Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Lately, articles have been written discussing the animosity between writers who publish traditionally and those who self-publish (often called “indie” publishing) through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, etc.

I have to admit my first thought was “Really?” In my experience, I’ve received a lot of love and support both from indie writers and traditionally published writers. Maybe I just have really nice friends (which is true). But why should we have animosity? We’re all in the same boat. We’re writers who are selling books. And that’s a hard thing. The ideal of the “lonely” (happy/undistracted) writer who sits in his/her garret writing doesn’t exist anymore. We all have to market.

I’m sure there are many writers who have the natural gift for marketing, but I suspect most don’t. Most writers I know are introverts—it’s part of the nature of being an observer. We’re people watchers. Some of us have it really bad. My grandfather used to go to the airport an hour or more before a relative’s flight was due. When I asked him why, he smiled and with a twinkle in his eye said, “To watch the people.” BTW, if you’ve never people-watched at an airport, it’s amazing. I mean where else do you get honeymooners, white knuckled travelers, harried businessmen, giddy children, etc.? There are enough stories there to fill an anthology.

Oops. Sorry for that digression—I loved my grandfather. But marketing is hard, especially for someone who’d rather watch from the sidelines. When I have to speak in front of strangers, I hope and pray for a podium so people won’t see my quivering legs. Seriously, the whole “knocking knees” thing is not a cliché. It’s my reality.

Publishing of any kind is hard. That’s why you need a cheering section. Whether you’re indie or traditional, you need high fives when you reach a sales goal. You need someone to say “Great cover.” Or “go back to the drawing board.” Sometimes, you need someone to say, “That agent/editor/reviewer is an idiot.” And you need someone to say, “You should read my friend’s novel—it’s great!”

On that note, I want to thank all my writing friends, people that prove all the articles wrong. You all are amazing. Thanks!!! Maybe those journalists should talk to me and my friends. Of course, that wouldn’t be much of a story—Writer thinks her writing friends are supportive, dear people. Yeah, that won’t sell too many newpapers. But it’s a wonderful reality.

N.B. We have a winner in last week's contest!! The winner of Susan Kaye Quinn's novel Closed Minds is Ariel! Yay!!


  1. I don't get it either. The way I see it, everyone, whether trad or indie published, have a hard time. It's so much better if everyone supports each other.

  2. There shouldn't be, but the truth is old habits die hard. Those who self-published or started their independent presses before being 'indie' was cool know that the feelings are still there, but they are changing as more and more self-published and indie presses take their production of quality products more seriously. Also, with the wealth of information available now to new business owners who publish their works it's improving. Not only that but we must remember that there are hundreds of self-published authors and independent presses that have specialized markets they've been feeding and selling to successfully for years, just no one was talking about it until now. So I know in time things will continue to improve because at the end of the day we are all trying to sell our books we just traveled different roads to do so.

  3. Animosity?? Really? I'm with you. I don't get it. Who doesn't appreciate support? We're all just trying to get our stories out there - without going crazy ;)

  4. I didn't know there was any. Do you have the links to these articles? I'd be interested to read them
    That's a good idea about airports!

  5. I agree. We are in the same boat so why are we fighting? I'm like you, I've found the online community of writers to be wonderful.

  6. You have such a great attitude! (And I admit the public speaking aspect is the one major thing about pursuing publication - and maybe hopefully achieving it - that TERRIFIES me.) I'm with you, I'm not sure why there's animosity, but where there are people, there is always drama. *shrug* All we can do is stick to the friends and loved ones who support us and feel bad for those who maybe feel threatened because they don't have a strong support system.

  7. If we don't support each other, who will? See "The Machine that Destroyed the World--Maybe" at writingsnippets. http://www.writingsnippets.com/

    If we don't adjust, we'll vanish into the pages of history and those who can and will use the technology will be remembered.

  8. I'm a firm believer in supporting all my friends, whether they are published traditionally or self-pubbing. None of my friends are naysayers!!! Is there a particular article you are referring to? Just curious.

  9. I agree getting your writing known is the most difficult thing. Getting published takes TIME and being noticed also takes TIME and PATIENCE. Being patient in the writing business goes a long way but after you've gotten noticed, it's great news.