Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing & Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Publishing Industry

“Write Faster!”, Might Be the Worst Advice . . .


So much in our highly materialistic age is bad for us… Slow Writers can be Better Writers

I’m not denying the benefits that have come with mastery of the material realm; it’s just that, due to a certain denial of our higher selves, materialism has also bequeathed some very deadly things

One of the great benefits, for readers and writers, is all things Digital

All, that is, except the modern maxim from the self-professed “gurus” that the more you write and the faster you write it, the more “valuable” you are

There’s a certain blog that has posts from two writers—Anne R. Allen and Ruth Harris.

Their blog recently had this article, Are Slow Writers Doomed to Fail in the Digital Age?well worth reading and pondering; so, I’ll share a few excerpts to help you decide to take that last link (or, share it with writer friends...).

It begins with:

“…back in 2014…the indie superstar gurus were telling writers to grind out ebooks as fast as they could type to take advantage of the ‘Kindle Gold Rush’.

“Three years later, the Kindle Gold Rush is history; but there’s even more pressure to write fast—not only for authors who self-publish, but for traditionally published authors as well.”

Then, this:

“I’m afraid I’m in the tortoise camp myself. My plots morph and change during the writing process and never bear much resemblance to my original outline. That means I spend a lot of time rewriting and reworking.

“Maybe I could write faster if I kept to my outlines, but then I wouldn’t have nearly as much fun writing the books.”

And, a bit later:

“…much of the developed world seems to be engaged in some turbocharged drag race of the soul, hurtling our frenzied selves from cradle to grave, terrified of slowing for even a minute of rose-smelling.”

Then, further on:

“In an an economy where fewer people have steady jobs and many eke out a living with random piecemeal employment, working an absurd number of hours becomes something to be admired.

“In fact, taking care of ourselves has become something of a taboo.”

After engaging in a practice I use quite often (linking to a number of other articles supporting the theme), the author continues with:

“If we’re blogging, networking, sending out newsletters, and churning out books as fast as we can type, it’s easy to lose sight of the most important person in the publishing equation: the reader.”

Then, after much more valuable information, advice, and reasoning, this is said:

“Okay, I’ve learned to compose a little faster than I could a few years ago. I’ve moved from a snail’s pace to that of an arthritic penguin, but I still can’t write much more than 2000 words a day on a WIP, combined with an average of maybe 500-1000 words of nonfic for blogs and social media, another 1000-3000 on email and replying to requests, comments, and questions, plus a few hours editing or proofreading.

“Am I a failure? I don’t feel like one….

“I’m certainly not keeping the publishing industry afloat like those Duck Dynasty guys or the adult coloring book craze, but I have 10 published books, several of which have made bestseller lists. I’ve got several books in translation and audiobooks, and I’m being read all over the world.

“Hey, I even have haters, which might be the real mark of success in today’s snarky Internet culture.”

Well, with an article that has so much good stuff, I have to restrain myself from stepping over the boundary of “fair use”; but, I’ll just share this one last excerpt, ok?

“…remember there are other ways to make money from your books that don’t involve churning out 12 books a year. Go wide, get translations and audiobooks (You can find translators and narrators for no money up front at Bablecube and Audible.) And most of all—live a healthy, balanced life, remembering that you are part of a community, not simply a book-generating machine.”

Yes, I know, if the article is way longer than this blog post, lots of folks may not go read the whole thing…

Well, most of those folks will be missing out on something great

And, because this post was so long, here’s the link to the full article again:

Are Slow Writers Doomed to Fail in the Digital Age?
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If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
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Grab A Free Novel…
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For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

#Publishing ~ Good and Bad


I’m going to report on three articles today—three views into the workings of today’s Publishing Industry… 

First, David Gaughran‘s piece, How The London Book Fair Helps Vanity Presses Exploit Newbie Authors.

An excerpt:

“The most prestigious event in the UK publishing calendar, the London Book Fair, welcomes predatory operators with open arms, deliberately positions them opposite author events for extra cash, and then helps to whitewash their reputation – even running misleading interviews and puff pieces on its own website to help them get more leads.”

David’s talking about what are called “Vanity Presses”.

They pretend to be regular trade publishers; but, they lure a writer in then attempt to trick them into paying exorbitant fees to publish their book.

This is extremely different from a writer who chooses to pay certain fees for services to help them Self-Publish.

It’s also very different from Traditional Publishing, where the writer (if providentially accepted) pays no fees; in fact, is given a cash advance

Two more excerpts:

“I’m sure many of you are angry about this – and you have every right to be. This is the leading event of the UK publishing industry, and one of the most prestigious in the world. And the London Book Fair is not just allowing these guys to appear, but it’s actively generating leads for exploitative services, and directly engaging in PR efforts on their behalf to make them seem like legitimate publishers.”

“The deeper I dig – five years of this, let me remind you – proves that these guys are central to the industry, and that whole swathes of the publishing establishment is geared towards separating inexperienced writers from their money in incredibly dishonest ways. And we never even talk about it, let alone take action.”

That’s the Dark Side

Now, for Jane Friedman and her article, The Publishing Industry in 2016: A Status Update.

“According to Nielsen Bookscan, for print book sales (primarily traditional publishing sales):

  • During the first quarter of 2016, frontlist adult fiction sales were down by 17% compared to 2015
  • During the second quarter, they were down by 4%
  • First quarter backlist sales were up by 4% compared to the prior year
  • Second quarter backlist sales were up by 9%”

Then, this:

“…the picture became more clear when the biggest New York publishers released their financial results for the first half of 2016—compared to the prior year:

  • Penguin Random House (PRH): sales down 10.7 percent
  • Hachette Book Group USA: sales down 6.6 percent
  • HarperCollins: sales down 2.5 percent
  • Simon & Schuster: sales down 3.5 percent”

One more excerpt:

“For Penguin Random House, the CEO said the shortfall was related to ‘the absence of newly published megasellers’, as well as the  poor performance of ebooks in the United States and UK. Helping make up for the losses: steady print book sales and audiobook sales.”

There’s a lot more in Jane’s article (especially about Amazon…); but, I’ll leave it to the folks who Need To Know to go read both Jane’s and David’s full articles

Finally, there’s an interview between Jane and Joanna PennPublishing Trends In 2016 With Jane Friedman—where Jane talks about “empowerment”; which, to me, clearly means Self-Publishing:

“There is a class of author who I think is more empowered. But I don’t think the emerging writer, the person without any credits to their name, are they more empowered? Not necessarily. But there are lots more options and paths for them if they educate themselves.

“But in that first book contract, if they choose traditional, it’s hard. It’s as hard as it’s ever been.”

So, three articles, lots of opinion, some facts—just like Life-in-General—Some Good, Some Bad, Educate Yourself………
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
If you don’t see a way to comment (or, “reply”) after this post, try up there at the top right…
Read Some Strange Fantasies
Grab A Free Novel…
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Google Author Page
For Private Comments or Questions, Email: amzolt {at} gmail {dot} com

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