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