Hello blogosphere, I'm sorry if I sound a little grumpy today but I just got back from a trip to New York (good trip but traveling always takes a lot out of me) and I visited a post I shouldn't have that got me a bit upset. One of the things mentioned on this post was:
One thing I've always found peculiar is that Robin, owner of a small press, spends all her time on the Internet gushing about the glories of self-publishing. That would certainly cross Ridan off my list if I wrote SF/F. I would want a publisher who was giddy about the glories of going with a small press, not one who seemed to feel I was foolish for not going it on my own.While I doubt the person writing that post reads my blog, and of course being banned from the site in question makes it impossible to respond there. I thought I would at least talk about it here as there may be others that are curious or think similarly.
Because of this attitude, I've always had the impression that Ridan was all about Michael Sullivan's work, not about publishing SF/F books in general. If the other authors' sales are as great as claimed, that's wonderful, but I take Robin's assertions with a great deal of salt.
I thought I've said this numerous times before, and therefore my feelings on the subject were well known, but it appears that this may not be the case so let me try once again to explain how I feel.
There are three very legitimate paths to publishing: self, small press, big-six. None is "better" than the other. They all have their positive aspects and their challenges. Each author must align themselves with the path that is "right for them" and what is right for them may change as their goals and the market change.
Do I gush about the benefits of self-publishing? Yes, and why shouldn't I? I want authors...all authors...to earn a living doing what they love to do. And unlike 2 years ago (when there were very few people making good money self-publishing) I know many who are making five and six digit incomes. This is worth celebrating. It's worth letting others know that it can be done. why should I NOT?
Am I giddy about the glories of going with a small press? Well that depends on what small press we are talking about, doesn't it? There are many who are doing an excellent job. I recently wrote a post on Bell Bridge Books and another publisher who I like what I see is Dark Quest Books. The bottom line is that the new model of print-on-demand and ebooks is making small press publishing a viable business model. But not every small press is a good choice. Someone recently sent me a link to a contract from a small press they were considering and I told this particular author to run as fast as they can because the contract would have allowed the publisher to do some things with the author's work that the author did not intend. I'm pleased that with so many small presses who can now make money, that provides more opportunities for authors. So yes I'm giddy about the glories of going with a "good" small press, I just ask that you do your research before signing on the dotted line.
As for the statement that I imply people are "foolish for not going on their own" see my above statement about there being 3 legitimate paths and you need to align with what is best for you.
As to what books Ridan "pushes" like any publisher the most "visible" attention is paid to new releases and hot sellers and at one time that was Michael's books (he averaged 10,000 books a month for Nov 2011 - Feb 2012) but his sales have subsequently been dwarfed by stats such as:
- Joe Haldeman selling 1,000 copies of Forever War in just 4 1/2 days
- Nathan Lowell selling 3,600 copies of Full Share in 1 week
- Leslie Ann Moore selling 5,500 copies in a single month across 2 titles
- Marshall Thomas selling 9,500 books one month followed by 19,500 the following month across 6 titles
I don't know how else to interpret the last statement about "my claims" and "grain of salt" other than to conclude that this person says that I'm a liar. I believe in sharing sales numbers like above as it helps authors to know what is possible and my Amazon rankings when I post the numbers will provide proof as to whether they are real or not.
I work very hard to try to be a resource for the writing community as a whole and provide the best information that I can. It takes a great deal of time, and in general is very rewarding work but today I feel beaten and bruised and wondering why I should even bother.
Sorry if I'm not my usual upbeat self but I'm batter, bruised, and well just plain bummed.