Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Theme For Today

I joined a discussion this morning (on another site). The topic is important enough to writers, I've decided to make it my theme today.

The original subject was a commentary by someone in the traditional publishing world who was fed up with the whining of independent or self-published authors on the internet.

Here's my reply in it's entirety:

"The first thing you should know about me is that I’ve published my own work under the Chase Enterprises imprint since I began writing back in 1994. There’s nobody else involved except my printer (who’s been with me since day 1).

Yes, there are whiners and awful self-publishers out there. Too many of them.

However, something you might not understand is that while getting traditionally published is hard at the outset, and hanging on to a publisher is almost as hard as getting one, the self-publisher faces his or her hardships at the other end of things. They’re almost completely shut out of brick and mortar distribution. As this is still where most book sales occur, they’ve got one hell of a battle to fight.

As for their so-called publishers, the many POD companies who compete for their dollars? It’s been my experience that they really don’t have the authors’ best interests at heart. Like small Canadian publishers, who survive on publishing grants, many of these companies get the bulk of their money up front (in this case, as service charges). They know most of these authors aren’t going to sell a lot of books and, if they do, they get a chunk of the sale anyway.

I don’t think the small traditional publishers or the POD companies short authors on compensation; I believe there just isn’t a lot of compensation to be had. It’s the same for most authors housed by the big, traditional publishers, isn’t it?

I’m not trying to justify whining. I’m merely pointing out that anyway you look at it, publishing is a tough game to play."

Clayton Bye

Author of Bare Knuckle MBA

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