Locus Online Perspectives – Cory Doctorow: Why Should Anyone Care?

I get a lot of e-mail from writ­ers start­ing out who want to know whether it’s worth try­ing to get pub­lished by major houses. The odds are poor – only a small frac­tion of books find a home in main­stream pub­lish­ing – and the process can be slow and frus­trat­ing. We’ve all heard hor­ror sto­ries, both legit (‘‘Why is there a white girl on the cover of my book about a black girl?’’) and sus­pect (‘‘My edi­tor was a philis­tine who sim­ply didn’t under­stand the nuances of my work’’). And we’ve all heard about writ­ers who’ve met with mod­est – or stel­lar – suc­cess with self-publishing. So why not cut out the mid­dle­man and go direct to readers?

There’s not a thing wrong with that plan, pro­vided that it is a plan. Main­stream pub­lish­ers have spent hun­dreds of mil­lions of dol­lars over decades learn­ing and re-learning how to get peo­ple to care about the exis­tence of books. They often do so very well, and some­times they screw it up, but at least they’re method­i­cally attempt­ing to under­stand and improve the process by which large masses of peo­ple decide to read a book (even bet­ter, decide to buy and read a book).

I firmly believe that there are writ­ers out there today who have valu­able insights and native tal­ent that would make them nat­ural suc­cesses at mar­ket­ing their own work. If you are one of those writ­ers – if you have a firm the­ory that fits avail­able evi­dence about how to get peo­ple to love your work – then by all means, exper­i­ment! Pro­vided, of course, that you are pleased and chal­lenged by doing this com­mer­cial stuff that has almost noth­ing in com­mon with imag­in­ing sto­ries and writ­ing them down. Pro­vided that you find it reward­ing and satisfying.

via Locus Online Per­spec­tives – Cory Doc­torow: Why Should Any­one Care? Cory Doc­torow who cer­tainly doesn’t seem to need tra­di­tional pub­lish­ers, pen­ning a nice piece in favor of publishers.

Working at Loadsys as a Web Developer and learning something new every day.

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