CRUSH the Industry

So you’re probably wondering why I posted a video of Dethklok song “Blood money/Crush the Industry” on a writing blog. Well this is my monthly “Fuck the Writing industry” post LOL! Seriously, the industry itself is in such a state of flux still and will be for another two years until a number of things occur. I’ll outline those momentarily.

What this has to do with MY career is the real issue on THIS blog.

Because of the shakeup from the e-book revolution, many authors are left thinking, which is the problem since they SHOULD be writing. We have great stories to tell and we need to put in the hard work for our stories to shine. In my last post about editing I discussed the need for authors to really work, make their stories something unbelievably good. The other need for authors to keep in mind is that this is a business. Granted if you’re able to write full time (or even part time) it’s a business of love, but it’s still a business.

Fostering this belief I teach classes for writers to help them with their technique or a specific skill can be learned and they can grow their author platform. In my world, this means I have to develop the workshops deeper and go further. For business sense and author platform (which this site is a part of) go talk to my publicist.

One of the things she and I discussed was the need to blog weekly, which I’ll cover in an editing blog soon. I needed to talk about writing, the process, what the breakdown is for me, how I write. The problem is, I don’t ever get writer’s block. I never have plot issues. I don’t have character development issues. Why?

I plot very methodically and with a sound goal in mind. To write a well written novel that sells due to appeal to my audience while expanding it slowly. What does this mean? You might think it means I”m cramped in style and storyline but I’m not. New material takes time to plot and come up with world building and character creation but from the very beginning of a story I know how things will go. I’m a little anal in that area and it allows me to come up with stories on deadline, on spec if needbe and NOT have to deal with dreaded writer’s block. IF I can’t write for a day, it’s because I’m mentally drained.

Back to the industry issues.

First, there is a FLOOD of misinformation around. Pay attention to who is saying what. I’ve heard from people who no longer have literary agents that literary agents aren’t taking first time authors because they can’t sell. Except that by the definition of “first time author” in print, Marisa shouldn’t be able to sell Covenant of Wolves series to NY or her contacts. Go with a successful results based opinion of the industry and you’ll do better.

Second, E-books are here to stay. Print is relevant still to an author’s career but money is money. It comes from all sources. Deal with it.

Next up, I heard a rumor that Chick Lit is being forced out in the open again because the industry can’t recognize its head from it’s ass. NY is slowly moving in a direction it needs to go to, but it’s going to take time. E-publishing however, is still making a LOT of authors a LOT of money. Look back to my interview with Treva Harte of Loose-ID on Radio Dentana

Lastly, the amount of new e-publishers cropping up needs to stop. I went on record for supporting Decadent Publishing during whatever lame ass debacle they were involved in because I know the owners. I still have a policy of give the publsher 5 years, if they’re still around then submit to them. Do NOT settle for less. That means you have to work if you want into a bigger better paying (read, larger buying audience) publisher. This is in NO way a slam on the crop of newer publishers, its meant to make YOU the writer think hard about your career. Being a best seller at Noble Romance is great, but means shit compared to a best seller at Samhain.

So yes, I’m pissed at the Industry. Oh well, what else is new?

Published in: on January 28, 2011 at 8:30 pm  Comments (12)  
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  1. I think that the industry needs to step back and take a look at what they are doing. We already have to fight to stay alive and published and the steps that they are taking are not always helping us.

    • They do. This nonsense about no money in m/m romances for one. Granted, I’m honestly sick of m/m romance, even though I’ll possibly write one this year (why not) but that’s MY beef. And it holds no real water. The authors job is to remember that while this is a labor of love, it’s still a LABOR, which means work. And the Industry needs to get its head out of its ass if it wants to continue to grow and bring readers quality romance.

  2. Morning, Sascha. I guess I’m happy you said being a best seller at Noble Romance is great. Not so happy with the “don’t mean shit” part, but that’s not why I’m here. ;-)

    Two things I believe authors might want to consider when deciding where to submit their work. One – at what stage are they in their writing career? Two – what type of following/readership do they have?

    Smaller, *professional* e-pubs like Noble offer an environment that’s conducive to learning and growing a career. We work hard to help new or newer authors polish their craft, spend a lot of time teaching them about the business end of the industry, etc. We’re willing to wait while *promising* authors build their readership – and we can afford to do so. We consider them wise investments. I’ve seen good results (royalty-wise) doing this. Very few things excite me more than seeing an unknown author go from low sales/low reader following to $1,000+ royalty checks and tons of readers. :-)

    And if an author already has a large following, those authors are likely to see high sales through Noble (or another, smaller publisher). Yes, there are 2 brands – the author brand, and the publisher brand. If the publisher has a decent reputation (read, no public meltdowns or ripping off authors + good editing), I firmly believe readers will follow the author. I’ve seen the evidence. We have several high profile authors who write for us – and other publishers – who see really nice royalty checks. As nice or nicer than the checks I saw from Loose Id and Ellora’s Cave, way back when. :-)

    As for all the new publishers cropping up, well, in the end, the cream rises to the surface. It’s a shame that, along the way, authors will be hurt and readers will get the wrong (poor) impression regarding e-book quality. But I think a lot of this is because the industry is in its infancy. There will come a time when everyone knows what an e-book is, when everyone knows someone with an e-reader, and most people will have a handful of favorite e-publishers they go to all the time — or they’ll go to places like AllRomance, where they can find everything under one roof.

    Authors are savvy, readers are savvy, and people like you and Emily Veinglory and others need to keep writing informative blog posts to edgimicate the authors and the readers. :-)

    Hope you don’t feel I stepped on your toes by stopping by. Have a great day! ~ Jill

    • When did YOU step on my toes?

      For one, I’m GLAD you’re still around and that you stopped by. I remember talking to you when you were opening your doors and I think it’s been what, three or four years? My shot was more or less at a friend of mine who writes for you. I’m picking on her. She knows who she is…*snicker*

      And yes, the learning environment is important.

      Having talked to a few agents, I know who the big dogs in the Industry are. I think by now we all know. The fact that you’re still here hanging around is a testament to strong management. And the industry is far from infancy. I’ve been around since the infancy of this industry.

      Jill, stop by ANY time and give me a shoutout :) I’ve sent a few authors your way. Keep up the good work babe :)

      S

      • :-) Thank you. We’re growing slowly, but we are growing. And yes, it’s been over 3 1/2 years now. :-)

        I entered the e-publishing business in 2002. So yea, to some of us it’s nothing new. But I still get amazed by how many people don’t know what an e-book is, or realize how popular they are, or understand/believe how much money some e-pubbed-only authors are making. And as you know, there are some e-pubbed authors out there making a *really* nice living. I’d trade them incomes, any day of the week. LOL. But they work like fiends, treat it like a business, and they’ve paid their dues.

        People who come into this industry – authors *or* publishers – expecting to make a quick, easy buck are usually in for a rude awakening. We operated completely in the red for over 2 years, even though we were really careful about how we spent our money and made sure we didn’t grow too fast. I always tell people, if you’re in this primarily to get rich, you’re in the wrong business. ;-) Mostly, it’s a labor of love/passion – but you should expect fair treatment, a decent royalty percentage, an author-friendly contract, respect, helpful information/feedback, a competent editor, etc.

        As for print – we’re working on making our back list available in POD, and all new releases will be available in POD shortly after their e-release, but my *honest* opinion is that the money is in ebooks. I agree it’s here to stay. I believe we’ll continue to see significant percentage increases in ebook sales. And I couldn’t be more excited about being involved in this growing industry. I love my job, I love working with talented people, and every day is a new adventure. ;-)

        Thanks again for the kind welcome to your blog. I’ve subscribed. I’m always looking for thoughtful posts on the business.

      • That’s the goal for me Jill, to get rich in this business doing what I LOVE. To be frank, the only material I purposely read are romance novels and business books. Even if they’re about the business of cigars or alcohol ;) But yeah, it’s a lot of work.

        I think we’ll be talking more in the future as I try to expand not only my writing platform and grow my career but find ways to help more authors and quality publishing houses grow their businesses too!

  3. This is a thing I have to do more research into, i appreciate you for the article.

  4. I’d love to chat w/you any time. We seem to have many of the same goals.

    • Send me an email and I’ll clue you in on the “don’t mean shit” comment and we’ll get the ball rolling!

  5. I’ve scoured your site and can’t find your email address. LOL. I did notice you have a personal assistant. I just hired one of those, after finally coming to terms with the fact I can’t do *everything*. :-/ Email me – jill@nobleromance.com. :-)

  6. BTW, you can still make money in e-publishing. More than ever, in fact. It doesn’t mean you will and it may mean you’ll be making more with third party distributors like Amazon than you expected, but it’s there. And where are those print books gonna be distributed nowadays anyhow? :)

    • I’d like to believe when I finally give Loose ID a submission that we’ll make us both some money!


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