Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Jumping Ship and Diving In

I might be making a big mistake. Well, not a big one; more of a medium-sized one. Ok, not even medium. It's really just a symbolic thing. No real effect on my life, my writing, my job, my family. The only thing that will even see the difference after my mistake is my Google Reader Inbox.

I unsubscribed to the blogs of literary agents. I'll let you pick your jaws back up off the ground. Take your time, you don't want to put those back in the wrong way.

Okay, welcome back. **Tangent Alert!** Oh by the way, did you know that the Google Chrome instant spell check reads "ok" as incorrect and wants you to make it "okay"? Don't know why I find that weird and cool at the same time, but I do. I'm weird and cool like that.

Anyway, I just unsubscribed to nearly every literary agent blog on my Google Reader list. The only ones I kept were those almost exclusively devoted to young adult and middle grade books because that's what I'm putting out right now. And I almost unsubscribed to those as well. Why would I do such a drastic (and ultimately unimportant and unspectacular) thing? Because I don't think these people know or want to know where publishing is going.

Ever seen the movie The Perfect Storm? Remember the secondary story about the sail boat on its way to the Bahamas with the two women and the older guy (side note, one of the ladies was played by Cherry Jones and the old guy was played by Bob Gunton; Jones would be the female president on '24' with Bob Gunton playing her Chief of Staff... I find that neat; I know, I'm a dork)? Well, the two ladies recognize that it might be a good idea to turn the boat around and head for safety. I think their first indicator was the gigantic waves crashing over the boat and the wind whipping up to over three digits. But the old guy keeps saying that they are fine, that the boat can withstand anything, and that they just need to ride it out. It'll go away. He doesn't really grasp what's going on until he's neck-deep in the Atlantic with the Coast Guard hovering overhead.

The people in the publishing industry that don't think their way of doing things is going down with that sail boat are the old guy. I'm not going to be the ladies who just accept his insane protestations until they nearly get killed. Let me make this clear; I do NOT think that books are going away, or that the publishing industry is going belly-up. I think the smart people in the industry will find a way to adapt. But right now, that ain't happening. They are still saying that the boat is strong, that the wind will die out and that the waves are not really that tall.

So, they are off my Google Reader. I am not going to be taking advice from people who don't understand the currents and the weather patterns. They don't get it. I think I do. Turn your boat and ride the wave to safety. Or in this case, to the self-publishing harbor. Am I wrong? Don't know yet. But I'm willing to bet my first few books on what I see on the horizon. Time will tell.


  1. times they are a-changin that's for sure! I only have a few agent blogs & they seem aware and concerned re: self pub. Jane Friedman posts helpful advice including self pub. Less is more, like twitter. You can't listen to everyone, you have to choose who sounds good enough to follow.

  2. I should do this same thing. I find myself not even reading their posts any longer. I just breeze right over them.

  3. I don't think the whole industry is going under either. I wish doomsayers would keep their doom to themselves.
    That said, things are changing but change can be good, right?
    Thanks for the tangent :)