Something Sobering


I just read this article by Newt Gingrich and know it to be true.

It's sobering. Is anyone listening?
More on:  ,

About Paul West

Paul West is a freelance writer and novelist. Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Paul claims to be a "Prune Picker," though he now makes his home in Taylorsville, Utah.

You can follower him on Twitter: @PaulWWest

Published: Monday, March 30, 2009

Share this PostPin ThisShare on TumblrShare on Google PlusEmail This

Post a Comment

I received a question yesterday from one of my many followers (all 2 or 3 of you), Chas Hathaway. If I understand his question correctly, I'll attempt to address it. Here's the question:
I've heard that it's a good time to get into the independent publishing market.

Is that true? If so, what are the biggest differences between independent and industry publishing?
He was responding to my comment that for the time being, due to the economic downturn in the publishing industry I'm not sending out any more query letters.

Let me answer by first defining what I think he means by "independent publishers" and "industry publishers."

The way I understand independent publishers is that they are those companies that will publish almost anything you want published, but they do it for a fee. Sometimes, they are called vanity presses. It's great for publishing a limited number of works such as family histories, recipes for a church organization, or even a novel if you don't intend to make any money from the sales. Certainly, there have been some notable exceptions, but they are few and far in between.

Industry publishers, on the other hand, only publish writings such as non-fiction books and novels that meet their company's standards. Often, with large publishing houses, you need an agent to approach these companies. These companies usually pay an advance against royalties, plus when the advance pays out, they will continue to pay royalties as long as the book is in print and still selling.

Keep in mind, that to a serious writer, the money should ALWAYS go TO the author, never the other way around. If a writer doesn't care about the money, then the independent publisher may be the way to go. On the other hand, if a writer expects to sell his book and earn money from his writing, then the industry publishers are the way to go.

Keep in mind, however, that the book needs to be up to the industry publisher's standards. I go by the mantra: "if it isn't good enough to be published by a reputable "industry" publisher, it probably isn't good enough." That means, if they won't buy it, I need to either work to improve it, or start something new.

I hope this answers Chas's question, and questions regarding this subject anyone else might have.

Keep writing and reading.
Read More »
The error of youth is to believe that intelligence is a substitute for experience.

-- Author Unknown

(Try telling that to your younger boss.)
Read More »
I thought this video might be of interest to all my faithful readers (all 1 or 2 of you). Enjoy!

Also, have you checked out Basic Guy lately? He's made some great commentaries on our nation's situation. Check it out.
Read More »

I'm reading on several writer's forums about how bad the book-selling industry is doing right now with the down economy. I'm hearing (reading) that agents and editors are taking on very few new projects and selecting the ones they do take on with extreme care.

So, I'm thinking of stopping my querying for the time being (months, years) until the economy improves. I have nine outstanding queries. I think I'll see what comes of them, but wait to send out any more.

My thinking is I want to wait until the market improves so I won't get a bunch of rejections that otherwise could be acceptances. There are only a finite number of agents and publishing houses and if I exhaust them now, when they're not in the buying mood, I may have lost them possibly forever.

At least that's my thinking for the time being.

Anyone disagree?

Read More »