Comments on: Liam Card: Thoughts on the rise of self-publishing The website for the 2012-13 Edinburgh World Writers' Conference Wed, 28 Aug 2013 04:32:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Holly Worton Holly Worton Thu, 22 Nov 2012 21:55:00 +0000 Hello once again Liam. :) I just came across this Tumblr blog today. Check out this post:

Or this one:


I do understand that not all publishing professionals have such a disrespectful, snarky attitude. But I can’t shake the feeling that this person isn’t the only one who feels this way about authors.

By: Holly Worton Holly Worton Wed, 21 Nov 2012 21:22:00 +0000 Hi again Liam. Thanks for your reply!

I agree that writers should strive to create a quality product which, in theory, should sell. But there are so many reasons why great books are rejected: the publisher isn’t sure how to categorize the book, there isn’t a clear target audience for it, or the book is great but the author doesn’t have an established platform. These, among many other reasons that I think we’re all familiar with.

And I think that until the big publishers get their act together and figure out how they’re going to change their business model so they can survive the major changes that are happening in the industry, they’re going to be increasingly conservative in their choices. Both publishers and booksellers are acting out of fear: how else can you explain the silly boycott of the latest Tim Ferriss book? It has now been banned by over 1,100 US bookstores…simply because he made the move from a Big Six publisher to Amazon Publishing.

By: Liam Card Liam Card Mon, 19 Nov 2012 16:48:00 +0000 Hi Holly! Thanks for the reply. I agree the the business of book publishing is in a forced state of transition. So is the music business and the film business for that matter. Having said that, there are still hundreds of publishers around. I have to believe that the cream rises to the top, and if an author is a true artist and tells a gripping, compelling story – that story will be purchased. It doesn’t seem realistic that dozens of publishers (of varrying sizes and budgets) would ALL pass on a fantastic story with great writing. Yes, publishers want stories that will sell. We are in full agreement there. But as writers, aren’t we in the business of writing stories that will sell? Aren’t we in the business of crafting compelling tales and taking the audience on an unforgettable journey either a journey of character or or via a literal journey or adventure? Saying to dozens of publishers, “you just don’t get my work. You just want something commercial” doesn’t cut it for me. Even some of the quirkiest takes (traditionally very NON-commerical) get published if the writing is creative and of high-quality. And yes, perhaps publishers will grab a story that is lacking the highest craftsmanship due to a very commerical genre … but ALL publishers won’t pass on a well-crafted, well-written, compelling novel that isn’t rooted in sex, vampires, werewolves, and magicians. Maybe a huge publisher would, but not all. Not the boutique publisher addicted to craft and good story-telling.

But again, if you already have an audience, and have conviction in what you’ve written and don’t require the traditional publishing engine…then go to it. Absolutely. Self publish.

By: Holly Worton Holly Worton Mon, 19 Nov 2012 14:21:00 +0000 Your perspective on traditional publishing seems very romantic and idealized. In reality, publishers aren’t necessarily choosing the quality of the craft/storytelling, but rather how easy the book will be for them to sell. Think 50 Shades of Grey: the book is an example of awkward, poorly written prose…but it was a hit! An easy sell. A truly fantastic investment for the publisher.

Publishers are in business, and they’re desperately clinging to an archaic business model that just isn’t working anymore. It’s bulky. They have way too many people on the payroll. They aren’t agile, and it’s difficult for them to adjust to the changes in the market.

As a result, they need to choose the books that are an easy sell, not the ones that are necessarily the best examples of sensational writing or storytelling.