A Writer’s Life

Today I thought I’d give you a peak into my writers life.

At the end of July I was at the Romance Writers of America (RWA) National conference, where I attended workshops, met with editors and agents and networked.

I thought today I’d talk about changes happening within writing right now.

Now that I’ve had a week to digest the RWA National conference I realize the buzz word at conference was “change.”

Most of us, including me, don’t like changes in our lives.  We like our routines, our quirks and how we do things.  Change is almost always hard and probably always will be.

The writing industry is changing practically daily.  It has been going on for a while, but not quite at the pace I’ve seen in the last eight months.

Self-publishing (some call it indie-publishing) jumped into the market place in 2010, in 2011 it really began to take form with the sale of the Amazon’s and Barnes & Nobles e-readers and tables.  Amazon opened their own self-publishing arm as did Barnes & Noble.  Smashwords took off along with others.

Some self-publishing authors are making lots of money, others are barely making back their expenses in getting the book out there for the public to read.  RWA has had to look at self-publishing and figure out if there is a place in the organization for them.

Editors and agents are having to change how they look at writers, while not all of them are going to make things better for the writer, they are beginning to realize that authors have choices.

So as authors we now have several routes: Traditional (NY print), E-Publishers (e-book only and some print) or Self-Publishing (do it yourself).

I know some people won’t like the do it yourself tag I put on self-publishing, but it really is do it yourself.  You must find an editor, a copy editor, a cover artists as the writer, and you will pay out of pocket for these services before you ever put your book up to sell.  And those services can cost you thousands, depending.

I do know authors who have wonderful people they can rely on to edit and copy edit their work for them.  But many don’t have a big circle of people they can trust like that.

Change is scary.  I don’t advocate one method of publishing over another, I just ask people to think long and hard about their choices.

My choice will not be your choice. I found myself at RWA defending my choice of publishing.  Each person has a different motivation for writing, and it will eventually show up in the writing.

For now, things are going to be in flux.

For all the readers of this blog, have you read a self-published book?  Did you enjoy it or not?  How do you fee about self-published books?

Have a great day.

About marietuhart

I'm an erotic romance writer currently published with The Wild Rose Press under the Scarlet Rose line.
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22 Responses to A Writer’s Life

  1. Maria D. says:

    I’ve read some self published books and they were okay – I think, like anything else in life, you will find some great, some good and some bad in self published books – the best thing to do with any ebooks these days if you have a kindle or nook or even just their apps is to get a sample chapter of the book to see if you like the authors voice. There are some valid reasons to go the self-pub or indie way and then there are some valid reasons for why some books get rejected by traditional publishing.

  2. I have read some self-published books. Some of them are good and some are not. Marie Force has made a huge splash in the self-pub industry. She is making A LOT of money but just as you said, I know many people who barely make anything and are good solid writers. It’s hard to say which is “better”, especially now with the implosion that’s happened with both Aspen and Noble. I think a lot of writers are going to seek out self-pub more. In the future, I know I’ll be looking into it myself.

  3. susanhow says:

    I read you article since returning from RWA. It let us readers know how challenging it is now for independent writers, and looks to be that way for some time to come. Can independent writers form a group of their own and pool editors, arts, copy proof editors,etc.? Perhaps a group of writers, all coming to market at the same time might get a better deal on some of the specialized service that the big publishing houses provide.
    I used to manage a large group of professional technical writers, most of whom are now out of work. I’ll bet many if not most of them would jump at the opportunity to edit and help for the chance to read more books (and probably a little $$).

    Susan

    • marietuhart says:

      Hi Susan, finding a good editor who understands romance novels can be a challenge, as well as the prices. There are a few groups already out there starting to gather this information. I wish the independent writers the best of luck.

  4. Eileen says:

    yes I have and you probably could see a difference in editing. No matter what, if the story isn’t good it isn’t going to get read. Good stories get out there by word of mouth. It is a whole different world out there for authors and it more than writing it. You have to promote and tour, even if it is virtual online. I don’t know how you do it but I guess if you want to get it out there you have to do it by every and all means.

    • marietuhart says:

      Hi Eileen, great comments. My feeling has always been, if the story is good, a reader will find it and read it. But yes, now we have to do a lot more promotion.

  5. Hi Marie, I Indie pubbed a short erotic shapeshifter romance just to see if I could get through all the tech stuff. Managed it, but it was tough for me, given I’m not really tech-oriented. Now, I’m finishing what has turned into a novel… it began life as a short story… an erotic shapeshifter cowboy romance. I decided to Indie pub this particular book for several reasons. One, it’s based around the fictional shapeshifter/supernatural town of Talbot’s Peak that a group of us authors created from a flash scene written by one of us. I already shared several flash scenes on our ShapeShifter Seductions blog, and my publisher only wants so much of the story in public. Plus, I have more freedom to develop the story out of bounds, so to speak. That is, having other Talbot’s Peak characters show up. Likely, an editor would consider them superfluous. I’m on the final chapters, and over 75,000 words. So, we’ll see. It’s been a tough year, too. Lots of life interruptions. Hopefully I’ll get this story done, and out there for readers who like this sort of genre. Being biased, I like how the plot developed, and I’m in love with my heroine and her heroes. ~smiles~

  6. Clare O'Beara says:

    I hav not yet read a self-pub but I certainly would, if I liked the genre and it came with good recommendations. A recommendation from a friend means more to me than a blog, which I probably will never find on the page of an author I’ve never heard of. I read reviews on Amazon to help me choose so maybe once it is selling you could get someone to review it there.

    • marietuhart says:

      Hi Clare, I’ve only read self-pub novels by friends. Maybe others have recommendations. I’m pretty picky on what I read and yes a word of a friend does mean more than a blog. I’ve read almost the reviews on a book on Amazon just to get a feel for the book.

  7. Hi Marie, Thanks for the insight on life of writers!
    I didn’t realize it was that hard for you guys.
    I don’t think,I have read any independent writers books , but i have read some indie books and enjoyed them. I try not to go by what some of the reviews say about books, I like to be my on judge if i like a book or not. I go by the title and and the description,If it gets my interest than I’ll read it..
    If the book can grip you at the beginning to end . Than I say that’s an awesome book!.
    Good Luck!
    I look forward to reading more of your books. :)
    Thanks Teresa

  8. marie says:

    Self publishing is a wonderful thing…IF…the author is willing to LISTEN to the one she has hired to edit her books for her…and understand that editing takes a little bit of time to do as well! It isn’t just reading the book over the weekend and making a few spell-checks! A self-publishing author NEEDS a person OTHER than herself ,or an adult child who don’t want to make moma mad, doing the job of editing. Editing can takes weeks and does not need to be rushed into just a few days so a book can be put onto the market for sale… that is how major mistakes get published.
    Self publishing is a good way to go, but when an author does self publishing they need to remember that editing mistakes cost them money when people give the book bad reviews!

    • marietuhart says:

      Hi Marie, I agree. An author has to be willing to listen and take their time. We all know that even published books have mistakes/typos in them. I try really hard to make sure to catch all I can, but they do slip by. All authors have to do the work that is needed, a reader will forgive some typos, but not pages and pages full no matter how you’re published.

      • marie says:

        Exactly! Readers do NOT like seeing books that have several names changed in different spots ex: Jacob/Jarrod in several places throughout the book they also have a tendacy to not like copy/pasteing whole chapters of other books into series books just so that there is back ground filler or books that change scenes in a confusing manner. Self-publishers have to make sure they take their time to develop their characters out beyond just being macho or sweet and innocent (just an example) hot sex can only do so much….but it sure helps cover up shallow characters! They need to not rush books out every two or three months or so just for the money….this seems like something some I have read do. My feelings are if you are going to write a story (or do any job) do it to a high standard so people will see the pride you have put into the story (or job).

  9. Larissa Lyons says:

    Hi Marie – Great points. I started self-publishing my sexy Regency romances last year. There were a number of reasons I went that route but I’ll continue to do so. I’m glad to read everyone’s comments on the importance of good editing & proofreading; it helps confirm my decision to hire professionals for both jobs. Now if I could just get these pesky, slow-arse stories to write themselves… :) Larissa

    • marie says:

      I am trying to get a book finished (it is my first one…ever) and so far every time I have had a wonderful idea on how to wrap it up I have been driving…long distances of course….and can’t write it down! I am going to have to get a recorder! …LOL…I have decided though that it is better to write 1 to 4 books a year that have been edited well than to put one out every 2 to 3 months that have major eiditing mistakes(more than just a typo or grammer mistake here or there) and story lines that do not flow well. I have a very good friend that just quit her editing job (the author refused to make anything other than spelling corrections basicly) over something like that….people were and still are slamming the author on the reviews. She (the author) is more intrested in turning out a new book every 2-3 months to make money than in doing quality work.

      Good luck and much success!

      • Larissa Lyons says:

        Hi Marie! Yep, how well I remember writing that first book. Mine took four years. Congratulations on sticking with it and I hope you find your way to a great ending. I do a lot of my story thinking while driving (and in the shower :-)) and even though I keep trying the recorder, it’s just never worked for me. I always keep a spiral and a pen in the car, and I’ve been known to pull over when there’s a safe place and write like crazy, just to get the thoughts and ideas down. Don’t let those wonderful ideas escape!

        • marie says:

          Now that school is about to start back and I won’t have one or more of the kids in the car with me…. ALL the time …LOL…I am going to try that!

  10. marie says:

    Just an idea for those who (like me…well not yet…LOL) do self publish if you would like help with editing, and all the other “evils” required, check out any local colleges for students that you might can hire to help you. College kids are always needing money and they work cheaper than professionals. English professors may help you out by recomending people as well.

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