A list! My Kingdom for a List!

As per normal, when I’m scrambling a bit for what to offer you here, I’m going to craft you a lovingly, adroitly thought out, five point list.

You’re welcome.

Today’s List? Five Things I Wish to Never Be Asked Again.

1) But how much does it cost to publish with you?
Sigh. I need one of those little conductor stick things, so you can all follow the beat with me. Are you ready? Alright. Say it with me. A legitimate publisher will never ask me for money. Now. If we follow that to it’s logical conclusion, what does that say of any publisher that asks you for money? I am greatly saddened by how often I get this question. Someone in your baby writer life has done you very ill, my friend.

2) Why can’t I just self-publish, it’s the same.
Totally. If by the same you mean that you’re going to pay someone with some kind of quantifiable experience to edit your book at least once (probably more like six times) and then wrestle with the formatting until it looks right, and then try to promote you so it’s not just you in that empty room that is the internet trying to convince people to read your book. Totes the same.

There’s an addendum to this one. I do, actually, think in all kinds of places self-pub is a logical, legitimate business and publishing decision. There’s a growing trend, among all kinds of authors for Hybrid Careers, where you do your own stuff and you work with publishers, and you offer things for free on your blog and some pretty hefty people in the blogosphere think that’s the best way to go about it now, and they’re probably right.

But please don’t waste a publisher’s–any publisher’s–time if you’re going to give them this attitude.

3) Can you make any money at that? I mean no one reads books anymore.
I just can’t with this one. I’m going to assume if you’re here you don’t need me to go into it.

4) But you only publish books from people you know, right?
This one is a bit of a tricky question, because I don’t want to start slinging mud. There are a lot of small and independent publishers that only work with people they already know. And I have opinions about those, but I’m going to stuff them down in the dark recesses of my soul, where they belong.

It’s a safe assumption, as we have submission guidelines and things on the website, that we’re not posting those just for our friends.

5) Aren’t there enough publishers out there?
In the interests of honesty, I’ve only been asked this one about twice. Twice was enough. Both times I had to breathe really deep and not give them the answer I wanted to. I’ll write it here, just to give you a chuckle.

“Absolutely. Entirely too many. Like I was downtown the other day and did you know there are six churches in a seven block radius? Or seriously, the yellow pages has 47 law offices in just this town. And have you looked at all your TV channels? That’s just ridiculous, right? Who really needs a channel just for kids?”

Alright. There’s your five point list. The snark was part of my free service. You’re welcome.

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One thought on “A list! My Kingdom for a List!

  1. Kate says:

    Hmmm… I could comment that we’ve got a book coming out in a couple of months that’s from an author *we know now* because we *met him* through his submission.

    But that would be thoroughly snarky…. So, yeah, I’m gonna say it. It’s in my nature.

    Be that as it may, yes, we will publish people we know because we know we can browbeat them into actually *finishing* those projects they’ve been working on or thinking about for years. We can *make* them into the people we see them being and help them grow their craft and their business life. (And pitch them ideas we aren’t willing to write.)

    And the majority of our *wonderful* short story authors in our journals are *not* people we know.

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