Jumping on the Indie Publishing Bandwagon by Nancy Brophy

A ground swell belief in publishing is taking root and spreading. Like all snowballs, it is gaining speed and size as it rolls downhill.

Only a few short months ago, the New York Big Six represented the Holy Grail. To be published by NY meant you were truly an author worthy of note. A shift in public perception has occurred. We watch with fascinated horror as pedestals erode beneath the men and women we so recently revered.

Many of the blogs I’m reading, in fact, are portraying the traditional publishers as the devil incarnate – citing contract alterations, questioning funds paid, and implying dishonor in the division of royalties – particularly eBooks.

We stand on shifting soil. Our model is changing. Whether your personal views are celebratory or panic-filled, no one knows how this is all going to shake out.

Many authors are fearful. One of my friends confided the RWA conference a few weeks ago held an aura of desperation she hadn’t previously experienced. Borders is going under. Who will sell our books even if we do publish?

What are our options? Do we, as authors, quit? Do we run to self-publish? Do we stand in the shadows and wait for the rushing waters of change to reside?

I don’t know.

What I do know is the rearview mirror is small and the windshield is big. Look forward. Write the best book you can.

Write to vanquish your demons. Write to be happy. Write because you have a story to tell. Write because you can’t do anything else.

Because when the transformation is complete and we have a new paradigm, you will be much better off if you can show something new.

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Posted on July 22, 2011, in General and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. I also love your line “the rear view mirror is small and the windshield is big.” 🙂 I went the indie route and love it! Of course, the same rules apply: You must have a polished manuscript before you even think about making it a book. I think people are thinking we have a nice shortcut with ebooks now, so they rush books out there. Not a good idea.

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  2. Maggie and Darla – thank you both for your kind words. You never know how a post will be received. Like you the ‘tsunami of change’ will suck me under if I linger too long.

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  3. I LOVE your line “the rear view mirror is small and the windshield is big. Look forward.” I’m going to use it as a monthly quote reminder–attributed to you of course.

    It is a tsunami of change in publishing, but then I did always want to learn how to surf. 🙂

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  4. Nancy, this blog post comes at just the right time for me. Even 6 months ago “everybody” was advising that the big 6 publishers were the only game in town, but a few brave writers blazed a trail that many, many will follow. Change is HARD, esp when you don’t know or understand the inherent risks/rewards. Because I’m a chicken at heart, I’m starting out with a short story, hopefully to be followed by a couple of more, then I’ll publish my book-length novel that has had a lot of interest, but nobody in the big 6 willing to take a chance on a genre-splitter.

    Thanks for being one of the brave writers willing to step out on the ledge, so others may follow :-).

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