Writers are blessed with many options now. No longer are we at the whims and fancies of the Big Six. We can still chase the brass ring and go after a deal with one of the big boys, but we can also self-publish or go with a small publishing house. Yes, there is a glut of writers out there now because of the increased availability of access to readers, and that creates even more competition, but so what? Opportunity abounds! This is not a time for high-noses. No writer should look down on any other writer. I don't care how badly you believe the quality of their work to be, there will be others who disagree with your opinions. Bad writing will disappear on its own. Readers will laugh at it, call it garbage, and not read any more of that writer's works.
All three of the publishing options I've mentioned produce bad books. The only way for a writer to rise above the mediocrity of garbage is to write a great book. That's all it takes. Simple. What could be easier than that? If you don't believe you can write a great book, either get into a different field, or change your mindset.
But you can't compete with the big guys because you don't have the money they have? You think their marketing plans will shoot your masterpiece into an abyss of obscurity. Bull shit! Every writer needs to become involved in self-promotion of their babies. There are many ways to do this: I won't get into all of them here because that would take a book in itself. Penny C. Sansevieri at Marketing Expert puts out a free monthly newsletter chock full of information. I will add her http:// to my blogroll. Even if you don't plan to go that route, Self Publishing Review, and Publetariat have many tips on promotion, and they are free.
A friend of mine had a book launch last night for her third book. She writes modern day western romance novels, and is quite good at it. When she held the launch for her second novel, she stressed the importance of brick and mortar stores. This was not particularly surprising because she had been the store manager at the Barnes & Noble where the launch was happening. She had quit that position and became an hourly employee because she wanted to have more time to write. For her, it worked out well. She quit entirely at the beginning of the year. She is published by one of the larger small houses, one of the first to come out in the eighties. The point I want to make here is that this year, there was no such statement made. Guess what? Her house now puts out ebooks as well as paper. Guess which one she makes the higher royalties on? It's the ebooks. Ebooks are leveling the playing field between the big boys and the smaller houses and those who choose to self-publish.
The road you choose to travel is up to you. My choice? I am going with a small house. There is a feeling of family that I like and want to embrace. This does not mean I am taking the easy way out. Small does not mean that quality control is lacking. Buy and read some tales from small houses and you will see what I am talking about. Some of these houses are very busy and can't accept submissions immediately. So what do you do? Knock their socks off with your astounding words and write a second novel so you'll be ready to jump forward. When your first novel is accepted, you are no longer relegated to the back of the line. You're front and center, baby!
At the top of this post, I mention mindset. I have big plans with my new works. I want to make my Publishing House proud that I am a part of their family. No way do I want anyone to say, "Oh he writes for . . . so he had to settle." I want readers to say, "I'm checking out . . . because if Blaze is writing for them, it means their other authors are also great." That's what I want for other writers, as well. When other great writers jump on board, the small house will become bigger. My editor will have to hire other editors to keep up with the demand. As long as we all write cleanly, the road will be great. All of us will not compete with each other: we will push each other to higher standards of excellence.
This is enough of me for now. Write masterpieces; choose your path; and promote your babies. Nobody else can do that job any better than you!