Throw Your Arms In the Air Because You Just Don't Care

I write because I'm a writer. I pursue professional publication because that's been a goal of mine for the past 22 years. It wasn't always my highest priority, but it was never abandoned. And for the past two+ years, it has been my highest priority. I focus on writing not as an eventual, but as a now. I may still be wading at the shallow end compared to long-established best sellers, but I'm not just wishing. I am being.

And you know what? I'm already sick and tired of it.

Publishing is mirroring our current politics so much that I want to hit my head against a wall. Two sides have entrenched themselves in their opinions. Neither can fully represent the nuances of 100%, but both act and speak as if theirs is the only recourse. They waste time and energy deriding the other group and drowning out the measured compromise of the middle ground.

I've had my fill of it in politics. I've had my fill of it in publishing. So here is my declaration to all of you: KNOCK IT THE FUCK OFF!

Premise 1: Writing is the art. Publishing is the business.

Premise 2: In business, all parties look out for their own interests first.

Premise 3: Our interest is to make money through our writing. If that is not our interest, we should not be in publishing.

Assertion: We are entitled to pursue whatever avenues will yield us the optimal yield, this taking into account measurable factors such as promotion, distribution, etc.

This means we can self-publish if we want to. This means we can publish with an independent or small press if we want to. This means we can publish with a major publishing house if we want to.

If anyone says differently, that person is full of shit. You do what you need to do to succeed at this business. Let other people do what they need to do to succeed in this business. Plain and fucking simple. The next person that tries to beat me over the head with "[X publishing model] is the debil!" gets kicked in the junk.

This all grew out of a post I originally wrote in September. It's taken me two months to revisit the post because I was just that upset. It's really interfered with other blog posting as well (as you can tell). I wanted to finish this one, but the topic just riles me up so that I needed more space.

So how did that old post begin? Well, with usual Me wit, I was being all snarky about Amazon. I have come around to self-publishing as a valid business model (as noted above), especially when articles like this embody what I believe is the write mindset for self-publishing. But some of the more popular self-publishing proponents out there beat the Amazon drum too often. All they see is 70% royalties and nothing else can compete. I believe this is short-sighted, and I think Amazon is starting to show its hand as to why.

You think that 70% gold mine is the way publishing will be forever? That's not how monopolies work. I agree with you that 15% or 25% royalties is crap (net? Seriously?), but you're fooling yourself if you think you'll get 70% royalties forever. It's a ploy to take over the market. What happens once you take over a market? This is what happens. And/or this happens.

It has nothing to do with the efficacy of trad v. self. It's what happens when one company owns complete marketshare. The difference between 15% and 70% is so large, though, that it drowns out any reasonable conversation. So here's the short of it. NEVER LIMIT YOURSELF TO ONE OPTION.

Now this doesn't seem like a discussion that would get derailed, but in September there was "the blow up." I'm not linking to it and I'm not expounding to it. It involves a company owned by a company owned by a company that also owns the company I work for. To talk about it requires my HR department and I make it a policy never to discuss things that require an HR department, because nothing good comes out of that.

Here's the short of that: SOME PEOPLE SUCK. In any endeavor, you will meet people who are phenomenal. You will meet people who are abysmal, and you will meet the avast amount of people that fall in the middle. They don't have curly mustaches that they twist around their fingers. They don't want to tie you to train tracks. But sometimes you meet someone who does, and fuck that guy. No one likes that guy. Be wary of that guy in all your dealings because you may or may not run into him.

Because that guy exists does not mean the entire industry is corrupt any more than it means you should not self-publish because it adds to Amazon's marketshare. These are factors in the grand spreadsheet of business. You need to tally it all up and make the decisions that are best for you.

So now that I've gotten my own licks in on that dead horse, let us discuss lighter matters, like cabbages and kings.

Also? I like pie.