This changing writing industry

As usual, Dean Wesley Smith has an educational blog on the changing views of publishing. He lists some fears to watch out for in eBook publishing.

Writers will spend their writing time publishing their old work and not create new.
Writers will get discouraged far too quickly in this new world of publishing.
Writers will want someone else to do all the work and be taken by scammers, such as agents or  packagers.

Click on the link and read the whole post, but more importantly read the comments, full of wonderful information for authors.

Any business needs a business plan, a financial accounting process, and a time management system, both for the business and each project (novel). Do you have these?

If not, learn about them and put them into practice.

The time management system is worked out before the business is started. Otherwise why start writing a novel, only to find you don’t have the time to finish it.

  • You need to produce a story
  • You need an editor (freelance, beta readers or self)
  • You need to create a cover (freelance or self)
  • You need to create business pages (copyright, publisher info, author info)
  • You need to write a blurb
  • You need to compile into ebook formats
  • You need to upload to sites (Smashwords, Amazon, etc)
  • You need to market (own blog, comments on other blogs, advertising, etc)
  • You need to monitor numbers (accounting)
  • You need to pay taxes (expenses, income)
  • You need to keep up to date with technology changes

You need to repeat, again and again to build up a shop full of stories.

Back to Dean’s fears.

Writers will spend their writing time publishing their old work and not create new.
Why is it a fear? If others don’t produce new stories, their income stops. The readers will look for other authors who produce same genre stories. Hope I am one of the authors they find.

Writers will get discouraged far too quickly in this new world of publishing.
If new writers get discouraged, they will fall by the wayside or apply for jobs in some other industry. Again, I say readers will look for other authors who produce same genre stories as the writer who got discouraged and stopped writing. Hope I am one of the authors they find.

Writers will want someone else to do all the work and be taken by scammers, such as agents or  packagers.

Note this point. Do not give your money or copyright to anyone, whether scammers or traditional publishers.

You are in control of your business. Take control.

You can’t run a writing business if you don’t have the time for behind the scenes activities, including managing accounting, marketing, creating covers, compiling the eBook or pBook, editing, beta reader organisation, or finding a traditional publisher to do these tasks.

  • You weigh up your time and the expense of paying someone to compile and market your book against traditional publishers (both PBook and Ebook)
  • You list the publishers (PBook or Ebook) you want to publish with, before you get an agent. Or use your list to contact the publishers yourself and use a solicitor/lawyer for the contract.
  • Or get a quote from a freelance agent for the expense of them contacting your list of publishers at a negotiated price, not the existing overpriced percentages.
  • You weigh up your time against expense of getting an editor to improve your story.
  • You check the interest rate from banks before you accept money from a publisher. You find out what the interest is from the publisher for the money they are loaning you until your book starts earning and if it is higher than the bank do not accept it. Get an overdraft or loan from the bank. Or do without.
  • You price illustrator costs before you accept an overpriced illustrator from a publisher. You get references for illustrators, just like you get references when employing staff.
  • You keep abreast of the current market. Learn about all the authors being stung by publishers and agents, for example, Dorchester actions  or scams
  • Learn about the clauses you need in each contract to protect you from underhand dealings.

There are no fears in this exciting new shape-changing publishing business. It is no different to being a software engineer. The programs and projects change as new tech is invented but the business stays the same. Create something to sell at a reasonable price. Supply and demand. All positive and all exciting.

Do not get discouraged by negative comments. I am not inferring that Dean has negative comments. So far, he only has positive comments about the writing business, and he freely gives this information to the rest of us. The negative comments come from others commenting on his site and other sites, including my own blog.

I notice the ones shouting the loudest that “the only way to publish is with traditional publishers” are authors, not readers. And if some are readers they would not purchase your novel because of the genre, or because you have a map in the front, or because they saw you at a convention and didn’t like what you wore that day, or because ….

All negative. You can not please all the people all the time. Write a good story. Polish it. Publish it. Write another good story. Polish it. Publish it.

Embrace the changing industry and live life without fears.

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5 comments so far

  1. curiocat on

    I read this post. Very compelling. It sends a strong message to writers if only they’ll listen. Write, be patient and know you’re craft inside and out.

    • djmills on

      Natural attrition also helps. It is a management term for staff turnover. Or in this case for writers quitting. For all the writers that give up writing, a vacancy appears for others to fill, hopefully you and me. 🙂

  2. curiocat on

    Sorry, your. It helps to know your grammer, too. lol.

    • djmills on

      I knew what you meant.

  3. Texanne on

    Extremely thoughtful. As you know, I’m beyond excited by these new opportunities–but I’ve been around the block a few times, and realize there are many gotchas hiding behind those inviting facades. Good to have someone kickstart the thinking.


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