Honestly, it's Time to Save Yourself...
I kept my mouth shut. And, if any of you know me personally, then you know just how hard it is to get me to keep my mouth shut when I feel someone is being wronged. (It's a family trait. Both my father and daughter have this dominant gene.)
The author was J.A. Konrath and I won't bother to mention the list. If you're on it, then you've already seen this discussion that went on for several digests, during which time I had a hard time digesting. I don't know what their personal motivation was for dissing him. But I can guess that it smacks of little bit of jealousy and a whole lot of envy. Either way, they were completely missing the point when it comes to Konrath, so I'll point it out... HE'S MAKING IT WORK AND IT'S WORKING WELL FOR HIM.
There is no magic bullet. There is no absolute formula, and if you're looking for it then you need to find another profession. Konrath took complete control of writing and his publishing. He provides a great book and he's invested his career into making it work. It shows. Just go to Amazon and look up his titles. I daresay he's got more listings than 90% of the authors who are digitally publishing. In a sense, there is something very traditional about him in that he takes his career very seriously and gets the writing done so that he can give the readers what they want. I've never met the man, but I've been around this block long enough to know that if all you do is talk about publishing books, then you'll never actually write them. He's analyzed, scrutinized, taken chances, and taken his lumps. But he's still out there.
His post on his blog A Newbie's Guide to Publishing is making the rounds. (You can find the post here) It focuses on the blame game that is being played out against Amazon for a good many things, including the demise of the so-called "traditional" publishers and the impact of Amazon on markets. I think there's room for both digital and traditional... for now. No one knows the future, but I do know that the cost of printing books is prohibitive to getting good books to market and readers. Blaming Amazon for something like this is ridiculous. Things change. Deal with it. And if you can't, then you didn't belong in publishing.
It's evolution, people... every market evolves, whether it's books, food, clothes, they are all subject to trends and advancements. Amazon didn't put Borders out of business. Borders put themselves out of business for a lot of reason, one of which was a failure to react to changes in the market in a timely manner. It's 101. The same could be said for those writers who stick their heads in the sand and refuse to look at the possibilities.
Let me tell you a dirty little secret... I went to college originally to be a travel agent. Okay, so not so dirty. But how many of travel agents do you see today? Most agencies have closed up shop. Oh, there are a few of them left, but believe me when I say that the increasing use of the Internet made that job obsolete. My education isn't completely useless, though. It helps me out a heck of a lot when I want to book a flight or look for a vacation package in some sunny destination (it is Maine here, after all). But ultimately, Travel Agents went the way of the dinosaurs. If people can do it all themselves and cut out the middle man and the extra cost, then they should do it. That's why companies like Expedia and Travelocity are going gangbusters!
Finally, getting back to the whole green with envy thing. My feeling is that if someone is doing better than you then that's the person you want to watch and learn from. Konrath blogs with regularity and he offers up all the knowledge he has willingly. He's a pretty open book kind of guy (pun intended). Take it. Take it and run with it. Take it and publish with it, and make your own publishing experience a success. Don't be a dinosaur, or play the blame game. It doesn't look good on anybody.
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