It’s hardly the last word on the subject, or the last word I will write here, even, but I have been wanting to put a bow on my two posts from last week, namely:
Each received about the treatment I expected- albeit they got more attention than I expected, but hey, I’ll take that all day long. What it boils down to, essentially, is do your homework and pick the path that works best for you. I didn’t really have a way of saying that in form long enough to justify an entire blog post on it, but I wanted to put a bow on this whole thing, but what is there to say, really?
Then I saw this- Penguin’s (Random House?) policy on electronic galleys for authors and, uh, damn. I tweeted that link, and received a reply I hadn’t expected, from friend o’ 43, Insatiable Booksluts:
@deanfortythree I actually think Penguin could be right on that score.
— Insatiable Booksluts (@thebooksluts) July 30, 2013
Wha wha whaaaaat? But, hey, they are kinda right. But who cares? I write books. When I sit down to weigh my publishing options- or at the bargaining table with a publisher, or my agent does- let me tell you how much right matters. What matters to me is what matters to them: The bottom line. And guess what, Mister Publisher, it’s your job to make sure my book gets into the hands of every single person possible, and if you’re not going to do that, much less facilitate it and then charge me for the trouble? Yeah. Exactly. Maybe you’re right, but I do. not. care. Ten years ago, you had a leg to stand on, but now if I have to do it myself, why shouldn’t I just do it myself?
This was illustrated to me the other day by an author I won’t name here. Suffice it to say, it is an author whose work I positively adore, and in recent months, we have become friends (which is completely surreal to me, talking shop with someone whose work I have devoured and has inspired me). In any case, they have a recent release via a hybrid publisher. Now, I bought this book day one, and it is- predictably- one of the best books I’ve read in a while. It had, by all appearances, a pretty good release, certainly better than, say, mine. Awesome, right? But now it’s been a bit and… no reviews. Not much chatter about it.
And then she asked me about how I got reviews. Me. Because ‘apparently, that’s something I’m going to have to track down myself’ (or words to that effect). This isn’t, actually, to take anything away from the publisher, or her, or anyone, really. But it is the reality of where we are in the publishing-stream of things. Publishers are doing less; royalties are rising. For every give, there is a take. They provide editors; you find reviewers. They provide cover art; you provide marketing. So on, and so forth. Is it good, or ill? This is a choose your own adventure book, kids. You get to decide.