I think the two great fears of any writer, hell, at least me, are no one caring about what you are writing and finding no market for what you write. Well, the older I have gotten and the more I have read I have realized that, well, it’s true, there really is someone for everything. It doesn’t matter if it is lewd, crude, or just poorly written, someone out there will dig it.
Hell, if someone is passionate enough to take the time to write then theys should find an audience. It seems right.
The fear that lingers then is that there will be no market for my writing. Sure, there may be readers but how will they read the stories if they cannot FIND them? That, friends, is a good question and one that is becoming more and more pressing as publishers shut down and everyone and everything starts to shrink.
It isn’t that people are not reading, though I am sure the numbers are not what they once were, but that books have gotten so expensive, salaries are so high, and overhead is so big that publishers are more selective about who they publish, meaning we get a lot of the same stuff over and over and over.
Safe is in and options are drying up.
What is interesting is that ten years ago the last thing you wanted to do was to subsidize or, as they say now, self publish your work. People that did that were seen as the lowest of the low. Why should they have a book out if no one would publish them. The popular term for this sort of publishing was ‘vanity publishing’. A swell term, no. As if all these people wrote were autobiographies.
My book was subsidized, meaning I paid for the publication and all that rigamarole and they gave me my book and were to do the heavy lifting. Unfortunately for me, the company went under and I am left selling the books myself, something that is both blessing and curse. What it did do, is make me want, more than anything, to find a publisher for later works.
It’s interesting, ten years later, to see how things have changed, and that self publishing, little by little, and very much begrudgingly, is getting some respect. I think the problem has always been one of elitism from established writers, not wanting to give ground in a very competitive industry to upstarts who may have turned up and expected a book deal out of the gate. I also think a big problem is that a lot of self published stuff always HAS been crap. Time passes though, and with the markets closing as they are, you are going to find more and more writers going the indie route and using blogs and websites to get the word out about themselves. It isn’t much different than the way indie music thrives and how people would just get themselves a cheap recording set up and would do it themselves.
I don’t think anyone would say the do it yourself way is the most ideal, even if you tell me that you can make more profit that way, because it is a hell of an undertaking to do it on your own but, it’s that we still DO do it that matters. And as more people try self publishing, and when a few ‘names’ go that route, things will really change. What we need now are some sites that will review just the DIY stuff to get it the credibility notice some of it deserves.
We all have voices, and if we can’t find a mic, maybe we’ll just have to get ourselves some megaphones and make a lot of noise.