It was, honestly, a bit of a slow week in the publishing world. There weren’t many grand controversies or awe-inspiring moments of revelation or conspiracy.
So, to begin…
Something I’ve debated with myself for years, ever since I started seriously writing is how to write quickly while maintaining quality. Dean Wesley Smith has always been a proponent of speed, while most would say that you need to take your time. Anne R. Allen has a great post comparing the two.
She specifically calls out Mr. Smith as well as Donald Maas (whose book on writing emphasizes rewriting) as both being destructive habits. I think there’s some truth to this. Smith’s mentality is important because so many authors fail to finish their work. I have two half finished novels, with my third being the only one I finished (and that took five years!). Overall, I spent ten years writing with nothing to show of it. I’m a huge procrastinator and I was never serious about my writing, but even more than that, I thought that was how it was supposed to be. I thought it was natural, when really it was lack of focus and drive.
Part of this whole writing revolution has been to get authors to write more, faster. If ever there were a formula for success, it is to have as much out as possible. What Allen points out, and is very important, is that self publishing has created the problem of people not vetting their work. She’s right, it’s one thing for a seasoned author to turn out a novel in a week, it’s another for someone whose never practiced to do so.
Indies Unlimited has been doing some great stuff on Kirkus, both by grilling the hell out of them while also inviting Kirkus editors on to defend their purpose in the industry. They’ve done it again by having Karen Schechner on to expand what Kirkus does.
Passive Guy has a great post, pulling an excerpt from Dear Author about whether or not genre fiction is creating a market for lemons. Which is a bullshit concept. Most people don’t understand all the idiosyncrasies of cars. I know, because I’m one of them. My dad has always been the one to get my car and guide me through that process. The insinuation of the Dear Author post is that people are buying things that they don’t realize are bad for them. You can test drive a car and it be fine, until it’s engine explodes or its transmission fails a month later. If you read a sample of a book, nine times out of ten I’m willing to say you’ll know whether you liked it or not.
It’s ridiculous that the industry keeps throwing around these quality concerns. Quality is in the eye of the beholder. Hundreds of years ago, Shakespeare was a hack, Dickens took over that duty not a hundred years ago. Is Fifty Shades of Grey going to be taught in highschool in a century, I don’t think so, but hindsight tends to make masterpieces of these Lower Works.
The only thing self publishing has done to the market is provide new opportunity, though a lot of people want to act like that’s not true. TeleRead discusses a recent post from the Observer. It’s all about how hard it is for writers to make a living, and of course, discusses nothing about the opportunities that have risen in the past few years, only decrying those lost.
The Writer’s Union of Canada will now be admitting qualified self published authors. Though, I don’t know what qualifications they’re looking at, it’s still a great move.
Android now has the largest chunk of market share of tablets, overtaking Apple. Something to keep in mind, that’s divided among several different manufacturers and brands whereas everything for iOS goes to Apple.
Jim Devitt on Indies Unlimited has a great post on Facebook. I’ve wanted to be more active there but have never felt comfortable with that particular platform. This went a long, long way toward helping me understand what is needed to be successful there.
While there were few controversies this week, there was a dollop of one last Friday. I already wrote a post about it, the fact that ACX changed their royalty rate this week, and in that I expressed my frustration that we haven’t seen a bigger uproar at this. Chuck Wendig was one of the few I saw who had his own, and while I agree with his statement that authors need to diversify, I don’t see the need to run to a publisher to do so. Jane Friedman also has her own post, and I did forget about Hugh Howey’s on AuthorEarnings.com.
I’ve never discussed Kickstarter, and I don’t really know that much about it, but I sure wouldn’t handle it this way. I kept seeing posts about this, but most are just recaps. What I can’t get over is the sense of entitlement in this guy. I can only think he had some type of mental break, from what I am sure is a very stressful undertaking, otherwise he’s just a dick. He made a transaction and is failing to uphold his end of the bargain. Frankly, it’s fraud.
Remember when I discussed how bad publishing was for education, it’s just as bad for science in general. To be fair, it’s not really publishing or the business in this case, more the gatekeepers and institutions.
Writer Beware warns about the Simon451 novel writing contest, and the fact that it seems to grab the rights of the entrants.
Wanna see how to get on the New York Time’s Bestseller’s list? Here’s how.
That’s it folks. Have a great weekend!