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New thoughts on the business of writing

It’s kind of scary, actually. When I first started moving towards being a professional writer, I learned several things. Do short stories, get a name, then write a novel, submit to agents, get an agent, then hope the agent gets a publisher for the novel.

A year ago I would never, ever have thought of self publishing. But things are changing now. And some things are the same. Stores don’t care about the writer. I don’t think they ever did. Publishers, at least in the last few decades, don’t care about the writer. But now, recently, we’ve seen that the figure who was supposed to be our advocate, can no longer be trusted in that role. Agents in general no longer care about the writer.

It means that I no longer have as clear a course as I once thought I did. I’m not sure an agent would be beneficial to me, now. I mean, a good one with integrity would be. But who is that? And even then, the agents probably have to use contracts from the agency.

Add to this the whole e-publishing revolution. I hated the kindle a while back. You can ask a friend of mine. Poor guy, I railed at him about some of the policy things going on at the time and he was forced to not comment. But the system Amazon has set up for indie publishing seems fairly author friendly now.

Oh, I still don’t believe for a second that they, or Barnes and Noble care about the author. But at least their numbers are transparent and several middle men have been cut out.

BUT, an editor is a good thing for both author and reader. They help the author clean up a manuscript and they are a gatekeeper to the reader, so the reader knows that the story they’ve paid for is at least decent if not fantastic. I like both of those functions. I would prefer to put my work out there under the supervision of a good editor.

I’ve got a lot to think about.

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