Publishing – Still A New Frontier… by Nancy Brophy
Posted by SeeJanePublish
As we frequently say in this blog – self-publishing isn’t for everybody. I read an interesting article in the book section of the Huffington Post, called Unpublished? You Don’t Actually Suck.
The gist of the article was that despite more options, it is still difficult to get published. Not because you haven’t written a publishable book, but because the opportunity is so tiny. She quotes some interesting statistics.
Each year, a publishing house can expect to receive about 10,000 unsolicited manuscripts. Out of every 10,000 manuscripts submitted, about 3 are published.
My husband has always maintained it is just as easy to win the lottery if you don’t play. That’s what these figures tell us.
She justifies publishing houses decisions with: Publishing houses can’t take a risk on everyone. They can only print the people who come with an advantage, the ones who have a guarantee to sell. That means taking on books by pets and memoirs by reality stars and sex scandal anecdotes by famous athletes. Quality isn’t always compromised but there’s no shortage of compromising decisions. It’s the catch-22 of a brand that has two conflicting goals: reputation and profit.
I don’t know that her statistics on self-publishing are right, but she claims: Unfortunately, on average, a self-published book sells about 10 copies in its lifetime.
These figures may reflect the numbers of more mainstream books, but I do agree with her evaluation of why self-publishing is difficult.
Many writers simply shy away from self-publication because it seems too cold, too distant. There’s no one to edit the text and shape the writing and assure you it’s finally ready for the world to judge. There’s no guaranteed reader. There’s no one to spread the word. There’s no one at all.
In the end she suggests a solution may be Writer’s Blog, which she urges writers who wish to have a public forum join. I love this idea.
RWA (Romance Writers of America) has been tremendously successful in promoting romance, connecting writers with editors and agents and providing craft courses. Many things have been said and written about how the genre has changed and why we are no longer bodice rippers. RWA has had a big hand in changing the industry for both the writer and the reader. It is why the romance genre makes more money than baseball and is the most successful of all the genre categories. The money from our genre allows other genres to continue.
As my friends know I have decided not to continue my membership in RWA (Romance Writers of America) this year. I feel they are moving in a different direction than I am. As a result I have become disenfranchised. This is not a terrible thing nor am I sad to part ways. It is what it is in 2012.
Romance writers are unique and need a blog like the Writer’s Blog, but solely for romance. If anyone would like to take on this project I would love to help. And I know lots of other writers who would also. Think about it. Investigate. Make it work.
Posted on September 1, 2012, in General and tagged author, best selling books, books, business, craft, e-publication, General, marketing, print publishers, publishing, romance writer, romance writing, See Jane Publish, self-published, traditional publishing, writers. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.