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"Hard is not hopeless." - General David Petraeus

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Do You Get Tired Of The Publishing Game?

I know I do.

As a member of ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers: ), I have access to many great benefits from various online courses regarding writing and the business of writing as well as the expertise of many in the industry - writers, agents and editors. But being a part of a professional organization like this is also a double edged sword.

While I don't think they set out to be discouraging, people in the industry are often that - discouraging. Writers living in the present age have a much more unpleasant road before them then writers in decades past. I don't profess to know exactly what a writer's life entailed in the old days, but it seems to me they just had to concentrate on crafting great stories, and someone else did all the nasty marketing and other business related tasks associated with it.

Nowadays it appears that authors have to do most of the work and foot the bill for it too. In addition to the fact that advances are shrinking and sometimes non-existent, publishers don't put any marketing dollars into new writers.

That's what they have to do in the publishing climate of the times. I get it. Business is business.

But I can't think of any writer I've met who has aspirations to be published who wants to lose money. I always thought it was supposed to be the other way around. 8-) Don't get me wrong. Any business person, including writers needs to build advertising expenses into their endeavors, but this just seems awfully daunting to a new writer.

And it's easy to say "What's the big deal? Just throw up a website, print some bookmarks" etc and so forth. But there is a high price tag for that stuff. Do you have a powerful enough computer to manage a website? Do you even know how to build a website? If you don't, do you have the budget to obtain someone who does? How much do all the promotional tools run?

It all adds up very rapidly.

I feel like Dr. McCoy when he says "I'm just an old country doctor." Yeah. "I'm just an old time writer." I just want to write the books I can't find on the market.

But guess what? If I want to be published, I have to play the publishing game. And at present, I am overwhelmed by all the recent chatter about market comparisons, advertising, marketing plans and the like. And it is stealing energy from me that I don't have to spare.

And as I am in the midst of my final re-write before submitting my manuscript, I'm going to tune out all this marketing biz stuff. Sure. I know. I can't avoid it forever. But for right now, I just want to write the best story I possibly can. Then I can torment myself later with the business aspects.

And while I'm writing, I'm just going to pretend I'm Zane Grey, in my cabin up on the Mogollon Rim, writing away and relaxing. I'm going to remember why I write in the first place.

And all that marketing and business stuff be hanged.

At least for now.

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