Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Writers need to ask questions, consider value

It's only mid-week and I'm already overloaded with  information. The publishing landscape is changing faster than the soil around my new house is sinking.*

On Monday, BookEnds, LLC - A Literary Agency rolled out information on how it will publish existing and new clients. The post The BookEnds Strategy for Self-EPublishing caused a bit of a stir. Comments keep flying on this one. 

I think each writer needs to read the piece and sift through the more than 150 comments to determine how he or she feels about this news. Writers had a lot of opinions on this topic. The agency received a lot of pushback for their Beyond the Page Publishing.

I think The Passive Voice blog did a good job of summing up the conflict of interest issue raised by so many on this new change in an agency's role with writers: Agents in Conflict with Clients - Issues and Responses.

Before I posted this, I ran across Bob Mayer's take on the topic:  Should your agent self-publish you? Can your agent self-publish you? 

All this raised an important topic for me. As writers, we are asked every day to pay for services from someone who will coach, edit, train or market us to be better writers. Some will even "just write the damn book" for us.  

I think one thing won't change in the publishing industry — writers need to be educated about their options. You need to ask questions. You need to consider the value to your career and your pocketbook. And, sometimes you should go with your gut and not worry about what everyone else on the Internet thinks of your decision. 

How do you educate yourself as a writer about all the changes in the publishing landscape?

(*I won't bore you with those details, but it's all covered by the home warranty. So, it's a blessing.) 


  1. These links were fantastic. I try and keep up with all the publishing news and the way the publishing world is turning. Overall I still stick with what I feel is the best route for me. What I have in mind, and where I want to go.

    I think it's important to know the world of publishing is slowly changing. I read agency blogs and publishing websites to keep up on all the info... sometimes there is just too much to keep up on!

  2. Yes Jen, I think the "gut check" is always good. And, sometimes the "keeping up" with all the news gets in the way of writing.

  3. Asking questions is a great way of finding the answers we need. That way we can trust our gut if we're educated about all our options. Everyone is different too. What might be right for one writer may not be right for another.

  4. So true Lynda that not everything works for one. My sister always told me that "everyone parents differently." I think that also applies to writing.

  5. For me it's a bit hard to stay updated on new publishing trends because I find it all a bit boring, and I find myself being biased, but as a writer, and especially as an editor, I have to seek this information out, and take it all in as is.

    I see you are writing a memoir. Are you considering self-publishing?

  6. Thanks for stopping by Lauren. Yes. It's hard to stay updated on all the new trends. I'm still working on the memoir and want to pursue traditional publication. It's a long shot, so that's why I strive to keep up with the trends in self-publishing as I may have to consider this route.


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