So Many Publishing Options…

writing at coffee shop

As many other (much more famous) people have said, this is a wonderful time to be an author. There are so many options open to us. We can self publish, we can publish with a digital-first publisher (of which there are many), or we can aim for a big New York publishing house (of which there are few).

There is no right way to publish.

Each person’s journey is just that; THEIR journey. Nora Roberts’ publishing journey is vastly different than mine (sigh), which is vastly different than, let’s say, my friend Kendall Grey’s journey. The thing is, no one way is “better” than another way.

If you want that contract with New York City, go for it. GO FOR IT. If in your heart of hearts you don’t want to be your own publisher, for God’s sake, don’t be. Write the best damned book you possibly can, and find someone else who will love your work enough to publish it. Then write another book.

If that is your dream, don’t let anyone tell you you’re wrong, or that the contract you’re so proud of signing sucks. In fact, be very careful who you share your contract with; make sure they are knowledgable about author contracts, can help you make a decision, and more than anything, make sure YOU know what you want out of a contract.

Be realistic, too. If yours is a first contract with a publishing company, and you have no track record at all, you’re not going to get the moon when you ask for it. I’m not saying don’t ask; just don’t be surprised if they come back with a simple “no,” and know what you’ll do when that happens.

Another thing. Just because you might have signed a contract with a publishing house that someone you know is also signed with, DOES NOT MEAN you have to share your contract details with them. (You shouldn’t ask about their contract, either.) And definitely don’t talk about your contract in specific across a lunch table with a bunch of other people listening in. Your contract is YOUR contract, and nobody else’s business. You don’t owe it to ANYONE to share details.

Contrari-wise, if a good friend is considering a contract and asks you what to be careful about, feel free to share your views. In person, and in private (which can happen in a corner of a ballroom full of people, believe it or not).

I guess this is my ranty way of saying, know what you want out of your career, and go for it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re doing it wrong. Whether you self publish, go with a small publisher, or hold that dream of an agent and a six figure deal with a New York publisher, that’s your decision and your journey. You may change your mind down the line, and there’s nothing wrong with that, either.

Know what you want, and go for it.

Don’t explain, and don’t apologize, for following your heart. Big, squishy hugs to you as you continue on the journey.

)O(

I’ve got an Author Page on Facebook now…it’s not very pretty to look at, but check it out and give me a “like” if you would!

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8 Responses to So Many Publishing Options…

  1. Liked your FB page! I also agree with your perspective on discussing the details of your contracts, (I don’t know about anybody else, but my publisher’s contracts have a watermark that reads CONFIDENTIAL across each page…so there’s that).

    • Christine says:

      Thanks for liking the FB page, Sam – so many new things to do, lol. My contract doesn’t have the confidential watermark, but I’ve heard rumors of a confidentiality clause in contracts with small publishers. Don’t know if its true, but interesting, yes? Cheers!

  2. Marie Miller says:

    The FB page looks great Christine.. Being an unpublished writer I am glad for all the information that will help me with my writing journey.. As they say, ‘knowledge is powerful!’ Will surely take heed and watch out for those options that will come my way up the line. Thanks for sharing all these information… especially for someone like me.

  3. Jenn Reese says:

    I think writers should absolutely talk about their contracts. Sharing information helps us, and keeping the information to ourselves helps publishers. We have a lot to learn from each other’s successes and failures at negotiations. If we each fight publishers or companies individually, we have no power. Authors need each other and I’d like to see this culture of “don’t talk about it” go away.

    • Jenn, I’m not saying you’re wrong, but I will say there’s a time and a place to talk about contracts, and I totally stand by my statement that you don’t owe it to anyone to share details. Plus contrariwise, if you DO want to share details, to be careful who you talk to. Not everyone is on your side, even if they are friends. And the fact is, if a writer doesn’t have a track record, they’re not likely to get the moon and the stars when they ask for them. (What are most people going to do with film and TV rights? Nothing. So keeping those rights, when a writer doesn’t have a track record, is kind of a waste, in my opinion.)

      I’m also not there with “fighting” publishers quite yet. They are business partners. Their power is becoming more and more limited each day as self publishing continues to grow and flourish, but they do have something some of us want, and in that, I believe, there’s a growth pattern that follows.

      The Production Assistant has a very important job on a movie set, but they aren’t calling the shots. They have to work their way up. I believe writers, too, have to work their way up. Few of us become superstars with our first book.

      Oh, and many contracts have a confidentiality clause now. Interesting, yes?

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