Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Terrible, Fond War

Remember how much the Empire and the Rebel Alliance hated each other? Going out of their way to track each other down and have epic space battles that always somehow hinged on whether one little robot could open a door in time? Remember when WWF and WCW was literally a Monday night war? How they used to risk losing viewers and fans just to do a stupid (and probably a little inappropriate) sketch that made fun of the other company?

Yeah, that's the self-publishing clique vs. the old-fashioned agency-model crowd. It's gotten bloody, and we haven't even gotten to the worst part of it yet.

People like Joe Konrath are calling all evil to themselves by encouraging all new and mid-list authors to self-publish via Kindle, Nook and Smashwords. Then you have agents like this one who are shocked (SHOCKED, I tell you!) that ebook sales are so high. A little late to that party, methinks. Both sides have drawn the lines in the sand, and to paraphrase a former president, have said that "you are either with us or with the other people who are WRONG!"

I did a lot of research before making a decision. Tried to see the tea leaves, the clouds on the horizon and even look at the different battle plans drawn up by each side. They aren't secret, you know. Just look at Joe's blog, or read the blogs of different publishing houses. They have outlined how they think things will go. At this point, authors can't just write; now we have to be a modern-day Nostradamus, stroking our beards and writing our futures in every click of the mouse.

I read an article recently that said book sales are up 17%. Then I read a different report that said book sales are down 15%. The first article takes into account ebooks from Big 6 publishers. The second article doesn't account for any ebooks. Both articles are less-than honest, and more like the party-lines of the different political factions in this country. But then again, this whole debate - sorry, war - has become more political than anything. Neither side is right or left; they are old or new.

The bottom line of my decision was one of goals. Would I like to be the next John Grisham, Michael Connelly? What about the next Anthony Horowitz or Rick Riordan, since I'm writing adventure books for boys? The answer to those questions are yes and yes. But they are not the things that have to happen. I want people to read what I write, to enjoy it, to escape for however long it takes to finish each book, then go back to their lives with a smile on their faces. I want to be able to make some money off of my writing; not necessarily pay for a house in cash or own an Aston Martin (although a James Bond car like that would be cool). I want writing to be my second job for now. Which means it needs to actually pay me money sooner rather than years down the road.

I've decided to self-publish my adventure novel for boys entitled RICK FROST & THE ALASKAN ADVENTURE. It will be out in May or June. I have another Rick Frost novel that will be released by October. I've chosen sides. Every army needs to have a general; I'm following Joe.

For now.


  1. I think it's great that you are taking matters into your own hands with your writing.

  2. Hi Todd! I'm Gloria's daughter. Glad to see you are self-publishing. The research I've completed over the previous 2 years has indicated it's the right way to go these days. I'm not even sure I will try the traditional route.