November 21, 2011

The Established Route: Traditional Publishing

I've hoped you noticed lately, my lovely followers and readers, that I've been getting a lot of reviews on my anthology, Everblossom.

I know, I'm excited! Even though you're wondering: What is the connection between self-publishing and your rant?

Well, to get all of those reviews, I have to submit requests for book reviews. Practically everyday I wake up, look at my notebook (where I have the reviewers contact info) and submit my book to book bloggers who will hopefully understand and maybe even love my book.

But while I was searching for potential reviewers I found this: I will accept self-published works, but they will have to prove themselves as great as writers who took the established route.

You see my eyes rolling can't you?

Yep, that's pretty much my facial expression: You have GOT to be kidding me.

Cue rant.

So in order to get reviewed, I have to be better than the established writers? Like Hilary Duff right? Or Ally Condie right? Oh, you want to forget about the sucky "established" authors, but you want to throw it back in our faces that we didn't take the more "established" route?

Well, I'm sorry, but [insert expletive] that.

I closed the window and didn't even send that book blogger my book. Why? Because I want to be treated and reviewed fairly.

In other words, I want to be treated with respect. Just because I didn't accept the contract I was offered, I'm no longer "established"?

Well, hold your horses there.

You know how much effort, time, and money I put into my self-publishing career? Do you know how hard I worked? How much I've grown as a writer? How much sweat, blood, and tears go into my work?

Oh, that's right: You equalize hard work by getting a traditional publishing deal.

Don't get me wrong: It is HARD to get into a traditional publishing. I will admit it. But just because I didn't accept the deal or continue sending my query letters to agents who probably didn't read past the first sentence, doesn't mean I don't deserve respect.

Just because I decided to take a different route doesn't make my work less valid, or less rational, or less respectable. In fact, my writer friends call me brave to take this gamble.

It takes bravery and courage to do what I'm doing and yet I get no respect because of the choice I made. And it's not like I have to pick one option or the other.

If the numbers were right, and the contract was fair, I might consider it. But one isn't more established than the other. 

But despite all of that (and proven evidence that we CAN write), I swear, some reviewers will just say I have typos in my work because they assume that there has to be something wrong with my work because I'm self published.

Um, maybe it's your thinking that's wrong?
So you think it's okay for writers to be treated by the traditional publishing industry like idiots? Here are some examples from my experience and some authors experiences.

Agents not responding to my query letters or left me with rude remarks. Not even with a thank you.
Editors say that you don't know how to write in your genre. (Kris recently spoke of the dis-respectfulness of editors. Check it out here.)
Publishers not valuing our input to design or choose a book cover for our books.

And yet we are suppose to take this and be considered one of the select and great few?

[insert expletive] that.

Publishers seem to forget that we (COUGH COUGH WRITERS AND READERS) make up their whole world spin. We are the legs that they stand on. We are the ones who feed them. Cook for them. Give them the money to pay bills. Not the other way around. 

And yet we are treated with such disrespect. And I'm suppose to bow down and say, "Oh great one, is my book worthy?"

I don't need their validation. I got it a long time ago when readers were constantly asking me when Angel Diaries will be out so that they could BUY it.

Readers are constantly asking me right now when Everblossom 2 will be out.

When Iwishacana/Acanawishi will be out.

When . . . 

Well, you get the picture.

My validation comes from a reliable source: The readers!

Sure, I don't have fan mail as of yet. Sure, I'm not selling books yet (I mean I have made a few sales, but that was before my books were edited, and since then my sales have come to a full stop for good reason). 

That doesn't mean that I suck at life and that I should crawl back and beg for forgiveness for ever thinking that I could make it on my own as a self publisher.

It just means to work harder. It just means to get it done! It just means that I have to fix a few things to get to my goal. Already, I'm halfway there. I can feel it, that soon, Everblossom will be flying off the shelves. I have the perfect combination of determination, word-of-mouth, and great reviews.

That's right: RAVING REVIEWS.

All you have to do is look to the right and see that I've been reviewed, interviewed, guest posted like crazy. :) 

I know, I'm bragging, but I do love the fact that people understand my work.

If I went the more "established route" then where would my works be?

Hidden in my closet, under the porch, on a shelf collecting dust. And not making one penny or making a difference in somebody's life or thoughts about life.


"Because I want the validation and that huge advance!"

Sure, I completely understand that. But we, as writers, should be confident enough in our work that we shouldn't need the validation. We don't. We need the readers to tell us that we are doing a great job. We need the readers to give us reviews, perfect or not, to become better writers. We need readers as much as we need blood, oxygen and water to survive. 

We need it.

But do we need traditional publishers?

Probably not.

It's not like I condemn them and say, "Curse you!" It's an option that writers should consider if the money is good enough and the contract comes out correctly.

It's a LOT of ifs but it is possible. 

And there's no need for this either or mentality! 

You've seen Amanda Hocking take both self-pubbing world and trad pubbing world. Why can't we take that news and be happy for her? She got the deal that she wanted, and now her books are going to be sold in print versions. 

That's wonderful news!

There's no need for contempt that she has sold out.

Sold out on what? She's looking out for her readers! She's trying to reach the paperback lovers, while still grasping a death grip on her eReader lovers.

And then of course there are the readers who like both.
Therefore, all she is doing is bridging the two worlds and a lot of us could do the same. There's no reason not to consider a traditional publishing deal if the numbers and contract is right.

I admit, it would take a lot and near perfection to get me NOT to self-publish anymore, but I would be open to options. 


Because I love the freedom. 

It's complete and utter freedom to choose, to decide, to monitor, to correct, to do whatever I like. I can write whatever genre I like now.

You know how freeing that is?!
If I went the traditional route, then my agents and publishers would probably try to dissuade me from venturing out into horror fiction, sci-fi and all sort of other genres I'm exploring. 

But self-publishing the gates are open and writers are exploring different genres! We are now free to write what readers love to read.

I can't tell you how many times I wish writers would merge genres together but yet I couldn't find it in stores. But now I can find it in thousands online.

It's great, it's wonderful and I'm not even in the honeymoon phase.

That passed a loooooong time ago. 

Do I regret my decision to self-publish?

Absolutely not! It's such a joy to see that people LOVE my work and want more!

You know how much I want to write right now!?

Like more then ever before. Self-publishing makes you want to do more, write faster, better, stronger then ever before to please the readers.

Isn't that what we should be doing in the first place?

Shouldn't we, as writers, push ourselves to the limit and see what happens?

Shouldn't we be allowed to write what we know will work?

Shouldn't we be allowed to choose our own cover art?

Shouldn't we be allowed to decide the price that suits our fans pocketbook?

Shouldn't we be free to write, read, and speak whatever we want?

I think the answer is obvious: Hell yeah!

Despite all of this, we, self-publishers, are seen as the poor under dog to be taken under the wings of the established elite.

And what do I say about that: [insert expletive] that.

I'm stronger, better, faster writer then I have been in years. I have confidence in my work out of the woozoo. I have become a better person overall through this experience, and yet my work and effort isn't valued as much because I refuse to take the crap from traditional publishing?

Well, I will say this: I'm sorry that you think that way but I am not sorry for self-publishing. And if I had to go back in time, I would have done this YEARS ago. My God, what would have happened if I done this years ago?

The possibilities are endless. 


  1. Haha, I LOVE this post! I think you hit every point right on, and I totally agree! just because you or whoever, decided to self-publish, doesn't mean your not as good a writer as someone who's signed a publishing deal!

    I've read and reviewed a few self-published books from extremely awesome authtors that are better than ones that have been traditionally published!

  2. Hey JessicaRaexox! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    I'm so glad somebody enjoyed this post! :) Sometimes I wonder if book reviewers hear themselves. That was the snobbiest comment ever. Now, don't get me wrong, I know there are books out there in the self publishing world that are crap. It's unavoidable, but to call us ALL crap-tastic and not up to traditional publishing standards? I don't think so!

    And you are so right. Some self-published books are BETTER than the traditionally published books. I know the book I got off LibraryThing, Amanda Hocking's book Switched, is TEN TIMES better then Hilary Duff's Elixir or Ally Condie's Matched! It beats it anyday.

    Don't even get me started on Wither by Lauren DeStefano! Woah, talk about a world building nightmare!

    Anyway, thanks again for commenting, and I hope you come on by more often. I would love to have you as a follower. :)

  3. This is amazing. Way to put into words how so many of us self-published authors feel!

    All the best to you!

    Janelle Stalder
    Author of "Eden"

  4. Hey Janelle! Thanks for stopping by my blog.

    First off, I want to say thanks! I saw on your page and I'm glad to see you linked back to my blog and the other links here, so thanks for that! :)

    I'm so glad I can vocalize the disappointment I feel when I read that book bloggers think that we are so weak and poor that we had to self publish because no trad publisher would take us. Or think that all self publishers don't hire editors and all of these other horrible myths!

    I can't tell you how many times I visited a blog that would have ate my book up but since they didn't take self published books, they lost out on a great opportunity for an interesting read.

    Anyway, I'm about to start another rant here, lol! I'm glad you enjoyed it and I hope you come back for more. :) You may be interested this Friday since I'll be posting my sales. And I might have a surprise for my followers. *evil laugh*

  5. I think I speak for many indie authors when I say you rock!

  6. Hey L.A. Jones! Nice to see a familiar face! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

    :) Thanks for the compliment.

  7. You said it! I've had an almost impossible time trying to get reviewers to take the time to review me, just because I am self-published. I work just as hard as any "traditionally" published author (if not a little harder)!

    By the way, I found your link on BookBlogs and am now a follower! I hope you consider following my blog!

  8. Hey Jessica, thanks for stopping by, leaving a comment and becoming a new follower!

    Man, I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels this way. It's just a shame when bloggers aren't willing to open up their minds to self-publishers. I think we can both say that there are books that are self-published that aren't really that great. But there are people who really care about their writing, about their readers and strive for the best.

    But instead of commending us for our efforts to be a great writer, they shoot us down because we decided not to go through with traditional publishing.

    It's just disgusting.

    Anyway, thanks for stopping by and I hope you stay tuned for more! :)