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It seems to me that in this day and age of Internet Access, it is getting harder and harder for traditionally published authors like myself to get into the existing markets.  It is not to say it is impossible.  I have regular publishers who will still look at and consider my work.
It seems to me that in this day and age of Internet Access, it is getting harder and harder for traditionally published authors like myself to get into the existing markets.  It is not to say it is impossible.  I have regular publishers who will still look at and consider my work.

But we seem to be reaching a point in the publishing industry where it is getting harder and harder to earn kudos for good edited writing (as in, my editors are important people to me because they keep me from looking like an illiterate baboon on the keyboard) and the crap that is regularly pooped out of the backside of the bestseller machines. 

I catch myself no longer reading new writers, but instead going back and rereading the old ones who pleased me and inspired me.

I cannot help wondering if those people would have been published professionally (as in selected by the aforementioned editors and have their careers developed until they achieved bestsellerdom) in this new age of narcissism, or would they now be forced to take up the challenge of writing and selling their own stuff directly to a fan base by self-publishing?

My earliest works in the fiction department were published professionally.  I was one of "Marion's Favorites."  I was a writer who was selected by Marion Zimmer Bradley herself because she took a liking to my work.  She became my Literary Mother, encouraging me to spread my wings, write a few novellas and put them together and send them to a publisher and tell them I was one of her favorite writers.

I think I tried it once, and didn't notice any difference in the way I was rejected, other than getting a personal note encouraging me to try again with something else.

Which I did.  Again and again, to the point that I nearly got so frustrated, I almost made the amateur mistake of putting my own first novel together to sell via self-publications.  I knew there was a right way and a wrong way to do it, and I was getting just desperate enough to see my name on a novel...

But of course, I did not give in to the urge.  I sold my first novel instead to a small press (that is still one of my main publishers to this day because I like working with Yard Dog Press).

There was no instant fame or fortune.  Just because your book gets professionally published does not mean you will leap to the top of the charts unless you are willing to do a little song and dance routine to convince book lovers who still believe in the power of the printed word to take home your novel instead of the work of the Big Name Author readily available in every language piece of work.

And no, I am not knocking the writers who make it big.  Many of them, I know started small like me.

I have this long trail of a career behind me now.  I am getting older and less patient--more easily frustrated, as a matter of fact.  There are days I don't want to go into a bookstore and see all the shiny new novels by shiny new authors because they have not worked as hard or long as I have to achieve what little I have gained in this profession, and already, they are being called the Big Name Authors of This Week.  I catch myself grumbling under my breath that if they are under 35, it is not fair.  God only knows they have not lived enough of a real life to have anything real to write about.

Yeah, I know.  I write "fantasy."  Who am I to judge?

But I digress. 

I have a novel that "nearly" got published.  I say "nearly" because the publisher decided at the last minute that they were closing down their fantasy line, and instead of going ahead and publishing all the books they had contracted and paid for (and they had paid me an advance which I was not obligated for contract reasons to return because they initiated the shut down not me, and they had even hired a great cover artist, the one and only Alan Clark, to paint me a most fabulous cover--and yes, they paid him too), they decided to kick about half the books off the lineup and call it quits earlier than they originally announced.

So my Angels of Mercy, a dark urban fantasy novel about Elves in East Tennessee, never got to be read and loved and maybe live up to the hype all the folks I let read it before hand gave me about what a great bestseller it would make.  Shoot, I had visions of Tim Burton picking it up for a movie, and even letting Johnny Depp play the Erl King (he would have been SO good in that role) or even Crazy Tom.

Alas, the book sits on my computer, and Clark has the picture for sale on his website.

I debate taking that novel and self-publishing it.

But then, I debate a lot of things anymore.

Comments

( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
laurajunderwood
Jan. 27th, 2014 06:46 pm (UTC)
For anyone interested in seeing Mr. Clark's cover for Angels of Mercy, go here:

http://ifdpublishing.com/zencart2/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=5_35&products_id=340
dhawktx
Jan. 27th, 2014 09:06 pm (UTC)
Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it!
Pretty please, if 'only' as an e-book?
laurajunderwood
Jan. 27th, 2014 10:19 pm (UTC)
Re: Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it! Do it
LOL! We will consider it. But we also know we need hype from readers to make it worth my time. ;-)
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )

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