Friday, December 16, 2011

Deja Vu Blogfest Presents:



Yea!  It's December 16 - Deja Vu Blogfest Day.

I've got to admit it was interesting, wandering through my past blogs, hunting for the one I wanted to re-post today.  I've only been blogging about a year and a half  (a little over a year as Linda Leszczuk and the last four months as LD Masterson) so there was no ancient history involved.  No gems to be found in the first few months and then we had a run of family losses that cast a shadow over most of last fall so I starting finding more posts of interest in early 2011.  This one is from March 7. 

I know more authors who have gone the self e-publishing route since I wrote this but I'm still very much on the fence.  What are your thoughts?

By the way, the groaner is also from the original post.


 As Clear as Mud - The New World of Publishing

It's There is a line in the long running play Chorus Line, spoken by a young dancer, which goes something like, "Don't tell me Broadway is dead. I just got here."

Sometimes I feel a little like that. I finally have the chance to throw myself full time into my life long dream - that of seeing my book on the shelf of my local bookstore - and all I hear is bookstores are dying and good old fashioned books aren't far behind. The reality of the future is the e-book.

I'm trying to adjust. I have a Nook. It's not my favorite way to read but I do use it. And I know several authors who have books out that were published in e-format only. It's a legitimate form of publication. But hope springs eternal and I'm still hoping to someday see my words in print. Old fashioned print...on paper.

Unfortunately, everything I'm reading these days says the sad state of the brick and mortar bookstore is impacting the publishing world as well. With less store shelves to fill, publishers will be publishing fewer books, especially from new and mid-list authors, and many may be published in e-format only. Also, publishers are expecting authors do to more self-promoting and marketing these days. This is leading a lot of authors to consider the option of self-publishing online. Cut out the middle man (the publisher) altogether. Increase the author's profits.

I see the logic in it. But to me the whole idea of "being published" has always meant someone, a professional in the publishing business, thought something I wrote was worth publishing. That was a biggie. Even if it wasn't a best seller (hey, we're talking dreams here) I would still be able to say, "Yes, I had a book published." Putting it out there myself would feel a bit like selling my work at a garage sale because it wasn't good enough for a store.

I have concerns from a reader's perspective as well. When I go into a book store or a library looking for something to read, I know I'm choosing among books that some professional editors/publishers thought were good enough to print. Will I always agree? Of course not. But I will have a baseline level of expectation. If I'm shopping online in a sea of self-published books, how much time will I have to waste separating the carefully crafted novel from sloppy first draft someone threw together and figured was good enough to put out there? If this becomes an issue, will e-book sellers offer readers the option of shopping for "published" e-books only and, if so, what would that do to the self-published market?

Lots of questions. Very few answers. What are your thoughts?


Groaner of the day: A hungry lion was roaming through the jungle looking for something to eat. He came across two men. One was sitting under a tree reading a book; the other was typing away on his typewriter. The lion quickly pounced on the man reading the book and devoured him.

Even the king of the jungle knows that readers digest, and writers cramp.

46 comments:

mish said...

I still love the old-fashioned hardback/paperback...
And I still love the library as well...
Ah well, I suppose one has to move with the times... technology rules, after all!
Nice to meet you *waves*

~MISH~
http://writer-in-transit.co.za/deja-vu-blogfest/

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Sadly bookstores are still vanishing.
Validation of one's work can come in many forms - the acceptance with a publisher, the approval of the editor you hired, and/or the readers who buy and enjoy your book.

Laura Marcella said...

Hi, LD! I'm here from the Déjá Vu blogfest. :) Love the joke, haha!! I hadn't heard that one.

It is daunting thinking about the future of publishing. To be honest, it bums me out so much that I try not to think about it too much. There's little I can do about it anyway, and what will come will come! Either way I'll be a writer meeting whatever comes head on. :)

Hope you have a terrific weekend!

mooderino said...

Very thought provoking.

I don't think writers write books, they write stories (sometiems found in books, sometimes not). I have no problem with the end of publishing as is, I never valued their tastes and choices. Yes, they produce some great books, but so woudl a monkey with a dartboard. I'm happy to use my own means to select what I want to read.

mood
Moody Writing
@mooderino
The Funnily Enough

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Definitely enjoyed hopping over here from the Deja Vu blogfest. I'd much rather have a book in my hands, especially once one of my own gets published! But I have toyed repeatedly w/the idea of e-pubbing my first NaNo novel (1st chapters up on my blog right now). At the end of the day, I keep coming back to "but I need a hard copy in my hands!"

Cate Masters said...

Still a timely post, unfortunately. The evolution continues, with no end in sight.

LD Masterson said...

mish - thanks for coming by. Sometimes I think moving with the times is highly overrated.

LD Masterson said...

Diane - That's true. I guess for me, part of it is validation and part is achieving the dream. The dream was always traditional publishing.

LD Masterson said...

Laura - Welcome. Sometimes not thinking too much about it seems like the best way to go.

LD Masterson said...

Moody - Hmmm. Maybe I'm hoping for that monkey, but I see your point.

LD Masterson said...

Heathe - Thanks for stopping by. Hard copy - yes. I have a Nook but I only use it for books that are available in e-form only. Given the option, I always go for a book.

LD Masterson said...

Cate - I fear if we do this blogfest again next December, this post will still be valid.

DL Hammons said...

This still a very valid post, one where there is no clear answer. I believe that e-publishing will figure out a way to segregate out those novels that truly don't deserve a wider audience. When that happens, and the stigma lessens, then your nook is going to be getting a workout! But fear not...hardbacks will never fully disappear!

Great re-post! Thank you for taking part in the blogfest and helping to make today so special! :)

Lydia Kang said...

I will always love my real books better than virtual ones, though I see why the e-book revolution has to be.

Funny one! I'll have to remember that last groaner.

Thanks so much for joining the Blogfest!

Colin Smith said...

I've thought about the whole e-book revolution thing--I'll have to blog on it sometime. But essentially, the way I see it is that, like it or not, this is the way things are. We have a generation growing up that loves things digital. To survive, brick-and-mortar stores have to find a way to accommodate digital and print, and carve out a niche for themselves that digital can't do (e.g., book signings, workshops, etc.). I believe digital and print can co-exist, as can online and traditional retailers. They just need to figure out their respective places in this new world.

Sarah said...

I like that every writer has a choice now, and I think that's the value of self-publishing. However, although I tend to ONLY read via e-reader, I still value the work of editors and yes, "gatekeepers."

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I've read crap books on both sides. Good thing about eBooks is I can preview the books, and if it's not good, I don't buy. I've found some amazing books that were self-published while reading those from the big New York publishers that had me wondering who on earth thought this was good.

LynNerdKelley said...

Thanks for the chuckle the groaner of the day gave me! I participated in a blog ring a couple months ago (I think) title "My Choices in Publishing." Each of us posted our opinions on which way we wanted to go, and there are various answers, and I learned a lot from the other six participant's posts. I also added lots of great links on the subject for readers to check out, and some of those links might help you make your decision. For myself, I'm going the self-pub route, for now at least. I spent a lot of time on this post and gathering the links. Hope it helps. I wish you good luck no matter which route you choose, and I'm glad you reposted this. Love this blogfest!

Clarissa Draper said...

It's not the same to say "I published the book" instead of saying, "A publisher liked my book enough to publish it", is it? To an extent, I see the benefits (i.e. profits) in self-publishing but there's a part of me that wants to be published by another person.

Jemi Fraser said...

It's so sad to see bookstores disappear - there's nothing quite like wandering in one. But, I also love my ereader and understand the allure of it as well :)

Margo Kelly said...

I love holding a book in my hands. And, I love spending time in a book store, touching the book covers, and reading the descriptions.

... I don't want it to go away!!

I'm a new follower from the DejaVu Blogfest - nice to meet you!

LD Masterson said...

DL - I think you're right that e-publishing will find a way to sort, segregate, something...but until then things are a bit messy.

Thanks for a fun fest.

LD Masterson said...

Lydia - I understand the e-book revolution but from a 'trying to get published' standpoint, it just messes with my mind.

Thanks to you, too, for a fun fest.

LD Masterson said...

Colin - Yup, that's pretty much it in a nutshell.

LD Masterson said...

Sarah - I think if every writer respected their work enough not to put it out there until it was ready, it would make a big difference. But I guess there are too many definitions of "ready".

LD Masterson said...

Alex - No argument there. I've read many a "published" book and thought, "Why?"

I've always previewed books before I buy. I just do it standing in the aisle at my favorite bookstore. Hmmm, that's probably why my husband hates going to a bookstore with me.

LD Masterson said...

Lyn - You're welcome on the chuckle. I like to torture my followers with groaners.

I'll be over to check out those links. Thanks.

LD Masterson said...

Clarissa - My feelings exactly.

LD Masterson said...

Jemi - My Nook is nice but I'm still a "real" book fan.

LD Masterson said...

Margo - Yes. Amen.

Thanks for becoming a follower. I've returned the favor.

Nancy Thompson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nancy Thompson said...

Hi LD - I'm a new follower via the Deja Vu Blogfest. Nice to meet you!

I so could have written this post. I share your sentiments exactly. I came to writing late in life, relatively anyway. Just when everything is changing. I keep hearing how it would have been so easy for me to publish my thriller traditionally just a few years ago. Bah! I'm always late to the party. But what are ya gonna do? I have that dream, to be published the old fashioned way. It's a form a validation I need for some reason. And I'm not giving up on it anytime soon, I'll tell you that much! Good luck to you, LD!

Liz Fichera said...

I am not opposed at all to self-publishing, although it is not the route I chose for myself. But, who knows? Maybe at some future date? The cool thing is that the world of publishing has been given a bit of a shake and I think that's a good thing. Change is good, especially in publishing.

Coleen Patrick said...

As long as the library doesn't go anywhere! That would be a huge change for me. :)

Sarah Pearson said...

If you'd asked me six months ago I would have been adamant that I wanted to be published traditionally. Now? I have no idea.

Larri @ Seams Inspired said...

While I love my laptop, I have no desire for an e-reader such as the Nook. I want to touch the paper, leaf through the pages, find the spot where I left off, and immerse myself in the story. I care not what anyone says...you just can't do that with an e-book. Besides...in Winter, I'm a book-in-the-bathtub kind of girl. The thought of electrocution while reading is unnerving. ☺ Happy Sunday, friend!

Creepy Query Girl said...

Great post to bring back to the table. The debate is still on and while self publishing is oh so tempting I'm still not ready to give up on traditional yet either. And I'm also anxious to see how the hoard of self published ebooks will be seperated- how those who rise to the top will fair compared to tradi pubbed books. great post!

LD Masterson said...

Nancy - Welcome. Thanks for following me. Looks like we share than same dream. Let's hold on to it together.

LD Masterson said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LD Masterson said...

Liz - I agreee change is good but when you're trying to find a way in, it's frustrating to have people rearranging the entrances.

LD Masterson said...

Coleen - Perish the thought!

LD Masterson said...

Sarah - Hard to figure out which way to go, isn't it?

LD Masterson said...

Larri - I don't read paper books in the tub either. I read a lot late at night and sometimes doze off and...well...most books are not good swimmers.

LD Masterson said...

CQG - I'm somewhat comforted by all the comments reflecting my own feeling on this - not giving up on traditional publishing and waiting to see who the quality work will find its place in the sea of self- published.

Theresa Milstein said...

I feel the same way. I want to publish the traditional way, but I know it's getting harder than ever. What it means to be published has changed and is changing evermore.

LD Masterson said...

Theresa - with no end in sight.