Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Lean Freedom Is Better than Fat Slavery

Here's hoping the significance of the fable in the preceding post is obvious to indie artists.

The fable came into my mind about two weeks ago.

After years of cruel rejections (some of which are detailed in a previous blog entry) I had vowed never again to grovel to agents, publishers, editors, and so on.

Then I saw, via Twitter, a call for authors to write short history books for no payment but for fifty percent royalties. That's not a bad deal, so I immediately began to put together the required proposal for a book on Roman history (something I know a lot about).

I finished the proposal, and rather than send it, I decided to let it sit overnight and proofread it in the morning--to make sure that it was absolutely perfect, so the publishers would accept me. (Please, please, PLEASE!)

Immediately upon awakening, the fable of the wolf and the dog popped into my mind.

I thought, omigod, I can't believe I'm doing it again! I'm ready to grovel to yet another publisher, desparately hoping for his approval!

And you know what? I'm just not going to go there.

So I decided I'd write the book anyway, and publish it myself.

And so I am. In addition to my novels, I'm creating my own series of short nonfiction history books. Maybe they'll sell, and maybe they won't, but at least I won't be at the mercy of someone else, grovelling for approval.

Lean freedom is better than fat slavery!


  1. Hmm, I get where you're coming from but... do you really think it's slavery when you can accomplish so much with a contract? What I mean is, I see traditional publishing as a very grueling process, but that's okay. Because when I finally make it'll be worth it.

    I do get, however, that different people like different things and if you really have a strong aversion toward something, it's okay to avoid it. But if you're only doing this to be 'free', you know freedom comes in may shapes and even this self-publishing freedom is fleeting, right? Eventually everything comes down to some kind of constraints, which are called hard reality, and self-published or not, you're going to face those things over and over again.

    No, you should not grovel, but don't give up on the fight just because it's hard. That's my two cents. I'm opinionated that way, feel free to throw stones at me. :D

  2. I think you're on the right path. Doing self-publishing doesn't rule out a traditional publisher later (see everyone's favorite self-publish success Amanda Hocking).

    Self-publishing doesn't mean it has to be crap. You should make sure to get it edited and have a good cover.

    The hardest part is marketing. But frankly - traditional publishers don't help out starting writers much there either. J.K. Rowling gets the 7-figure marketing budget, not you.

    The biggest difference is the advance. But hopefully you're not depending upon writing (yet) for your only income. So that you can have the patience to wait for success.

    On the flip side -you selling 10-50,000 copies in a year - is doable (if hard work) but worth it to you.

    Best Regards,

    Mark W.

  3. Thanks for your comment. I totally agree!


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