First, two really good things:
1. It seems the lovely Ms. Charlaine Harris’s love for Terrible doesn’t just stop there. yesterday morning my editor’s fantastic assistant Jessie emailed me this:
“Stacia Kane’s UNHOLY GHOSTS is one of the most interesting books I’ve read in months. Vivid characters and superior world-building combine with a wonderful sense of pace to create a gripping book. I was enthralled.” –Charlaine Harris
Woot! So I’m pretty excited.
2. I’m pretty sure everyone on the entire internet has already heard about this, because we’re all so happy for her, but did you see that Kaz Mahoney sold two YA novels to Flux? I got to read a bit of THE IRON WITCH (nyah nyah! I have the ms and you don’t!) and it is AWESOME. As is Kaz herself. So I couldn’t be more thrilled for her.
Now some random thoughts, including why we’ve been talking about self-publishing lately:
Last night hubs and I were watching Batman Begins, and we were discussing how the most awesome thing about Batman is that he always wins. There’s no question about it. Whomever Batman fights he will always, always win. Why? Because Batman always wins. Because Batman literally devotes huge amounts of time figuring out how to beat anyone and everyone on the planet. He always has a plan. It’s pretty cool. I don’t know why I felt the need to discuss this, but I did. The answer is, Batman always wins.
Last, this is why we’ve been talking about self-publishing so much. Because self-publishing costs money. Because for every person who knows the truth there seem to be a dozen who honestly believe This Is The Way It Works. That everybody started out self-published. Or they believe those bogus lists that circulate about how John Grisham self-published. Or they read articles written by self-proclaimed experts trying to sell them something under the clever guise of “helping” them, (and there are many of these, some slicker than others, some less sleazy than others, but all of them misrepresenting how publishing really works) who muddle or misrepresent themselves or the facts.
The average self-published book sells something like 75-150 copies. That’s it. And the writer has just spent a huge amount of money for that little tiny return. Very few people can afford that, and nobody deserves to get bilked out of their money by someone who tells them This Is The Way, no matter who that person is or claims to be. Check credentials carefully. I’ve seen lots of people online representing themselves as agents, publishers, experts, or best-selling authors, and yet a few minutes with Google proves all of that to be untrue. Research. Ask a lot of people. Take your time.
So my last few posts have been an attempt to do my part to stop that. Yes, as I’ve said many times before, for some people self-publishing can work, and work well. Specialized non-fiction, for example. But for fiction? No, not really. For non-fiction without a special platform or ready-made audience? No, not really. All of those people are better off going with a real publishing house which will pay them and get their books in stores. Who will give them the chance to actually make money instead of spending it. Period.