When people talk about creating a pseudonym for their writing, most existing writers fall into two camps…the “no, never” camp that thinks it’s better for people to find you as easily as possible and the “well, what if you write in different genres” camp where people are afraid your reader will pick up your book expecting your traditional Western and get your erotic thriller instead, and presumably be unhappy. Or vica versa. (As an aside, there’s something strangely amusing about the reader looking for an erotic thriller and getting a Western instead while thinking, “What’s going to happen with the horse?”, but I digress.)
I confess that on occasion I have thought of pushing out some fiction under a different name. Mostly because I love the idea of writing anonymously for fiction. It would feel a bit subversive to me, almost clandestine. I have this illusion of seeing someone I know reading my book but having no idea that I wrote it. » Read the rest
I have surprisingly strong views about the efficacy, effectiveness, utility, and appropriateness of digital rights management on files, including both music and ebooks. Generally speaking, I do not agree with the powers that be (publishers) that there is a difference in “ownership” between buying something digitally and buying it in hard copy, particularly exemplified by a book. I do agree that there are different risks to the publisher, but that doesn’t mean in one I have bought it and the other I have merely paid to borrow it. I believe I have the same rights and obligations I had previously. Which means in its most basic terms that I have bought it for me and I can’t reproduce it for others, but the digital element puts two other limitations — I can’t loan it nor can I resell it. I am willing to accept those caveats, but it doesn’t mean I don’t own it. » Read the rest
Jane Friedman has a great personal site at JaneFriedman.com, but she also publishes articles frequently at WritersWrite. One of the more popular ones is her annual “what paths are there to publishing”. The chart and text goes through six different publishing models:
Mid-size and large
Alternatives to traditional publishing
Her intro to the chart spells out the approach more clearly:
Since 2013, I have been annually updating this informational chart about the key publishing paths. […] One of the biggest questions I hear from authors today: Should I traditionally publish or self-publish? This is an increasingly complicated question to answer because:
– There are now many varieties of traditional publishing and self-publishing—with evolving models and varying contracts.
– You won’t find a universal, agreed-upon definition of what it means to “traditionally publish” or “self-publish.”
I read a lot of different blogs about ebooks, writing, self-publishing, the publishing industry in general, etc. and there are several that are quite popular. Kristine Kathryn Rusch on anything to do with the business side of being an author; Dean Wesley Smith, her husband, on churning out new copy and generating revenue; Konrath et al on the wild west of self-publishing; ThePassiveVoice on an overview of just about everything newsworthy (a curation service); and then people like Mike Shatzkin if you want the view of big publishing. None of those descriptions are entirely fair, they’re not one-trick ponies, but Shatzkin often is on the opening tail of self-publishing as a viable business model. So it was interesting to see him last September talking about pricing with a bit more “indie-cred” than he would normally show (eBook pricing resembles three dimensional chess):
Amazon doesn’t need big publisher books to offer lots of pricing bargains to their Kindle shoppers; they have tens of thousands of indie-published books (many of which are exclusive to them) and a growing number of Amazon-published books, that are offered at prices far below where the big houses price their offerings.
Back in September, Carla Douglas published an article on the website “Publishing Perspectives” interviewing Merilyn Simonds on the state of publishing in Canada (A Leader in Canadian Writing Takes Stock of Self-Publishing). When I saw the title, I thought, “Cool, must read that.” Then I saw Simonds’ former job as chair of The Writers Union of Canada and thought, “Oh. Maybe not.”
I am not a giant fan of TWUC or their approaches to some issues. Like the Author’s Guild in the U.S., many of the members are sheep who think the publishing world is still flat and haven’t noticed that Amazon’s disruption was in giving authors the opportunity to bypass traditional publishing and go direct to readers, often with not only greater ease of access but also greater revenues. This of course is the 3rd sign of the Apocalypse for the Author’s Guild who surprisingly support the position of agents and publishers on issues almost 1:1. » Read the rest