Dean Wesley Smith on ‘How To Get Started Selling Fiction in 2013’

I don’t always agree with the advice DWS gives on his blog. And that’s fine–he wouldn’t want me to. He wants writers to think for themselves, make informed decisions, and take control of their careers.

Today’s advice, though, I think is absolutely spot-on. It’s ‘an article on the good stuff and the bad stuff you face in getting to a solid career as a fiction writer‘.

Here are some snippets.

‘Examples (not all by a long ways) of some major myths in 2013 are:

  1. You need an agent to sell a book.
  2. You need an agent to sell a book overseas.
  3. You need an agent to sell to Hollywood.
  4. Traditional publishing gives you better quality in production and editing.
  5. If you lower your price to 99 cents on your novel, you will make more money.’

And the paragraph that really resonated with me, because it perfectly chimes with how I feel about writing:

The solution to [being in a hurry] is take a deep breath, focus on the writing and learning to write better stories and put the books out either indie or to editors or both and leave them alone. If you get a few buyers, great. If not, no big deal. Trust the audience and the editors to decide when you have graduated to professional-level storytelling.

I know ASCENSION POINT is a good book. I wouldn’t have published it otherwise. I had a professional editor tell me what was wrong with it–and there were a lot of things wrong with it. We fixed them.

Is it ‘professional-level storytelling’? Maybe. My readers so far have really enjoyed it. And I’ve got a few buyers, which is great.

Is it the best thing I’ll ever write? Not by a long way. And that’s fine. I want the last thing I ever write–at the age of ninety-two while living in a bubble city on Mars–to be that best thing.

But I’m getting there.

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Yet More On The Death Throes of Legacy Publishing

There were a couple of great blog posts today from two of the heavyweights.

Here Joe Konrath talks about the fallacy of the slippery slope argument that Amazon is out to destroy the publishing industry, so they can then jack up prices and start ripping everyone off.

“A lot of bookstores might blame Amazon for putting them out of business, or competing unfairly. Welcome to capitalism, kids. That’s like saying, ‘My girlfriend left me for another guy who is more attractive and treats her better.'”

And here Dean Wesley Smith writes about the many myths of indie publishing versus traditional.

You are guaranteed to sell more copies through a traditional publisher. Let me just try not to choke with laughter. Folks, I have sold books to traditional publishers that sold exactly 625 copies at last royalty statement. I have had books go out of print and the publisher still hold them at less than 2,000 copies. Some of those books I got advances beyond thirty grand. Trust me, selling to a traditional publisher doesn’t mean numbers of copies.”