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Saturday, May 17, 2014

An Unbiased, Objective Look at Authorship

Hello and Good Day RWPP's,

Today All Authors P&P is taking an unbiased objective look at authorship. Let's look at the good, the bad and the ugly.
There are so many aspects of being a published author--so many sides to the coin--those of which many of us prior to being published never even think about.

In today's world there are so many platforms that Indie authors can use to become a published author. Yet with traditional publishing it still remains the same--submit, submit, submit. What traditional publishers aren't telling you is that they are using the very same platforms indies are! The only difference is that traditional publishing firms have a whole slew of professionals on their side, so this makes it a little different.

In THIS DAY AND TIME, ANYONE--literally anyone--can call themselves a published author.

While the freedom is great, the facts can be depressing! Let's give it a look-see, shall we?



So what's the difference between Traditional vs. Indie/Self-Published?

Traditional Publishing:
This means that you have gone the old-school route of submitting your manuscript to publishers and if accepted have signed a contract to have them represent your book. This also means that you are only eligible for a portion of your royalties. If you are one of the very few to be accepted by The Big 5 then you'll have a whole teams of people marketing your book. BUT if you are accepted by one of the smaller companies, than chances are that you will be required to do a great amount of the marketing yourself. The benefit to this is having the validity of being "under the umbrella" if you will, of good quality reads and a lineage of professionals. 

Indie/Self-Published:
This means that you have opted to do everything yourself. That is, from writing, to editing, to making the book cover, to marketing and everything in between. You do not have an advocate or a group of professionals teaming up to help you. The benefit to this is that you get to keep all of the royalties and recognition of the work to yourself. No one can tamper with your work and/or change it.



Now that all of that is out of the way, let's get to the "real talk" aspect of today's topic.

Personally, I can care less about what publishing platform you've used (Indie/SP or Traditional). All I care about is the downward spiral that is now happening in the market in general.

For those of you who don't know me, I'm Y. Correa President/Creator/Founder of All Authors P&P. I am also a published author, a literary advocate and a professional reviewer--doing reviews with The Review Board. Needless to say, I read A LOT! My life practically revolves around books. I do not discriminate genre or publishing platform--I'll read them all (well, maybe excluding the anti-bible).
In so doing I've seen a continuous drop in quality. This worries me greatly.

Let's talk about the Cons of Traditional Publishing:

  • They can take your book idea and change it completely.
  • There has been an increase in contracts that state that authors can be taken off of their own works.
  • You don't always get what you think your getting.
  • If you don't look out for yourself, you will get ripped off. 
  • You're just a number--literally.
  • There is no real interaction with your publishers.
  • They get to tell you what they want to keep and what they want to take out of your book.
  • Sometimes, if you're not careful, your book can get altered/abridged.
  • Most importantly, they aim to "mainstream" you at any cost.
Let's talk about the Cons of Indie Publishing:

  • Anyone can publish. While this is a benefit, it's also a downfall. Let me explain why; because people have been publishing low quality reads. So while, if you get props for having published a good book, you will also get fowl reviews if you happened to publish a bad one--and no authors wants to get bad reviews or become part of the "don't read his/her crap" list.
  • You have to do EVERYTHING, and I mean everything, by yourself.
  • Marketing isn't easy and indies always seem to get the cold shoulder.
  • The vast majority frown upon Indie publishing.
  • They don't have a very good reputation, especially because of those whom have published lackluster works.
  • Not everyone is crafty enough to make cover art and/or format their books interiors.
So, no matter how you spin it, there are good and bad things with both markets. I should know. I am and have been both Indie & Traditional.


So, let's get to the nitty gritty, shall we?


My concern is in the downslide of the literary market.

I have been coming across books, Indie & Traditional alike whose quality have gotten worse and worse. From dreary plots, to excessive wordiness, to terrible syntax, to unoriginal story lines and so much more.

Why is this, you ask?

I think the answer is simple. Competition.

First you have the Indies' trying to prove themselves, then you have the Traditionals' trying to compete with the increase in Indie published authors. The problem is that everyone is focused on quantity, not quality.

And what happens? The grand divide, as I call it.




As integrated as our world has become in racial aspects, it has become more and more segregated in literary aspects. Everyone thinks they are right, and therefore cannot come to an agreement. Sam, wants to prove to Tony that he has what it takes to be an "author". Yet, Tony wants to prove to Sam that tradition is of grater value than independence.

Herein lies the tug of war...


HERE IS THE PROBLEM!

While one party competes with the other, the ones that pay the penalty are the readers!! WE, get stuck with low quality books that are impossible to enjoy!


LADIES, LADIES! YOU'RE ALL PRETTY!!



I believe that it's incredibly important to focus more on quality than quantity.

Here is how we can do that:

Analyze yourself.
  • Are you really, truly able to write a book?
  • Are you prepared?
  • Do you have the skills and know how?
  • Are you patient enough to ensure that your work is up to par, well done and exceptional?
  • Do you think your book has the makings of an original and outstanding story/work?
Be precautions.
  • Don't fall for everything your told.
  • Read, and double read your contracts (for traditional authors), and contractors guidelines (for indie authors hiring people to do work for you). If you can't double check it, have someone that you trust do it for you.
But most of all, think of your audience!!!!! Put yourself in their shoes! Would YOU read your book if you were them?

AFTER ALL, A HAPPY READER EQUALS A SUCCESSFUL AUTHOR!

~~~~~~

Time for y'all to talk to me! Tell me your thoughts, share your input! Interact!

~~~~~

This is All Authors P&P
The good, the bad and the ugly in the world of books, article 1.