Authors tell me, 'Don't Trust Traditional Publishing'
Last night at my RWA meeting, we had a guest speaker who
talked about the future of traditional publishing, self-publishing, e-books,
etc. I noticed several new faces in the audience that I hadn’t seen before –
namely, romance writers who severed ties to their agents and publishing houses
who self-published their backlists. Many of them are making a lot more money
than they did. Some told me that they feel like persona non gratis at the
meetings, which is why they don’t attend anymore.
I was advised by a former best-selling romance author: “Do
not sign a print contract.” Moreover, “You do not need an agent; you need a
business advisor.” We had a long talk after the meeting – I plan on having
coffee with her soon to listen to her story so I can learn more from her. I've talked with some of my published author friends; surprisingly, a lot of them are displeased with the agency model and have "dumped" their agents.
Some writers, even those who were previously published,
assert that the traditional model is dying and that you’d have more luck
winning the lottery than getting an agent, regardless if you’re a quality
writer. Well, this is a no-brainer; anyone with two brain cells to rub together can put together the statistics. Others maintain that the only way to get published is through the
traditional channels: agent and publishing house, ideally one of the “Big Six.”
Eventually, a writer will submit a manuscript that’s spot on, if she just keeps
writing. Hmm … well, maybe. That’s all I have to say about that.
I’m confused about my direction. I don’t know what to do. I
don’t want to spin my wheels knocking on a door that’s already closed and
locked. At the same time, the thought of self-publishing doesn’t appeal to me
for many reasons. I keep waiting for an alternative model to present itself –
something that’s not traditional and something that’s not self-pub. Does anyone
else feel paralyzed and unable to make a decision?