there. I’m already not getting paid for my blog posts. At least I would get some name recognition from that. On the other hand I hate to see publications who have the money to pay writers but still don’t pay. On self-publishing, I’ve seen both sides. C. Hope Clark is the author of two mystery series set in coastal Carolina. She says Legacy Publishing made her a better writer because after 36 rejections, she looked over the manuscript again and realized it wasn’t ready. Having that measure of quality control made that first novel better and those lessons carried over to the others. If it makes my work better, I’m for it. However, I’m in a bind because my novel doesn’t fit neatly into one genre. I knew it would be a challenge for traditional publishers because of that. But I find myself having my manuscript rejected for ridiculous reasons.
I read about the multiple points of view approach from Donald Maass’ Writing the Breakout Novel, and I was encouraged because it applied to my novel. I followed his advice for using it effectively. Most agents and editors are telling me now that I have to stick to one point of view, two at most. WHY????? The lead agent of a highly respected agency wrote a book on how to write a commercial best-seller, said this is a legitimate way to do that, and now all the gatekeepers think it can’t possibly work?
The Pendergast series from Preston and Child is one of my contemporary favorites and always a guaranteed bestseller. They always use multiple points of view. And what would Game of Thrones be if we could only experience the Seven Kingdoms through one POV character? And at the risk of sounding immodest, I know I have a good novel. In fact, it’s better than a lot that actually gets published through Legacy Publishing. I know that because I’ve read some of what’s out there. No one could read it all, but I’ve read enough to know mine compares favorably.
I also know because my first draft sucked. It took a lot of time, educating myself on the craft, blood, sweat, and tears, and critique groups who kicked my butt to teach me how to create tension, drama, and characters they would care about. So I know it wasn’t always worthy of being published, and self-publishing that first or second or seventh draft would have been a disaster. But now? I’ll give the “real” publishers some more chances, but if I have to go self-pub, it’s still a good novel and worthy of being published.
Btw, I also know it’s good because it recently won an award for unpublished fiction.
Original image via Kabsik Park courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons.
Okay at first I wasn’t going to say anything regarding the latest Let’s Bash Self-Publishing rant over at HuffPo, but (like all “real” writers) I am in the business of serving my audience—YOU—what you want to hear and after about the tenth person who sent me Laurie Gough’s Self-Publishing—An Insult to the Written Word, I figured y’all might want my take 😉 .
For another angle on this controversy, I strongly recommend Fisking the HuffPo’s Snooty Rant About Self-Publishing.
Consider the Source
First of all, am I the only one to see the laughable hypocrisy of anyone who writes for Huffington Post lecturing anyone about real writing? Huffington Post is a predatory business, a literary parasite that has made hundreds of millions of dollars by paying writers in “exposure dollars.” And, by doing so, has…
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