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Wolves at the door

Self-publishing perspectives 2015

From Rick:

As we begin 2015, I thought it would be good to provide encouragement and some warnings to writers.

First the encouragement. Some prophets of doom are predicting that the self-publishing boom is over for indie authors and that it’s going to become more dog-eat-dog than before. The following article argues compellingly against those naysayers.


I see no reason to dispute this perspective. It makes sense that individuals with little to lose and who don’t have to answer to stockholders and the corporate world will be able to navigate the changing world of publishing. Indies have the advantage of being able to switch gears at any time, unlike big corporations. After all, the new age of self-publishing is over six years old and the Big Guys are just now embracing it.

Now, let me provide further proof of the type of positive changes happening. Check out the link below.


In a time when some agents are siding with publishers and bemoaning the sad state of self-publishing, here’s one who’s doing what a good agent should be doing: working for the author. It’s encouraging. I applaud this agent who has chosen to believe in and stand up for clients instead of accepting a “no, thank you” from publishers who care more for profit than for good writing.

I’m going to say something that seems to run counter to our philosophy here of writing well. Yes, it helps to craft great prose, but even if we do, that’s not a guarantee of success. The most important thing is to craft a great story first. We’ve said it before: all the great writing in the world won’t help if the story sucks.

However, a great story can overshadow—partially at least—weaker writing as long as the writing is still reasonably competent.

Now, let’s look at the darker side of self-publishing for a moment— the wolves out to prey upon unsuspecting authors. Unscrupulous self-publishing companies—Vanity Presses—have been around for decades, but now they have taken a new approach and have found new allies: the big traditional publishers.

Here are two links to read if you’re considering using some company to publish your book for you.



And this is by no means the only one out there. There are many others, but this is the most insidious and growing one—and one of the worst. Any company that offers you an “all-in-one publishing package” that will cost you several thousand dollars is almost certainly not legitimate. Do your research carefully and remember that thousands of indie authors have successfully self-published without the assistance of a publishing company (as opposed to an actual publisher who foots the bill for most of the publishing expenses).

I’m going to end here, a short post indeed, and I wish each and every one of you much success in 2015. Scott and I will be here, continuing to provide what we hope will be good advice and assistance.

Our Punctuation Book (working title: Punctuation for Fiction Writers) is in the queue to be published in February or early March of this year by 13Thirty Books. In the coming weeks, we’ll be telling you more about it and giving you a taste of its contents along with some punctuation tips.

We’ll also be starting a series on book cover design and another one on the practical aspects of self-publishing, a tutorial of sorts we hope, so keep following us.

Let’s help make 2015 the Year of the Indie!


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