The difference is, at this point, Ms. Grafton is pretty much done with her book. She sits back while her big publisher promotes her book and helps it sell, with very little work on her part. Maybe that's not fair. I'm sure she does some things. Attend book signings and whatever else, but the heavy lifting is done by her publicist and her publisher. Don't get me wrong, that's great for her. She got lucky and her books took off. A "lazy" self-pubber now has the long, arduous process of promoting their own book, paying for their own advertising, and doing everything they can to make that lightening strike for themselves.
I do need to say that I think there is a valid point in this argument against SP. Indie's who put their work out without editing, without having it critiqued by others, basically write a book and slap it on Amazon without any work are taking the lazy way and make me angry too. I thought this was what all Indie's did for the longest time (based on one SP book I bought and tried to read), and I'm a bit ashamed I didn't know better. Anymore, Indie's are taking much pride in their work. We are hiring some of the same people the Big 6 publishing houses are using. We learn our craft and do everything traditional authors do, we just choose to do things differently.
My writing hero, Holly Lisle www.hollylisle.com, has decided to self-publish all her work. She's putting all her old books (at least the ones where the rights have reverted back to her) out herself and she is planning to self-publish her new book and is in the process of self-publishing her writing courses/clinics. It is heartening to me to know that some highly successful authors, people I truly respect, are taking this as a viable route.
The reasons I finally made the hard (for me at least) decision to self-publish were these: I want to control customer cost, making the price affordable for them while still making a profit myself. I also want creative control. Always & Forever deals with some tough issues, that are very important to me, and I have a few scenes I'm not sure would be acceptable to the traditional publishing world. I wanted to tell the story I had in me, not a watered-down version that fit someone else's vision. Finally, I have heard horrible things about the current trend with contracts signed with traditional publishing, where the writer is basically being paid almost less than nothing for their work and retaining none of their rights for foreign, movie, and electronic editions. If they want to stay with the publisher, they are forced to agree to these terms that strip them of most of their ability to make money. If you can't make money at your craft, it won't be long before you cannot continue doing it.
So, maybe I'm lazy, but I didn't want to deal with that. I wanted to tell the best story I had in me to tell. If people enjoy it, I don't really care if I took the supposed lazy way. I'll be grateful to whomever takes the time to read it, to appreciate the world I created, and the story I wanted to relay.
For a few interesting articles on self-publishing, these are some I really enjoyed and they deal both with the way publishing is being looked at and the difference in the amount of money an author stands to make going the Indie route:
Sticks & Stones: The Changing Politics of the Self-Publishing Stigma
http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?p=6481 (This one deals with the money and was very eye-opening for me)
Ebook Publishing Trends
Is there room for both traditional and independent books? I've read many books in my life, and I have to admit that there are many a traditional published book that should never have received a contract. There are also some traditionally published books I love so very much, I read them over and over again. I recently read a few independent books that are so fantastic, I'm going to share them on my blog in the coming weeks to help spread the word about them. I think there is room for both sets. I think readers don't care about it one way or another, as long as they are getting a good story worth the money they paid for it.
Where do you stand on this issue?
Thanks for reading. Have a wonderful week!
Since I wrote this article, Ms. Grafton has issued a clarification on her statement. I will post the link so you all can read it. http://louisvilleky.com/2012/08/more-from-sue-grafton-on-publishing-indie-writers/
Write with joy, friends!