Rethinking Publishers

I write. I have always loved writing. I haven’t made it my career until now because it got in a fight with my other career (the one that makes a biweekly paycheck) and my money-making career took enough ego steroids to kick my writing career’s butt (all figuratively, of course). 

My money-making career just died. We had the funeral last week and filed for unemployment, which leaves ample room for me to consider my writing career. 

Writing is pretty much the only waking activity that I can see myself doing for the rest of my life. I do not picture it as the sort of thing where I’m on the beach with my laptop, mocking all of the 9-5 schmucks. It’s a career. It’s hard work. To make any money, you have to actually write–and 9-5 would be just a start.

And that’s only if you have the talent to work with.

So, publishing is not a light topic. It’s a very serious topic in a market that is in flux and battling with itself, and hopefully publishing, and publishers, will come out with both guns blazing and ready to put every author they represent on top.

Doesn’t every author want to be on top?

Yes, and this is what has driven the self-publishing trend. I think that some people can self-publish and do everything right. Those people are making marketing at least as much a part of their career as their writing. Some of them are good writers. Some of them are better marketers.

I am not a marketer. I do not have a marketing background. I have an extensive background in classical literature and writing, but until two months ago. I wrote all of my stories out long hand (gasp) and then typed them into the computer later. I am computer literate, but not savvy. Put my profile together and it becomes obvious that I am better off writing than I am marketing in a digital world. 

Leaving the writing to the authors and the marketing (which is becoming more and more complex) to the publisher is a pretty traditional way of doing things. I know that’s what I expected when I was fifteen and dreaming with a pen in my hand. Going to a bookstore was the equivalent of running into Liam Neeson (drool included), and that’s the kind of celebrity I’ve always wanted. Do I have the writing talent? I think so. Do I have the smarts? To be honest, not enough.

I need a publisher. I want a publisher. I want the literary world to be open to new authors but not as unregulated as the internet. I want somebody taking a cut of things if that means that the stuff put out there is worth my time–to write and to read.

Publishers are valuable. I lean toward the newer publishers because they are modern and more dynamic. I want a publisher who gets publishing NOW and TOMORROW and can follow all of that with a multi-media platform. I want a publisher who not only can, but wants to keep up with and ahead of the social trends. Social trends buy/sell media…of all kinds. 

I’m a rookie in this profession. Not a rookie at writing, but a rookie about all of the wrapping paper that my writing requires in order for somebody else to want to untie the bow. I’m taking a look at Fox Hollow Publications because they are new, on top of the market trends of tomorrow, and they are excited to look at new authors. Like me.

Finding a publisher can sort of be like dating with a long-term marriage in mind. I think it can be a little less stressful than a lifetime commitment, but I know we all take it seriously. I’ve heard horror stories about dealing with publishers, and also some really great stuff.

So, time to start dating.

5 thoughts on “Rethinking Publishers

  1. You should get Writer’s Digest. They have a lot of great meet and great opportunities for meeting with either new agents, or agents taking a shot for that diamond in the rough.

    1. I do get the magazine. I like a lot of their stuff and have entered some of their contests, though I’ve never won. I think it’s a big sea with them because they are so good at what they do. I thought I’d focus on writing first and publication second, but I turned out to be closer to being ready than I thought–good news!

  2. Agree with Paul…I just get their e-mails and I’m always seeing good stuff. In terms of digital marketing stuff…I have been learning a lot the last little while with CRA trying to increase their Internet status…Kathy and I went to a great seminar that taught us a lot of things. You should look/keep an eye out for ways to expand your arsenal.

  3. I bought writer’s digest, and it is indeed useful. I don’t want to self-publish either. I will have to take a look at Fox Hollow as well. I have months before I can submit to another publisher though. Waiting to hear something back. I still hand write my stuff and then re-type it later.

    1. I think that handwriting your work gives you a deeper relationship with language. I have a fantasy that someone will some day pay top dollar for a handwritten copy of one of my stories…

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