Okay, it’s been kinda busy around here. Not much writing in the “novel manuscript” sense, but writing in many other senses. It’s all good…though missing working on an actual manuscript. I’ve been trying to clean up my next book to be release, called Psychic, which is tied to Sleepwalkers and that novel’s Man With No Name (MWNN). It’s more action adventure and details the MWNN’s origins. Anyway, as I try to catch up with all the blog posts I’m supposed to be following while working weird hours, it’s interesting seeing all the points of view and feelings about indie publishing versus traditional. Not to be dismissive to the writers and their opinions, I’d read how some had gone “digital” with an “official” publisher for many reasons, one of which was that it gave them more time to write, versus doing all the “other stuff” we indie folk must do. I thought about that for a spell.
Would it really give you more time to write, going with an “official publisher”?
Okay, so, you go with the traditional publisher. You still have to promote, promote, and whatnot…and won’t that still come out of your extra time, your theoretically to-be-banked “writing time”? This, along with all your proofing and approvals and various and sundry interactions with your “official publisher” staff? Your agent?
I really don’t see how doing that saves nor lends any more time for writing than what I’m doing. See, I know I can’t do everything, so I don’t even try. I’m busy with a life and a full-time job like everyone else, and since I know I can’t do everything, I just work on what I can do, and make notes for the rest. No one is forcing me to “do” social media until I bleed out my eyes. I don’t do my own cover and I don’t do my content formatting. All I do is the writing, reviews, and approvals. Sure, I no longer have an agent, but I’ve already spent time editing and dealing with those who’ve poured over my manuscript over the years. Sure, I did not pay thousands for an “official editor,” but I’ve had writing fellows read it, have actually had people who were editors, at one point or another, read some of my work, and, well, as a tech writer myself, have done much of my own heavy editing. My agent at the time didn’t have too much to cut from my work, though the most ever edited out was on ERO (dang it, just saw Amazon further discounted ERO—sorry, Blackcatpratt!, but you did get a bonus book…), a handful (20 or so) pages—which I did. My eyes, other’s eyes. You still have to review what traditional publishers do for you, and you still have to create your pitches…or have already done so, so you just expand upon them for your marketing use. Still work I’m doing.
And working with my cover folk and content editors has been anything but “time consuming.” It’s been a joy—absolute fun! A fun respite from all that writing. You can’t write forever, you’ll literally hurt yourself, you have to take some breaks. During those breaks, you do other stuff. This is that “other stuff,” but, as mentioned, you’ll be doing the exact same thing! You’ll have to review your cover, your copy. Still no savings.
The “other eyes,” thing. Already mentioned that above, I’ve had other eyes on my work, some quite brutal (Inky! ;-] )!
Okay, “professional” eyes.
Done that, been there. Still no difference.
So, since I have never been privy to all that traditional houses do, perhaps I’m still missing something? I just fail to see where going with an “official publisher” saves anyone any “extra” writing time (hey, and let’s get real, here—how much time do you goof off during your day! Be honest!). It’s just another way of doing business! And that’s just fine. More power to you! You can get publisher name recognition and their distro channels, which I don’t have—but even my indie work has distro channels, and some name recognition by going through such outlets as Smashwords and Amazon. I still have a team of people I use, just like the “official publishing” staff; maybe not as “deep,” in hierarchy, and maybe some of mine pull double duty, but, as already mentioned, I still have my cover people, content people, and those who I’ve called upon to read and comment (and I do/have paid a small stipend for their efforts). Now, sure, thing is, I can disagree with my staff and get the last word, where, usually, the traditional staff does…but I’m not married to any of my words…just in making the best damned story. So, I’m very open to other’s opinions.
So, we both have to write, review, and perform on social media, attend conferences, get our names out there.
Where’s this extra writing time coming from?