Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Kate Wilhelm on self-publishing

   
Author Topic: Kate Wilhelm on self-publishing
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Damon Knight's widow, Kate Wilhelm, a powerful and prolific writer and writing educator herself, has decided to self-publish, and this explains why.
Posts: 7817 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
LDWriter2
Member
Member # 9148

 - posted      Profile for LDWriter2   Email LDWriter2         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
As, I think, many people here know that isn't at all unusual these days. For exactly the same reasons. It's amazing how many pros are having the same light go off at almost the same time.

Well, maybe not when you consider how e-pubbing has opened up and how the traditional publishers all closing ranks. At least the larger ones.

Posts: 4645 | Registered: Jun 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like the idea. The notion that an already-successful established writer might go the self-publishing route in search of a better deal appeals to me mightily. (Reminds me of what I heard about the Artist Formerly Known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince...who cut out his record company over, I gather, their being unwilling to release what he was putting out as fast as he was putting it out.)

But Kate Wilhelm is an established writer. A known quantity. A self-published e-book by Kate Wilhelm would likely draw more people in than one by [insert your name here].

Posts: 8001 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I followed the career of one well-known, well-respected, prolific, accomplished author; from short story breakout to novel breakout, from contractual revenue slob to publishing house stalwart to rebel to self-publisher. The author's quality declined, star fell late in the stalwart era. The writing only got more mechanical and droll after that. Failure of imagination. By the time the author was self-publishing, the number of impressions per new work, paper and digital, had fallen below practical traditional paper print runs.

The author had no more whipcracking taskmasters knuckling down, save for hemorrhaging readership. Riding on one's own laurels and coattails is not a pragmatic way to further a career. A strategy which I will not follow. Tel est la vie; such is life.

Posts: 2814 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Kathleen Dalton Woodbury
Administrator
Member # 59

 - posted      Profile for Kathleen Dalton Woodbury   Email Kathleen Dalton Woodbury         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Good point, extrinsic. I think authors who decide to self-publish because they don't like the changes (improvements?) editors may ask them to make are shooting themselves in the foot. Just because you can be sloppy (because your fans will buy your work anyway) doesn't mean you should lose your integrity and allow yourself to become sloppy.

A related problem may be that there are Big Name Authors whose names are So Big that the publishers and editors won't bother to edit them (or spend the money that requires) because they know that the Big Name's fans will buy and read their stuff anyway. Then the Big Name nas to be smart enough to know that the publisher is selling his or her work short for a fast buck. Which might be another reason to self-publish--if you can get someone who will truly edit and help you keep from being sloppy.

It's a fine balance.

But going self-publishing route because of bad contracts is another thing entirely (and I've heard of some extremely noxious contracts).

Posts: 7817 | Registered: A Long Time Ago!  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Pyre Dynasty
Member
Member # 1947

 - posted      Profile for Pyre Dynasty   Email Pyre Dynasty         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
This makes me happy that she has figured out the wonderful thing that has happened because of epublishing. Out of print is a thing of the past.
Posts: 1843 | Registered: Mar 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Kathleen Dalton Woodbury:
But going self-publishing route because of bad contracts is another thing entirely (and I've heard of some extremely noxious contracts).

I've read a few notoriously noxious contracts. The author I followed published the clauses that caused the contentious secession from his life-long house. And others. The contention caused the industry to blackball him. He couldn't get a publishing contract with any top tier imprint after he departed from the one that he had been with for thirty years.

Publishers don't make big sums from first releases, with few exceptions. They make their bread and butter money from keeping books in print. Back lists endure, even titles that have lapsed copyrights. I've read a few publishers' profit loss statements. It's amazing where the bulk of their revenues come from. Shakespeare, Dickens, Stevenson, Dickinson, Austen, to name a few dusty old bones. It's no wonder to me what's going on; the houses are grabbing as much perpetual ownership as a writer will allow. But by not keeping pace with technology they are shooting themselves in the foot, too.

Fine by me. My next step career goal is developmental editor for self-publishers. And product packager and publicist and marketing strategist. If writers don't want to do the business themselves and publishers don't want to do it anymore. There's room for entrepreneurs to do it without grabbing ownership. But my name will be on the package.

Posts: 2814 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Denevius
Member
Member # 9682

 - posted      Profile for Denevius   Email Denevius         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Big companies ripping off the artist seems like a common enough narrative bordering on cliche; but then, big companies ripping people off, period, also seems to be the way of the world. In the story of life, faceless corporations are usually the antagonist.

I definitely agree with what I think Robert was getting at in that someone like Kate Wilhelm has the luxury of rejecting a bad contract because she already has name recognition. Writers just starting out are probably so floored at the idea of publishing traditionally that they'd take the contract, bad or not, over self-publishing, because no matter how much you're being exploited, the bottom line is that self-publishing still doesn't have the type of cred as traditional publishing.

Not even anywhere close, actually, and with the advent of e-publishing, it's only getting worse since anyone who's written anything can now "publish" it for free. It doesn't have to be well written, it doesn't even have to be coherent. With the click of a button, everyone has become an author, which has totally undermined the profession.

I think the only consistent good thing that has come out of e-publishing is that, hopefully, it puts out of business all of those exploitative self-publishing companies that had been ripping people off for years to have their book printed. The stories I've heard from people who have gone that route can't be any worse than the most noxious contract the traditional publishers offer.

Ultimately, though, I'm willing to bet that even publishing a book with a traditional publisher under the conditions of a bad contract probably does a lot more for your career than self-publishing ever will.

Posts: 383 | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I think I've reached the point where I wouldn't let myself be ripped off for the sake of publication. I've heard a number of things, passed off as "usual practice," that seem blatant grabs by the publisher.

The late Robert ("Wheels of Time") Jordan told a tale of dealing with the late Donald (DAW Books) Wollheim. (They're both "late," so I can't be libeling anyone and can use real names.) Wollheim accepted a book by Jordan and sent a contract. Jordan, being a naive young writer at that point, sent a letter discussing possible changes in the contract. Wollheim sent the book back, a flat rejection.

I think if that happened to me, I'd let everybody I could know it happened, publishers be damned.

Posts: 8001 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
History
Member
Member # 9213

 - posted      Profile for History   Email History         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
What is the desired outcome?
I imagine for most professional writers there are three: money, fame, and art. And probably in that order.

I've only recently turned my eyes to writing again (well, recently relative to my age), but it seems most authors will best achieve these goals through traditional publishing. The money, while not great for most, is upfront in the advance with a few potentially earning more through the symbiotic relationship between sales and publicity. Traditional publishing companies retain the advantage in getting one's work noticed by the reading public; and they provide a cadre of professional editors that are invaluable to both the author and publisher in polishing a work for public sale. As with the entertainment industry in general, the publishers flourish on the few of their authors who hit it big, and then they feed off their names (King, Patterson, Rowling, etc.). How many authors'works earn back even their small advances and the cost of publication and distribution? Cost/benefit, risk/gain calculations apply. Thus, I do not completely fault the publishers, yet I do not condone creating adverserial relationships with authors. There should be a fair and reasonable middleground. Inducing negative emotions can only stifle inspiration and hurt everyone--publishers, authors, and readers alike.

Excedingly few self-published authors achieve money, fame or art. As Ms Wilson eloquently states, "Writers write." They are not, for the most part, publicists not have pre-established outlets to widely market and promote their works. Most are not professional editors nor possess the necessary objectivity to provide the fresh insights necessary to help improve a work. Furthermore, as self-publishing authors, they need not listen and make changes to their beloved masterpieces to meet the demands of an independent publisher. For better or worse, they retain full control of their manuscript and can make new and old works available immediately to the readers who (mostly by happenstance) find them amidst the litter of the great heap of material flooding the internet.

However, I like Extrinsic's idea of providing editors to these self-publishing authors. This new industry needs them, yet will authors avail themselves of them or follow any of their advice when they do? How many self-published works have I read that are replete with spelling and grammatical errors and sloppy proofreading--let alone poor writing. This is what continues to discredit self-publishing, as Ms Woodbury suggests. When the author has complete control, the author is free to dismiss and ignore with abandon. I've perforce volunteered to act as editor on a number of works, short and long, and some have responded positively and some...not so--much as patients may do the medical advice I give them, even to their own potential detriment.

The final arbiter, therefore, may be the readers themselves, particularly those who provide reviews of self-published works on line for both tradionally and self-published works. Of course, the same high professional standard we demand from authors, publishers, and editors, we should similarly expect from readers/reviewers. Sadly, I find this is not always the case. Free speech comes with the price of trash speech--not only unconstructive but also unnecessarily destructive and sometimes simply unintelligent and intelligble.

Personally, I find The Golden Rule ("Do not do unto others as you would not have them to do to you"--Rabbi Hillel c.100 BCE, Talmud Shabbat 31a) applicable to author, publisher, editor, and reader/reviewer equally. But I fear I may be in the minority.

I've been considering the preceding for many months now as I've garnered my own collection of rejection slips, the months between submission and rejection,the unfortunate length (and possibly subject material) of my stories that preclude most markets, the doubt regarding the quality of my writing, my dislike and subsequent avoidance of "the business" of writing, the passage of time, and (morbidly) my inevitable mortality. I think I've been striving too hard to be published through the traditional method of short story writing, at which I'm not particularly apt. I like a larger canvas to paint (though seem to be stuck at the unsaleable novelette and novella lengths). The audience for the type of stories I enjoy writing (and reading) is, seemingly, very small. I'm blessed with a number of fellow writers whose opinions and editorial comments I value, and family members who are great proofreaders. I've seen how happy self-publishing has made former Hatracker Martin Davey (see his recent fine work Blood of The Gods at http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Gods-From-Earth-ebook/dp/B008BTNLDU), though he is one who also doesn't listen to me. [Wink] And, I'm blessed in that I need not write for money (though paradoxically, if I did I'd have so much more time to write! Ah, well.). Slowly I'm leaning toward joining the great unwashed, well the unread, among the e-published, possibly in 2013. How this will evolve, I'm yet uncertain; but it may give me some pleasure to emulate a fine Maine day of fishing under a cloudless summer sky of chill pale blue. Perhaps someone will bite and like the taste. But if not, not. The joy is in being outside fishing.

Catching anything is merely a bonus.

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

Posts: 1322 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
andersonmcdonald
Member
Member # 8641

 - posted      Profile for andersonmcdonald   Email andersonmcdonald         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It doesn't have to be either/or. If you do your homework and can negotiate a good contract, publish traditionally. Self-publishing is a good way for writers to ressurrect their backlists, publish novellas (ebook and paper), and put out short story collections. As for the millions of wannabes flooding the world with self-published crap, hey, it's a free country. Everyone has the right to produce stuff that will just sit there and NEVER sale. Readers can sample. Readers, smart critters that they are, have the right not to buy said crap (even mine), just like they do when browsing at a traditional bookstore. I plan to publish traditionally. When my novel is complete I'll send it out to Tor or Daw or whoever. And I won't be one bit ashamed of myself for self-publishing.
Posts: 443 | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Owasm
Member
Member # 8501

 - posted      Profile for Owasm   Email Owasm         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
If you aren't the next Patrick Rothfuss, at some point you have to confront the fact that your work may never tickle the fancy of mercurial agents and editors. When that realization hits what do you do? Quit? Hang up your keyboard and shake your head?

In one way, that's the allure of self-publishing. You have the opportunity to get your work out there. You might not sell many copies, but you will sell some books and get some fulfillment from your writing.

The industry is still changing. The services that traditional publishers offer will be pushed down to self-publishers. Right now there are freelance editors who will go over your work. You can find cover artists. Through Smashwords, Createspace, Kindle and Pubit, you can get hardcopy books and distribution.

However, you have to be able to invest a little in yourself and in your work to get it to a professionally turned-out level.

I've epubbed because I'm an old guy and, like Dr. Bob, there's an element of mortality in my thinking. I can't wait three years to get a book published to see if the reading world will like what I write. I can't afford serial feedback like that. In ten years my magic fingers may be moldering in the grave.

For those of you who think your only validation is traditional publishing, good luck. I hope you're not disappointed. There are hundreds of thousands of books written every year and the vast, vast majority will never see a drop of ink.

Posts: 1523 | Registered: Feb 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JoBird
Member
Member # 9883

 - posted      Profile for JoBird   Email JoBird         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Publishers vet stories, they separate the wheat from the chaff. That's how I think readers view traditional publishing from self-publishing. Critics then work to pick up the pieces publishers may have dropped, further vetting the work. The last vetting stage happens through word of mouth suggestion.

After conversing with a friend of mine regarding this subject I'm left thinking that self-publishing will not rise in prominence until the audience has a way of vetting the author. Simply put, there are too many self-published authors out there. How do you tell which ones are worth the time and money?

Word of mouth can do this to an extent, but the number of works that have to be shuffled through is enormous. In effect, the slush pile moves from the traditional publisher's desk to the reader's. And the reader is just aiming to be entertained, not engage in the level of sluggish work it takes to tackle crap after crap in the search of a hopeful gem.

While I think self-publishing is great, and quite possibly the way of the future, there is clearly a key ingredient missing -- and that's the careful, honest vetting and review readers need to hedge their bets.

Personally, I think that folks who want to work as editors for self-publishing authors should instead work to create their own e-publishing houses, companies designed solely to provide the same free e-publishing services, with similar monetary deals for authors, but insist on approving the works published, effectively separating the wheat from the chaff under the banner of the publisher. Then folks can rightly rely on works published by, say, Infinitybox Press, or whomever. Editing can be provided for a percentage of the sales.

Essentially, trust is what's necessary. Readers, in my humble opinion, will purchase the self-published e-books once they trust them. Marketing, name recognition, a sense that the writing has been refined and green lit by those in the know -- all of that is a big part of the trust factor.

Posts: 94 | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
History
Member
Member # 9213

 - posted      Profile for History   Email History         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like that Owasm is older than me. I hope for at least 20 years of tickling the keys. [Smile]
Posts: 1322 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
wise
Member
Member # 9779

 - posted      Profile for wise   Email wise         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by JoBird:

Personally, I think that folks who want to work as editors for self-publishing authors should instead work to create their own e-publishing houses, companies designed solely to provide the same free e-publishing services, with similar monetary deals for authors, but insist on approving the works published, effectively separating the wheat from the chaff under the banner of the publisher.

Jo,Bird, I think this is an excellent idea. Why hasn't anyone begun such a venture? I know next to nothing about e-publishing and though I'd get my novel vetted myself before (maybe) e-publishing, I can see a great benefit to having a reader-trusted e-publisher who puts it through a rigorous editing process before it is ever offered for sale and download. This has got to be the next step. Are there any traditional publishing houses that have started a division strictly for e-publishing? As much as I love a paper book (I love the smell of an old book!), I can see the end of paper publishing, just like paper newspapers are dying. If I e-publish, is there nothing other than word-of-mouth to increase sales?
Posts: 95 | Registered: Mar 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
extrinsic
Member
Member # 8019

 - posted      Profile for extrinsic   Email extrinsic         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
There never has been any real merit to marketing except to let consumers know what products are available where and when. Garnering word-of-mouth buzz is the elusive end-all to the four corners of marketing strategy: publicity, promotion, advertising, and parol dissemination (word-of-mouth).

Presently and for the foreseeable future, there are no real vetting associations for digital or self-publishing. That doesn't mean an enlightened entrepreneur or two can't start one. Ahem, ahem, ahem. Look out for mine in about a year. Part developmental editing, part instructional poetics, part screening, part critical reviewing (interpretive analysis, not thumbs up or down), part digital and paper publishing, for the purposes of building word-of-mouth buzz.

The digital marketplace is an emerging new world order and we are the vanguard champions to make or break it.

Posts: 2814 | Registered: Jun 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JoBird
Member
Member # 9883

 - posted      Profile for JoBird   Email JoBird         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One of the big issues with word of mouth tends to be getting good blurbs from well known authors. Patrick Rothfuss, for instance, drives sales when he mentions a book he likes on goodreads, or his blog.

I'm not privy to the full world of publishing politics, but it seems like established authors are probably less inclined to blurb self-published work. It runs against their self interest, it undermines traditional publishing to some degree, and may strain their relationships with their own editors. It seems evident that the large publishing houses have a dog in this fight -- the rise of self-published novels gobble up market share.

As to why it hasn't happened yet, like extrinsic says, it takes entrepreneurs. This e-publishing stuff is all in its infancy right now, there is massive room for evolution and growth, and folks with vision will inevitably redefine the playing field to some degree. Or so I suspect.

Problem is, it's not that easy. Those same visionaries could end up getting burned along the way. Engendering name recognition and trust is something companies work at diligently for years to attain. It's a never ending battle to maintain it once you have it -- but to get it in the first place? That's a herculean task all on its own.

Posts: 94 | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Denevius
Member
Member # 9682

 - posted      Profile for Denevius   Email Denevius         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I would think there's a bit of self-satisfied smugness within the circles of traditional publishers. For years, aspiring writers have complained about the gatekeepers traditional publishers represent. Now, with e-publishing, the gatekeepers are all gone, yet those same writers, who now have their stuff "out there", have no one else to blame for their continued lack of readers.

History, I love this sentiment: "What is the desired outcome? I imagine for most professional writers there are three: money, fame, and art. And probably in that order."

As this is true. Despite the whole idea of writers writing because they have an unquenchable desire for it, I think for just about everyone who puts pen to page to publish, money is the first motivation, then fame, and last art. I would actually add a couple of other things in there before art, like woman if you're a guy (Salman Rushdie *is* on his third or fourth model wife, and he's no Denzel Washington or Brad Pitt), spite to all the doubters, etc.

But I do think that because so many things come before art is exactly why self-publishing as a viable professional alternative to traditional publishing is doomed to fail, for the reasons that we've been listing: bad editing, bad writing, a lack of resources to promote material. When so many aspects of being an author are more important than the writing itself, these failings will always plague self-publishing in a way that's mitigated more (they suffer from it to) in traditional publishers.

The most one can hope for is for your online novel to go viral, but that to me seems too much based on luck, and you might have a better chance of winning the lottery; there's probably just as many players.

Posts: 383 | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rcmann
Member
Member # 9757

 - posted      Profile for rcmann   Email rcmann         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Denevius:

History, I love this sentiment: "What is the desired outcome? I imagine for most professional writers there are three: money, fame, and art. And probably in that order."

As this is true. Despite the whole idea of writers writing because they have an unquenchable desire for it, I think for just about everyone who puts pen to page to publish, money is the first motivation, then fame, and last art. I would actually add a couple of other things in there before art, like woman if you're a guy (Salman Rushdie *is* on his third or fourth model wife, and he's no Denzel Washington or Brad Pitt), spite to all the doubters, etc.

Not really. Motivation varies. Me for instance. I am retired. Disabled. I started writing first to keep from going nuts. Second, because I found that I liked it. Third, because I found that I liked the feedback. Fourth, because it occurred to me that since I get good feedback from my amateur work, it would be an interesting challenge to see if I can get myself professionally published. Ego boost I suppose. Fifth, because a little extra money would be nice to have. Sixth, because it would be satisfying to rub a few people's noses in it.

If you are going into writing to make money, I suspect someone has led you astray. At least, fiction writing. Tech writing can be lucrative. I used to make a good living as a tech writer, but in salaried positions. Or in other positions where tech writing was merely a small part of my duties. Fiction writing does not, to me , seem like the path to El Dorado. I could be wrong of course.

Posts: 884 | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Denevius
Member
Member # 9682

 - posted      Profile for Denevius   Email Denevius         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Though I didn't mean that it was everyone's motivation, I do think, whether it's admitted or not, that it's many, if not most, people's motivation.

There's a lot of avenues, particularly because of the internet, to have your writing read without self publishing it. I won't use you as an example, but I think it's a legitimate question to ask writers why bother self-publishing when their work can and will be read if they take advantage of the many sites you can post your writing on?

Twenty years ago, there simply weren't open forums for potentially limitless people from all over the world to appreciate the narratives you create. Now there are.

So what's the itch that causes the need for so many to self-publish if not something beyond the simple pleasure of composing the best piece of prose they can, and then having it read in the many different forums for it to be made available?

One could definitely go about writing in a very Zen manner as a result of the internet by letting go of one's desires and just doing the best writing you can do with the certainty that afterwards, you will have an audience. You can post your piece here, you can post it on other sites. It *will* be read.

Now whether or not the popular opinion is that its terrible prose is another story.

That to me, though, is one of the tragedies of e-publishing. With the internet, we now have the ability to continually work on our fiction until it really is as good as it's going to be, and afterwards we have the certain knowledge that it will be read. Instead, what I feel has happened is that you have a horde of people simply putting stuff out there way before it should be, and that's not because of a deep seated desire to write and be read.

So many people jumping to slap a price tag on their writing, to me, shows their motivation isn't primarily art for art's sake.

Posts: 383 | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
History
Member
Member # 9213

 - posted      Profile for History   Email History         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
To reiterate and clarify, my exact statement was:
quote:
I imagine for most professional writers there are three (motivations): money, fame, and art. And probably in that order.
This may even be true for those aspiring to be professional (i.e. career) authors.

For the rest of us, this may not be true, as I indicated in regard to myself for which writing is a new challenge, self-entertainment, and (quite possibly) a desire for attention. [Wink]

I used to put together puzzles.
But writing is better.
I not only get to put the pieces together, I create them. [Smile]

Respectfully,
Dr. Bob

P.S. I agree with Denevius. I admit there is a dual pleasure for me in writing: the struggle and joy of crafting a story, and the desire (of the eternal child within me) to have friends and strangers (especially strangers) tell me "Bravo! Good job." I've not outgrown the desire for affirmation of my existence as being worthwhile in contributing to the human community.

P.S.S. I don't care whether I get paid or not for these creative efforts; but right or wrong, this is the standard by which one's work is judged "good."

P.S.S.S I still have enough of the child within me that I will momentarily pout when I proudly display my tower of stacked blocks and someone knocks them down; but the adult in me bites his lips and considers how to stack them even better.

Posts: 1322 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Robert Nowall
Member
Member # 2764

 - posted      Profile for Robert Nowall   Email Robert Nowall         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I've long-since started to have certain reservations about "professional behavior," as far as some of what goes on in the writer-market relationship.

For instance, we've had a few arguments 'round here, about manuscript typefaces, and Times New Roman in particular, where I think it's presumptuous of the market to claim the right to dictate this, for what seems to me like no good reason. (Maybe especially the Incredibly Shrinking SF Magazine Market.) So, these days, I examine what's expected of me, and, if I disapprove, I just won't do it.

Posts: 8001 | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
rcmann
Member
Member # 9757

 - posted      Profile for rcmann   Email rcmann         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Denevius:

There's a lot of avenues, particularly because of the internet, to have your writing read without self publishing it. I won't use you as an example, but I think it's a legitimate question to ask writers why bother self-publishing when their work can and will be read if they take advantage of the many sites you can post your writing on?

A valid question. I suppose for me, in a real sense getting professionally published would be a self-vetting process. A way of reassuring myself that my work is actually good enough that I might reasonably expect someone to pay for it. Like you said, anyone can post their fiction and get it read. I have. It got read. The feed back at first was highly mixed. I paid attention and tried to improve. The feedback got better. Now the feedback from the free stuff I post is almost uniformly positive.

I guess the next step is to find out if I am good enough to step up from college games and play in the pro leagues. Not because I want the big bucks, not even because I want the cheers. Because I want to prove myself. To myself and to a few others.

If a pro editor thinks they can sell my work and make a profit, that will tell me that I'm good enough to sell my own work.

Posts: 884 | Registered: Feb 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2