Monday, March 7, 2016

Dream A Little Dream

It’s been a brutal month with my move from one lovely Southwest state to another, a trip with my oldest daughter for a scholarship competition, and assorted other life events!

However, I read with great interest this blog post by Chuck Wendig (as well as all comments): How Much Should Writers Pay To Be Published? Now, I don’t know Steve Alten (and have only read one of his books, MEG), and until Chuck’s post had never even heard of A&M Publishing. Is it a "traditional publisher" (with some non-traditional ideas), a vanity publisher, or worse, an outright scam? I’ll let everyone decided that on their own, but the whole thing served to remind me how easy it is to prey on people’s hopes and dreams, and how very, very lucky I am.

I’m now three months away from THE FAR EMPTY's release, and my publicist is just starting to put together tour information, and ARCs are being sent all over the place...

This dream I had – of walking into a bookstore and seeing my book there – is really going to come true. I beat the odds, slipped by the guards, got struck by publishing lightning…whatever you want to call it. There are thousands of better writers who haven’t been so lucky (at least not yet), and there’s no guarantee that this opportunity (because that’s all it really is) will pay off. After my book comes out, after all the reviews are written and the court of public opinion weighs in, I could just as easily slip right back into the querying trenches, looking for a new agent or publisher. But if I'd never gotten my break, would I be as willing and quick to dismiss the sort of “package” A&M is offering? One could very easily argue that it’s really just another kind of opportunity, another chance to see a dream realized. It's true value can only be measure by how much that dream is worth you.

As I’ve said here before, everyone’s publishing path is different. Now more than ever, there are so many publishing models (Indie, Traditional, Hybrid, and everything else) that it's hard to call one necessarily better than the other. There is no one way, and there are very few “right” ways: there are only the ways that you’re comfortable with and that meet your criteria for success. While I think it's important for professional writers who have already blazed the trail to warn others of the pits and dead falls (and I think Chuck does a great job with his cautionary examination of A&M Publishing), and although I personally have reservations about any sort of pay-to-play publishing venture, I think it's also important to remember that at the heart of all this are writers just trying to get their work out in the world. They're proud of what they've accomplished, and they're still just looking for their lucky break, their lightning strike, their opportunity...

And that’s what dreams are made of.

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