Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Choice (An IWSG Post)

Welcome to today's edition of "When Blogfests Collide" where the A to Z Challenge comes face to face with Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group. (please click on the links for a complete list of all participants for both blog events)

Today I shall be waxing poetic (but, you know, briefly) about a writer's choice. Or maybe it'll be ranting (but, you know, briefly); it's hard to say. I don't intend to rant, but as some slightly irritating real life experience inspired today's post, an unintentional rant isn't completely out of the question.

But we'll take it slow and see how it goes.

As you may or may not know (or particularly care), I've decided to pursue the indie route for my long-suffering novel, Effigy, and lately I've been taking a lot of crap for this decision from certain members of my local writers' groups.

They're firmly in the camp that self publishing is bad—very, very bad—and traditional publishing is good. The fact that they only care to pursue the traditional route for their writing is fine. More than fine even because self publishing is not for everyone, and I don't care what path they choose to follow. They want to go traditional? Great. Best of luck to them.

But what does bother me is their unwillingness to at least politely accept or respect my choice to choose differently. When they found out that self publishing was the road I plan to tread, you would've thought that I had announced my intentions to sacrifice newborns to the demon Laconis. (Name! That! Reference!)

They said, "Don't give up on real publishing!" and "Why would you ever do such a thing?"

Well, I would do such a thing because I honestly feel it's the best decision for this particular project. It's not a choice I made lightly—not by any means—and I've had a lot of sleepless nights because of it. And also because I'm an insomniac, but mostly because I don't want to screw up this book. I want to do right by it.

Which is all any of us want for our novels.

So whatever you choose to do with your writing, I sincerely wish you all the best with it. Love your choice, embrace your choice, and take that leap.

Happy writing, all.

57 comments:

  1. If that's the way you want to go, stick with it and don't let them tell you otherwise - like you're doing ;) Obviously, the publishing world is undergoing a huge change at the moment - and we all know how well people deal with change. There's still plenty of us who will cheer you on :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's funny because I definitely don't deal well with change.

      Delete
  2. Maybe, you should educate them on the state of traditional publishing and Random House's recent attempt to rip unborn children from the brains of authors and all of that stuff. Maybe tell them that publishing began in the arena of self-publishing and only left there because people figured out they could feed off of authors.

    But, you know, it probably wouldn't matter, so it might be best to just say nothing.

    Your posts are still not updating to my feed :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I mostly say nothing. But I think things a lot, which is how I learned that I truly don't have any sort of telekenetic powers...

      Delete
    2. Oh, well, that's too bad. Although it might be dangerous if you did.

      Delete
  3. Great post. Good for you for thinking about what's best for YOU. I don't understand why we suddenly feel that every shoe must fit everyone. Let's go back to being who we are and not trying to fit someone else's mold of who they think we should be.
    Jenn @Scribbles From Jenn

    ReplyDelete
  4. wow, I'm surprised they had that reaction. Good on ya for standing your ground and going the publishing route you want to take.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was a little surprised, too. I've had good discussions with the rest of the group about pros and cons of both publishing routes, and then these two came in and really rocked the boat.

      Delete
  5. These days, with the rise of ebooks and Create Space, it's hard to pick out from sight alone which books are self-published/traditionally published. Although I did see one book recently that on the cover page declared "a self-published book by..." - I probably would advise against that :-)

    Annalisa Crawford, One of April's IWSG Co-Hosts

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *Runs to edit cover page...*

      Just kidding. I definitely won't be including that.

      Delete
  6. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, unless I'm mistaken?
    They should respect your choice, it's your novel so you can do what you want with it. Besides, a lot of people have self-published and their novels have been really successful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are not mistaken. Massive amounts of bonus points are on their way to you as I type!

      Delete
  7. I agree with you 100%. Before being accepted by Etopia press, I was already seriously considering to self-publish.

    My book would have been fine either way. But me financially? I'm not so sure.

    Either way, I think you're very brave to go this route and I'm cheering you on every step of the way.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I've had bad experiences with self published novels in the past, so I can kinda see where they're going, but it sucks that they're no supportive of your decision to go indie. I suppose for him, acceptance by a big publisher is confirmation that they've made it, but for a lot of authors that's not the goal - the goal is to share a great story with the world. Indie and self publishing still makes that possible.

    Jamie @ Mithril Wisdom
    www.mithrilwisdom.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I've read a lot of bad self published novels, too, but at the same time I've read a lot of bad traditionally published novels.

      Delete
  9. I'd say find a new group! Even if it's not for them, they should be supportive. Obviously they don't know the success of so many here who have gone that path. And you know you have support here no matter what direction you go.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's not the entire group. Just a couple of members. The rest of the group has been very supportive.

      Delete
  10. You know your story and the route you want to take. I agree they should still be respectful of your decision but I wonder if maybe their only experience with self pubbing has been negative. Maybe if they see how you do it and what's truly involved etc. it might turn them around a bit.

    And, really, I don't care how it's published - I just want to read it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you—that's really lovely of you to say!

      Delete
  11. I feel sorry for you, as you would have opened yourself up to this group of people and now feel like they have let you down. Have any of them published anything through traditional channels? Have any of them self-published? Have they found success either way? I bet it is a big NO to all three questions!

    Follow what you feel in your heart, don't be pushed into anything others try to force upon you!

    You know you have a supportive group of people here in the blogging world so don't feel too upset by their narrow mindedness!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. One has had magazine articles published in very well known magazines. The other published with a small local press. But they definitely have not self-published.

      Delete
  12. I've gone back and forth on this decision so many times. Part of me really wants to self-publish and part really wants to see if traditional publishing will have me. I think there's still a general attitude that traditional publishing offers a level of validation that self-publishing doesn't provide, so I'm assuming your group is in that camp. Things are changing, though, and it's hard to know which direction to go some days. But once you've made your choice people should respect it and support it. Stick to self-publishing, if it's right for you. You'll find lots of support for it here when you hit the publish button. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Some days, I still go back and forth a little because I won't get those certain milestones (I signed my first contract! for instance), but when it's all said and done, I really do think the indie route right for me.

      Delete
  13. It is hard when this happens. Some people are so stuck on idea that they think anything different is wrong. Traditional works best for some people, self for others. There is nothing wrong with either and both require a ton of work.

    So, good job for sticking to your choice. And I am sorry to hear of all the pain the others are giving you.

    P.S. Does this mean your book will be out rather soon? Because I have my money ready! Can't wait to read it!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Define 'rather soon'...because I'm going to guess not. But I'm getting closer. I think.

      Delete
  14. I think all forms of publication are worthy, and in an increasingly electronic world, self-publishing and e-publishing are excellent options. Don't take crap from anyone about that!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Publishing is a little bit like the old west right now...I think everyone's trying to figure out the best path.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love that analogy. Now I'm envisioning a shoot out at high noon.

      Delete
  16. Oh the "starry eyed" never before published writers of the "writer's group." I think they say those things about the Big Five traditional publishing route because they dream of becoming famous. You should take some numbers with you.

    Harper Voyager recently did an open call and I along with 4500 other "starry eyed dreamers" sent in our manuscripts unagented for a chance at publication with George R.R. Martin's publisher. I'm still in the running as of this comment and the pool of 4500 is down to about 800 I think (they are only taking 12). Keep in mind that these 4500 manuscripts came in for only 10-days. Yeah...10-days. Everyone in the world is writing a book.

    19% of Americans read books last year that were not assigned or required reading. That's only 1 in 5. Yet if 5 in 5 are writing, how does that equal out?

    Self-publishing I think makes sense. But others out there who have not received enough rejections and still believe in being famous may not have had enough of a reality check.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, I'm definitely not writing to become rich and famous. If that were to somehow happen, I guess that'd be all right, but it's not my objective.

      Delete
  17. Self publishing still has the stigma, but I've realized that that's all disappearing very quickly. I think it's really all about putting 100% in whatever you're doing--whether it's trying to get tradionally published or self publishing.
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It wasn't all that long ago that I never would've even considered self publishing. The times, they are a-changin'.

      Delete
  18. The tide's shifted the last few years. If you'd rather sail that tide as captain of your own boat, do that.


    ReplyDelete
  19. I agree with Nutschell, it seems to me that the stigma associated with self-publishing is steadily disappearing. I can't understand why people think they have the right to weigh in on a personal choice like this anyway. If they don't want to do it, no one is forcing them.

    I know I look forward to reading Effigy when you publish it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. That's a lovely thing to say.

      Delete
  20. Came by for the IWSG but think this is an excellent 'C' word too. To thine own self be true and all that jazz.
    BOO on those folks who can't support YOUR decisions. Sounds a little like some 'sour grape' kind of comments. They must think your book is pretty good and that it can stand on it's own or they wouldn't be sooo negative. Hang in there and do what you know to be right for you. AND good Luck!

    ReplyDelete
  21. Magnificent post! It is all about living with your choice and so love it. Good luck to you!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think you're doing the right thing. A friend of mine has published the traditional way and the self pub way. She said the self pub was a lot more work but she loved having all the control over her own book. Maybe they just don't get it.
    Keep going, M.J.
    Keep going.
    HMG

    ReplyDelete
  23. I think its sad. I have the same problem with my writer's group. They turn their noses up at anyone if they're not traditionally published. They pretty much feel if you weren't good enough for one of the BIG 6...then well...you're not good enough.

    Just keep doing what you're doing. Either road you take its still not easy. And there is no overnight success.

    Hugs and chocolate,
    Shelly

    ReplyDelete
  24. Isn't it amazing that not one actual reader of my book knows or cares that it is indie published, but people inside the publishing universe tend to care about such things? The landscape is changing. I didn't ever plan to indie publish and now that I have, I am so glad I took this step. Took charge of my writing and publishing. It's bumpy, but so was querying... and waiting... and waiting. At least now, I choose my publishing dates and will finally see this series through to the end (something that would never have happened if not for indie publishing). Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  25. The great thing about publishing right now is you're no longer confined to just traditional publishing. You have options. Hopefully, your book will rock the charts and you can rub your writing groups noses in your success. ;)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Hmm, my gut with these things is to always say, "find new friends/cohorts." However, I realize their opinion doesn't make them bad writing partners necessarily, and that good ones are damned hard to come by.

    So I say instead, "Stick to your guns." Be the writer you want to be, not the one others think you should be. Anyone who discredits Indie publishing in this day and age just isn't very informed about the current publishing climate. That hurts them more than you. And I'm by no means an 'indie only' guy. I think it can all work in our favor. And that's truly the goal to any path you choose: make it work in your favor. :)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I have an issue with people who think that they have the right to weigh in on someone's personal decisions. Unless that decision will hurt you in some way, you have no right to tell someone how to live their life. Everyone should have the freedom to make their own choices.

    I tend to get away from people who can't be supportive of my choices. Maybe those two will find a new writing group?

    ReplyDelete
  28. Choices rock and the ability to accept other's choices is something that should be prized! Far too few people "get it"

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hello from IWSG and A to Z. New follower here.

    While I myself hope to get published via the traditional route, I certainly would never try to make anyone feel bad if they wanted to self-publish. This is a personal career choice. Who knows, you could be the next Amanda Hocking.

    ReplyDelete
  30. No one says you can't do both and clearly you're writing pals are missing what's going on in the indie world. How many HUGE authors have come out of indie in the PAST YEAR?? Holy cow...it's MIND BOGGLING how many doors indie authors are finding. Okay...anyone else want the soap box? Cuz y'know...here.

    Go for it. Do it! It's awesome. It's fun. (it's money...shhh...but y'know...people pay for books that they can well...buy. Hard to buy what's not out there.)

    Whispers slowly as she wanders out the door: "Dooooooo iiiiiiiiiiiit."

    ReplyDelete
  31. Well, when it's successful, you'll be able to give them all a great, big, "I told you so" :)

    ReplyDelete
  32. I've actually heard the same thing myself and find it hard to go...'no I'm doing it the indie / e-book / self publishing way thank you very much'. So I reneged and decided that I would try a couple of months of sending out my manuscripts and then if no one bites, do it my own way (see tongue sticking out at the naysayers). I think you should do what feels right to you. It is after all, your book.

    ReplyDelete
  33. All publishing is real publishing and folks just need to get over themselves. You do what you want, its our book and you are the best decision maker for it. Kudos for choosing your path.

    ReplyDelete
  34. LOL There should have been a Y in front of that our up there. I was in a typing frenzy.

    ReplyDelete
  35. i see and agree with them, but i would never fault or dissuade anyone once they made their decision.

    self pub is hard! because you have to do it all, but if that is your choice, i believe in you! you can do it! and i support you!

    let me know how i can help with your launch or anything!

    ReplyDelete
  36. That's a tough situation to be in. :( *hugs MJ*

    ReplyDelete