How The Other Half Thinks

UPADTE: I stand corrected. Sarah A. Hoyt has published in conventional forms and has self-published. I apologize for the error. My main point, of course, still stands: She’s in the self-publishing, non-traditional vanguard and if you’re interested in knowing more about it, her blog and the specific post I mentioned are good places to visit.

UPDATE 2: It’s worth noting the obvious (which is so obvious it’s being overlooked): The fact that I’ve not self-published does not mean that I’m OPPOSED to self-publishing. Not in the least. I’m all for it. I have reasons for not having done so myself, and every single day, I wrestle with those reasons, and ask myself if they’re enough to keep me tied to conventional publishing.

For reasons that are still not clear to me, a post of mine that I zipped off in a moment of not-thinking-much has generated more comment and linkage than anything else on this blog besides the Pink Slime posts.

Among the commentary is this from a writer named Sarah A. Hoyt. She’s got nuthin’ good to say ’bout me. Alas. (I was amused by her first sentence: “I don’t mean to pick on this writer,” when in fact her intent is a full-bore assault on me, my work, my work ethic, my life, probably my height and weight…)

(Although I must say: I can’t figure out how she missed my name. I think of it as immodestly plastered all over my website. But maybe what I’m seeing isn’t what other people see????)

Her post is worth taking time to read because it exemplifies the way the “other half” thinks about publishing and writing. The “other half,” in this case, being the self-publishers who represent the vanguard of change in American publishing. If you’re interested in tracking the tension in publishing in the US today, take a look.

4 thoughts on “How The Other Half Thinks

  1. Perhaps you ought to check out Ms. Hoyt’s publishing credits before you assign her away to the “self-publishing” group you seem to have so little respect for. Yes, Ms. Hoyt does self-publish, but most of that is back list titles. She also has more than 100 short stories published in professional magazines and anthologies. She has somewhere in the range of 20 novels published by “professional” — legacy — publishers. What she is saying in her post is that there is a whole new world out there, one with a number of possibilities that are really better suited for non-fiction authors than for fiction authors — if folks would just take advantage of them. Enhanced e-books that allow for active linking to outside sources such as videos, maps, other primary and secondary source material are much better suited for non-fiction works. Think about the ability to write about Mozart’s creative process and then linking to a particular work to accent your point. Or to be able to show video of what goes on in any particular industry you might be writing about. Perhaps, if you can get past the feeling that you’ve been attacked, which you haven’t, you might actually see something in the post that can help you adapt to the changes that are coming, like it or not, to the industry.

  2. You are correct about SH’s publishing history; I’ll change that. Thanks for taking time to comment.

  3. Pingback: I May Live To Regret This . . . « Maureen Ogle

  4. You may not so much live to regret it as enjoy having your consciousness raised, the way men who don’t personally own slaves or oppress women sometimes realize with a thump that they enjoy many privileges they haven’t earned (metaphor – not implying you haven’t earned YOUR privileges).
    Even authors with a small potential reader-base might be better off financially and publicity-wise going directly to their readers. Might. Don’t forget that even if you decide it isn’t for you right now, things are changing so quickly that it may be better for you relatively soon.
    Self-pubbers have so many options for the production of their word, from expanded ebooks (where you could easily put a lot of the research that you do that now doesn’t get into the printed final product, and make some of those readers ecstatic) to printed books where you get to make all the decisions (especially those that are now made for you by your publisher that you aren’t entirely happy with). Consider revisiting the idea on a regular basis – you may be pleasantly surprised.


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