The article is actually a positive one for SelfPubbers to read. Mr. R. gives us all an insider's perspective on the level of confusion in which many TRADPUB execs are existing nowadays. It's an informative article and I have utmost respect for Alan Rinzler, however I do contend on a few points and wanted to share them with you here:
My pennies ... (click on the article above first, so you know what I'm talking about.
Mr. R gives us great insight into the haze of confusion in which many TRADPUBBED execs are living.
Nevertheless, being a devout student of the Tao of Dean Wesley Smith, I do contend with parts of two of his 3 myths about SELFPUBBING:
#2 - Agents won’t represent an author who self-publishes
Mr. R writes, "They’re (read: agents) representing translation and film rights for these self-published titles, and they’re selling self-published books to traditional publishers, if that’s what the author wants."
g: A SELFPUBBER would be better off getting an IP attorney for contract negotiations (pay a fee vs. royalties). As for shopping to TRADPUB ... at this point, I'd suggest that SELFPUBBERS just wait for TRADPUB to come knocking on their doors. Is that pie-in-the-sky? It is, however, if a SELFPUBBER sells north of 5,000 widgets (Mr. R points out 5K as the test-marketing breakwater), they will be in a much better negotiating position and will deal DIRECTLY with the TRADPUB house (no need for the Agent then). If under 5,000 sold, you know what - chances are even if you did attract a TRADPUB house to sign you, you won't earn back even a paltry advance.
Mr. R: "Agents are also beginning to help self-publishing authors to get professional outside developmental and copy-editing, a great jacket designer, set up their website and learn how to social network, make a video for YouTube, get on Facebook, and learn how to strategically blog and tweet."
g: It's sheer nonsense to me that a SELFPUBBER would turn to an Agent (in the capacity of an Agent) for these things. All of them can be accomplished by the SELFPUBBER themselves (no laziness allowed) or by finding/hiring these 3rd-parties directly.
Mr R: "So agents are becoming managers and coaches in the career development of self-published authors. Not all agents, but more and more of the hipper, younger ones who understand how to do this."
g: Is that what a SELFPUBBER wants ... Agents that are managers & coaches? Not this one! How about this - if I want a manager, I'll hire one that actually knows something about managing and calls themselves a manager (with an accompanying 'manager's contract' that would have to show their skin in the game) As for coaches ... lol ... sorry, I'm from Brooklyn, coaches are for little league baseball players. Coaches ... lol
#3 It’s easy to succeed as a self-published author
Mr. R: "Successful writers I know – whether they’re published commercially or self-published – need to write and rewrite their books many times, usually with the support of a developmental editor, not someone who does spelling and punctuation but a creative partner who is able to identify and solve problems with the story, structure, characterization, dialogue, visual description, literary style, pacing, the narrative arc – with a first, second, and third act that engages the reader and reaches some kind of epiphany or denouement that entertains, illuminates and provides emotional satisfaction for the reader."
g: I have respect for Mr. R, however ... this is spoken like a true editor. Let me be clear - editor's are ESSENTIAL to publishing quality literary works! Nevertheless, I am NOT a supporter of the notion (Mr. R definitely gave me the implication) that, in order to become a successful author, one must write, rewrite and re-rewrite with the help of an editor who now reshapes the author's work creatively! Could you imagine Leonardo Da Vinci letting his employee touch up the Mona Lisa ... or Shakespeare allowing a stage hand to change a few lines of one of his plays ... you know, so that the stagehand could "identify and solve problems with the story, structure, characterization, dialogue, visual description, literary style, pacing, the narrative arc ..."?
To me that is the very core ... the essence of the ART of writing. If someone is doing those things, they should have co-writing credit, in my humble opinion.
If a writer can't do those things on their own, then they shouldn't be a writer. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it!
Keep up the great work, PG ... much appreciated!
B/T/W ... I'm in the trenches of setting up my "TWOE PATRIOT Blog Tour." The tour will run from July 04 to September 11. I'll post info on my site about it ASAP but just wanted everyone to know that I may not post as much until I get the tour set up. There's a TON of emails, correspondence, review-copy shipping, article-writing, Q&A answering, etc. to take care of - something I will write about in a future post. Once again, I want to thank great author and (I consider him) friend, Jeff Bennington for teaching me the ins and outs of conducting a Blog Tour. Jeff told us all about it in his guest blog here at the Pub - you can read it "Building a Blog Tour."