Monday, February 9, 2009

The Writer as Cash Cow


I get really tired of all of the people who treat aspiring writers like cash cows. Whether it's people who write books and articles about how self-publishing is taking over the industry (Ha!), to the self-publishing companies that pretend they'll actually help market or that it's so easy (Ha!!), and even a few -- successful doesn't mean not greedy and this is why I say AAR membership is no guarantee of a good agent -- agents who have recently been "caught" sending writers they are rejecting to self-publishers, pretending this will lead to their being considered (see some recent blogs from Victoria Strauss), by far most people who self-publish are taken advantage of.

The number of self-published books, especially novels, that ever sell more than a handful of copies is miniscule. Pretending otherwise is dishonest. It is possible to do. However, it is also TIME CONSUMING, DIFFICULT AND EXPENSIVE!

Doing it successfully involves all kinds of things such as gathering cover quotes and inserted them, copyrighting the book, getting your ISBN number, and of course purchased a unique bar-code so that you can sell it. It probably includes, because you don't get decent sales of no-name writer on Amazon alone, sending out at least dozens, maybe hundreds, of review copies, sending press releases and media kits to newspapers, NPR, TV stations, talking to indies and chains to TRY to get carried (good luck!), setting up book signings, setting up blog interviews, etc., etc. etc.

Most writers don't want to do all that and wouldn't do well at it if they tried. How many writers really want to do what Christopher Paolini did and show up at high schools in costume? But do you see the people who make a profit from this stuff telling them that???!!! No, instead they're acting like it's as easy as getting your pocket picked. And in a way, I suppose it is since that's what happens.

It makes me really angry.

End of Rant

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