Today's Progress: 1631 Words (completed chapter 1)
Running Total: 1631 Words
1631 / 60000 words. 3% done!
In the meantime I'm thinking about how much publishing is in flux right now. Nobody knows what the right thing to do is any more. Joe Konrath is recommending the complete abandonment of traditional publishing. I know that's right for me. I already decided to do that months ago. But a number of new writers have popped up on various blogs and forums, and I don't know that the brave new world of indie publishing is right for them. Yet.
I've been pondering what I would do differently if I were starting out now. How would I prepare myself to work in this new climate?
If I were starting out from scratch, I'd have to take into consideration how very slooowwwwly traditional publishing works, and how very fast epublishing is -- and I would try to use both to my advantage.
When you start out, you need to have one foot on the accelerator and one on the brake. You need to write like mad but you also need some time to get your feet under you. To gain perspective. To get a network of friends and colleagues in place. Traditional publishing is great for that. It slows you down, and teaches you to submit a manuscript and forget about it while you work on something else.
Self-publishing gives you too much feedback too fast. You can see your stats and hits and get your Google alerts on your book. It lures you into spending all your time on marketing, and networking and checking your stats and advertising. And you need to NOT do that. At least not at first. You need to concentrate on writing.
The other thing is that I see the most angst coming from writers who have the first book in a series published, and they're struggling to get the second ready as fast as they can. The happiest writers I see are those who actually had several books written before they started to publish.
There may be something -- for some writers anyway -- to combining traditional with indie publishing.
First of all, you don't have to succumb to all the negatives of traditional publishing. You don't have to write to chase the market. If you write the first book in a series or trilogy, you can freely keep writing on that series, and not worry about what will happen if you don't sell the first. That was something that killed me and was the worst mistake of my life -- I listened to people who said you should hold off on writing a second book in a series until you have sold the first. Instead, you should write a bunch of first books to improve your marketing chances.
Since you can fall back on indie publishing, you never have to worry about such things any more. You can write what you want. Furthermore, because traditional publishing takes So Darned Long, you don't have to worry about making up your mind any time soon. Go ahead and submit. Gather rejection slips and advice. Learn your craft. And by the time you have a couple of books under your belt, you'll be ready to make that decision about your career.
And if your decision is to go for self-publishing, you will have more books at your fingertips, and you can actually start your publishing career with a bang.