Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Industry vs. Independent

Stop_questionThis morning I emailed this discussion opener to some of my writer friends.
Thought I'd open a discussion for anyone who's up to it. The deeper I get into the publishing of Princess Kandake, the closer I come to deciding to never query again, at least not with the major publishers and possibly small presses, too. Anyone care to comment?

One of them asked me to share my thoughts. Here’s my response
My thinking is, with the economy in a serious decline and bookstores closing, the publishers are taking on less and less, they are accepting even fewer debut works. Add to that the reality that the royalties are getting less, the support for marketing is nearly nonexistent, and writers having little to no input in covers and illustrations (even when it changes the direction of the story), do I want a contract? If I can develop a product that is of equal/or better quality and market it successfully, what do I need them for?
1. I trust all of you much more than I do them to tell me what works for the market I'm aiming at.
2. I pulled all of the YA and MG books off my shelves and compared the cover art and, frankly, mine is as good or better than most.
3. I’d have to market it myself anyway.
4. The likelihood of earning out my advance within their prescribed limit is pretty low which is a mark against me. Instead of being an unknown and high risk investment as a debut author, I am now a money-losing author. This greatly reduces my chances of getting another contract?
If I can do all of this (print, cover art, market, etc.) within my own budget, what do I need them for? If my work is good, why shouldn't it be out there? Why should I allow them to be the gatekeepers?
I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject, pro and con.

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