Alright. The last couple of weeks have been very, very dramatic in the publishing world. Like, drama to the level that makes my nine year old, acting enthusiast son’s random bursts of emotion seem cute.
At the same time, there’s been a ton of personal things going on including the return of the cold that will never go away, which has left me with way too few spoons to interact with much of that drama directly or in the way I normally would (i.e. writing a long business post).
So instead, I’m just going to cover publishing drama really, really briefly here.
Brandon Sanderson Kickstarter
Lots of drama. First, the tone of his KS rubbed a few people the wrong way. It was meant to be cheeky, but for some authors who have found homelife hard during the pandemic, boasting about an additional 4 books written in secret just felt off. Nothing to say that – emotion and opinion is not subject to much discussion.
The part that almost made me (and I did start and realise I didn’t care enough) to write a KS post was people talking about how ‘it’s only him who can succeed at that’, or ‘how he shouldn’t make that much money’ or ‘well, he should stay in trad pub’.
Mostly, it’s a TON of sour grapes.
Let me brief:
– anyone can do a KS.
That’s kind of the point. It doesn’t cost a lot, you CAN structure to work with shipping companies (base cost – $2.50 or so per order) and working with shipping companies can actually save you money because of the shipping volume discounts (less so with books due to USPS media mail which is, btw a literal STEAL).
– Of course you won’t make $29 million. But Wil Wight is at $600k. Other KS’s can and have made $1k, $2k, $5k (just look!) and that goes a LONG way to covering expenses, making a profit, etc.
Build up slow, build up consistently, you’ll get there.
– why should ANYONE be stuck working in trad pub? He doesn’t owe the company anything? And if you think the people who worked with him are all still there… Read below.
– he has unfair advantages being a cis white male who has been pushed by trad pub. Yes. So what? It’s never been fair. It’s still not fault, it’s still not as though he hasn’t worked hard and it still isn’t a bad thing for someone to succeed.
– I’m really curious if trad pub is going to loosen or tighten contracts because of this. I’m leaning towards tighten to stop more people from doing this.
We’re not in competition here.
– keep an eye out for even more selfpub and trad pub doing kickstarters. (Yes, including me, though mine has been in plans for a bit).
Okay. Done. Next drama!
Self-Publishing’s Creep Problems
So, this went up. Then 20books did a big post about it, I am sure other people have posted about it. This happened last Thursday and… I haven’t spoke much of it publicly because I literally have 0 energy to tackle any of the drama.
Let’s be clear, I’m more than happy to help and watch out for women and walk them back to their rooms, etc. I do think having a simple ‘no touch unless you’re asked’ rule helps a LOT, but it isn’t obviously going to be the only solution needed.
Frankly, I’m not super surprised it’s happened. Trad pub has had a LONG history of issues with people, many who are still around. Nevermind old problems like David Eddings, etc. Why should selfpub be any different?
It’s sad, and tiring, and some of the responses I’ve seen makes me want to smack people. Which I have verbally; but… yeah.
I hate people some days.
Trad Pub Leaving in Droves
Yeah, so there’s an on-going run of people leaving like Molly McGhee due to publishing’s problems. Not the only one, and also not the only month and many people leaving aren’t as dramatic.
Not trad, so I’ve not got much to say beyond this is not surprising. Trad pub between all this and also Sanderson making a wave change needs to adapt, and do it faster.
It probably will, but not necessarily in a good way.
I think that’s about it. At least the public drama. Lots of drama behind the scenes that aren’t really that interesting except for authors involved, but still on-going.
Let me talk about spoons and life.
Frankly, I don’t have the spoons to engage with most of that, so I haven’t. I’m realising more and more that there’s less and less reasons for me to engage out there with a lot of this. I mean, the vast majority of the time whatever response I might have is oging to be drowned out, I’m a tiny voice and frankly; I need to focus on my own writing and stuff.
So… I’m going to start taking steps to disengage from things like this to some extent. I’m not sure how much, or how, but I’m leaning towards just much more circumspect about this. We shall see…
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