Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Guest Post: When I’m Queen of Publishing

Original Title: Tapped
Series: Pipe Woman Chronicles, #3
Author: Lynne Cantwell
Release Date: December 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Ah, winter in South Dakota…

Naomi’s caught some kind of bug, and she hasn’t seen Joseph in weeks. But she lets Shannon drag her on vacation: a road trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation to find Naomi’s father. There, they find more than they bargained for: a dream wolf, a mysterious walled compound that might or might not belong to Loki, and a lot of snow.

Shannon certainly knows how to show a friend a good time…

When I’m Queen of Publishing

- Guest Post by Lynne Cantwell 

The publishing industry has been undergoing a major upheaval during the past several years.  For decades, publishers had held all the power over authors. They had put publishing contracts on a pedestal and convinced writers that the only way to be taken seriously is to have one, while simultaneously cutting back on hiring unknown authors and offering contracts with lots of zeroes to celebrities who can’t write their way out of a paper bag.

When I’m queen, things will be different.

First, I will wrest the publishing houses out of the hands of their corporate overlords – you know, the ones who insist that editors do more with less so that their CEOs and stockholders can rake in profits.

Then I will require that editors get back to editing.  Instead of having them spend their time chasing celebrities, they will have to find and nuture real writing talent.  I’ll also hire a ton of copy editors, because spelling and grammar mistakes annoy me.  Publishers will still be allowed to send books overseas to be scanned into digital files, but I will enact a stringent quality control requirement that the resulting digital files match their source material exactly, before they’re released as e-books.

Speaking of e-books: They are, of course, the wave of the future.  When I’m queen, publishers will have to compete against Kindle Direct Publishing and Smashwords the old-fashioned way – by dropping their prices, instead of colluding to keep prices artificially high.

And there will be no more of this attitude from publishers that indie authors are no-talent hacks.  A lot of indies have gone indie over the past couple of years not because they can’t write, but because publishers have made it so difficult for a new author to break into the business.

In addition, as queen, I will not tolerate vanity publishers – those companies that prey on the hopes and dreams of writers by overcharging them for substandard editing and marketing services.  Vanity publishers will have to clean up their act, or I will put them out of business.

I fully expect that industry executives will moan and groan about my reforms, and call me a socialist and worse.  But it won’t matter, because I’ll be queen.  They won’t have any choice but to obey me.  And maybe, eventually, they will come to understand that I’ve restructured the industry for their own good.

Publishers can blame Amazon for allowing just anybody to publish a book – and they do.  But indie publishing has become a juggernaut precisely because of the failings in the traditional publishers’ current business model.  Smashwords and Amazon simply tapped into the frustration of would-be authors who couldn’t get the time of day from the Big Six.  The resulting indie groundswell has revealed the publishing industry’s shaky foundations, and so they’re running scared.

You think they’re scared now?  Ha!  Just wait until I’m queen.

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