I’ve Run Into This Lately A Few Times…
Some writers are dead set on going to traditional publishing because they want someone to do the work for them. They believe their job starts and stops with writing.
And back in 1990, that was the case. You wrote and the publisher published. Writers had no control at all and honestly in 1990 should not have asked for it or tried to get it.
But that was thirty years ago. Writers now control everything, but beginning writers still come into writing wanting someone to do all the work for them.
I’ve been trying to figure out why, since indie publishing is so clear and fairly easy and cheap these days. Of course, the market-master indie writers make it seem impossible to new writers, but there are other places to learn the truth about how easy and cheap indie publishing really is.
So here are the reasons I think new writers are dead set on traditional publishing route.
1… Lack of knowledge and no skill or desire to learn anything past the myth of BEING PUBLISHED. (Those last two words echo off like from heaven.)
2… Scared of doing something wrong and ruining a career, even though they have no career to ruin and it is impossible to ruin a publishing career anyway.
3… Lazy. Taking control and learning how to do things sounds like too much work, and why put in work when you can get someone else to do it for you?
4… No real desire. They don’t want it bad enough. Publishing a novel is like a checkmark on a bucket list. So no desire to put in the time to learn anything past the myth.
5… Extreme fear of failure. Putting a book out and not having it sell more than a few copies (which is normal for novels #1 through #20 or so). Ego won’t allow failure. They don’t know that failure is a constant in any art form, and writing and publishing is no exception.
So with all that, it is easier for the young writer to say, “I’m looking for an agent.”
And all the family and friends go, “Oh, wow, that’s impressive.”
And then after a couple of years the family and friends stop asking how “the book” is going and the writer stops saying anything and the entire little hobby exercise is forgotten, the book nothing more than a file on an old computer.
The reason? No one would step in and take care of the poor little soul. Oh, pity, pity the poor want-to-be published author. Don’t get to check that off the bucket list. Better just erase it and pretend it was never there.
And yup, in a mood because of twice this week I got that kind of thing, with all the disrespect that comes with it. Maybe I need to start attaching my bio under every blog post. Doubt it would do any good because these writers just don’t want to work and my bio shows that all I have done is learn and kept on writing.
Here is my short bio… I have done a lot more than what I list here. As I said, this is the short bio.
Dean Wesley Smith bio
Considered one of the most prolific writers working in modern fiction, New York Times and USA Today bestselling writer, Dean Wesley Smith published far over two hundred novels in forty years, and hundreds and hundreds of short stories and non-fiction books. He has over twenty-three million copies of his books in print.
At the moment he produces novels in four major series, including the time travel Thunder Mountain novels set in the old west, the galaxy-spanning Seeders Universe series, the cold case mystery series, Cold Poker Gang series, and the superhero series staring Poker Boy.
During his career, Dean also wrote a couple dozen Star Trek novels, the only two original Men in Black novels, Spider-Man and X-Men novels, plus novels set in gaming and television worlds. Writing with his wife Kristine Kathryn Rusch under the name Kathryn Wesley, they wrote the novel for the NBC miniseries The Tenth Kingdom and other books for Hallmark Hall of Fame movies.
He wrote novels under dozens of pen names in the worlds of comic books and movies, including novelizations of almost a dozen films, from X-Men to The Final Fantasy to Steel to Rundown.
Dean also worked as a fiction editor off and on, starting at Pulphouse Publishing, then at VB Tech Journal, then Pocket Books, and now at WMG Publishing where he and Kristine Kathryn Rusch serve as executive editors for the acclaimed Fiction River anthology series. He took over the editorship of the acclaimed Pulphouse Magazine in 2018.