This past week I've been following the interviews about epublishing over at Spinetingler http://www.spinetinglermag.com/tag/epublishing-interview/ dropped on top of that was this essay by Joelle Charbonneau http://dosomedamage.blogspot.com/2011/02/everyone-shouldnt-be-published.html and I wonder if the whole publishing world is going crazy.
We've got established writers telling us we should jump on the bandwagon but only if we're good. So who in hell decides who's good and who's not? Every writer who puts a pen to paper believes they've written the greatest novel ever.
Then we've got Joe Konrath, who ten years ago was telling us all we should not self-publish. and now, after he's got all these stupid writers out here jumping up and down on bandwagons and slapping brands on their asses he says, he was wrong. Self-publishing is where the money is and he's bragging up his $$$$ like we're all going to hit the freaking lottery if we follow his example. And I wonder what he'll think is the right way to go in another ten years. The Pied Piper route isn't always the road to travel. And if all you're in it for is the money, get a job, that's a guaranteed paycheck every week.
Do I know what the best options are for writers? Hell, no. I've thought of putting together a collection of my shorts but how do I know if they're any good? Sure they've been published but are they worth the time and money it will take to put them together, hire an editor and cover designer? I, for sure know that I'm not going to be pulling down the big bucks. For one, I'm not famous and two, I'm not that good and I'm willing to admit that.
And I think that's one of the problems with all this self-publishing. Writers believing they're the best there is, instead on acknowledging that no matter how good they are, there's always someone better. And the truth is, no one can predict who the public will choose to embrace.
As far as I can see, this new self-publishing is pretty much like the gold rush. There's a few people who are going to make a lot of money and a lot more who are going to walk away with nothing to show for their hard work. Sure there's no upfront money like the vanity presses but a writer still has their time into the work. Kindle and all the others will collect their share by doing nothing but provide a platform. Add to that the editors who will be setting up shop (and we already know the scams that have been running rampant over the years in that pool of sharks) and then, there are the folks who will want their cut for covers and formatting and the writer's share gets smaller and smaller.
There is no easy answer, no sure fire way of getting your work noticed. If you want to write, go ahead and write. Learn your craft, be the best you can be, but watch your back and your pocketbook as you wade into that publishing pool. There be sharks and pirates waiting for you, no matter if you self-publish or go the traditional route.