So here I am, at work at 7 PM, the first shift in my new schedule, the DuPont schedule, which is a behemoth you can read more about, here.
Anyway, partly because of this new schedule, and partly because I just suck at organization, I missed the first post I was supposed to put up yesterday for this new blog chain I've joined. The topic for today, in fact for the entire chain, is this:
Have the recent changes in the publishing industry affected your writing plans/career? If so, how?
Before I get to answering that, I want to explain how the blog chain works, and introduce you to the other members of the group. It works by one member picking a topic, and then writing about it on the first day. What makes it a chain is that each subsequent blogger then covers the same topic, also linking to both the previous, and the next blog.
I screwed all that up, so I'm going to link to all the blogs.
First, let me introduce you to the other new members of the chain, most of whom you may already know. Amparo, Tere, PK, Katrina, and Jon. The already existing members of the chain, some of whom I already knew, but others whom I just met, are: Christine, Sarah, Michelle M., Shaun, Cole, Kate, Sandra, Eric, Margie, Michelle H., and Abby.
Now I realize that's a lot of blogs, but you don't have to read them all right now. Just go follow them, and I promise you won't be disappointed. For now just read the post that came before mine, Sandra's, and then go read the one that comes tomorrow (which by the way is actually today since I screwed all this up), Kate's.
Now that we've gotten all that housekeeping out of the way, let's get down to the topic.
My opinion, and please take this with a grain of salt as I am a completely amateur and unpublished writer, is that it is both an exciting and a terrifying time to be (or be attempting to be) in the publishing industry. I say that in all my comments whenever the topic comes up, and I mean it.
You can't compare the music industry to publishing with a one to one correlation, because they're very different, but I can make an analogy that I hope will make my opinion about the state of publishing more clear.
When a record gets put out (for us it was usually 12 inch singles, which is actually just 2 songs, an A side, and a B side, and then possibly an instrumental and an acapella version of each) the record label generally recoups all costs before any artists get paid, which can be quite substantial depending on the scope and quality of the production. In general, independently produced music allows for better art to get from the artist to the fan (or listener) for a lower cost, and with more of the fair share of profits actually making it into the artist's hand (or bank account).
It seems to me that the same will eventually be true of publishing, but I don't think we're there yet, not even close. So far, self and e-publishing (or even vanity, which is NOT the same thing) has always had a very negative stigma attached to it. In the sense that self-published books are of lower quality, because the author simply got impatient about trying to get published traditionally. I can't personally tell you whether or not that was ever true, because I haven't read a lot of self-published books, but I can tell you the stigma was there.
I think all of that's changing, and fast. My friend PJ Hoover has already shown that you can write a great book, one good enough to get an agent, and then still choose to publish it outside of the traditional channels. I haven't read the whole thing, yet, but I've read an excerpt of Solstice, and I can tell you that PJ is a damn fine writer.
For my own career, I still intend to get published traditionally, at least once, if only to prove that I can do it. After that, who knows? All I really care about is telling great stories and having them reach as many readers who will love them as much as I do, as possible.
I could go on, but I've probably already said too much. Please bear with me as I try to wrap my head around this crazy thing that is my life.