Publishing 2011: The Wild Wild West

Publishing 2011: The Wild Wild West

By Pamela DuMond

If you follow any of the popular writing blogs, you’re going to get a big dump of information and multiple opinions on how the publishing world is changing by the hour. It is the Wild Wild West.

Self-publishing queens like Amanda Hocking and Karen McQuestion are inking deals with big publishing houses.

Big name authors like Barry Eisler, J.A. Konrath are bolting from the big publishing houses and opting for self-publishing. They feel they have the fan-base and that the numbers are on their side to flex their self-control muscles and go it alone.

I’d like to say, “Kudos to all of you brave souls.”

While it’s never easy for a new author, right now is a time filled with possibilities that haven’t existed before.

Anyone who has written a book or a screenplay or ten of both, knows that writing is not for the weak of heart. It's hours of writing, re-writing, seeking feedback and editing.

Then you might wonder - Where do I go with this book? Two years ago, self-published books, especially fiction, were basically considered to be the red-headed step-child. That’s changing.

My first novel, Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys was published in paperback and in e-format by a small Indie publisher, (Krill Press,) in November 2010. You’re not going to walk into a B&N and see my book on the shelf. Why? We have no distribution for the paper books at physical bookstores.

While the e-book versions of Cupcakes, Lies, and Dead Guys are selling very well, the paper books are languishing unless book stores, especially Indie Bookstores, decide to carry them. (Hint-Hint. I would totally love to be in really cool stores like Mysterious Galaxy.)
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore in San Diego, California

I was recently interviewed by by Nancy Denofio and Meg Collins who are co-hosts of Page Turners, a Red River radio show. Their guest asked my opinion on Self-publishing vs. Indie vs. Traditional Publishing Houses. Who was the best? As a writer, what route should you go?

I don’t think there is one sweeping answer for everybody or each project. I do think you must look at each individual piece of writing and go with your gut.

Example #1. I’m currently working on a non-fiction self-help book that will give readers easy inexpensive tips to look and feel younger. I’ve been a bodyworker and have given my clients these tips for twenty-seven years. I will self-publish this book.

Example #2. My fiction WIP is a YA romance thriller. I feel it is a strong commercial story and needs a big publisher. I’ll be seeking agent representation for that ms and hope that it sells to a big house. If it doesn’t, I’ll punt.

Example #3. The second book in the Cupcakes series. Considering how well the first Cupcakes book turned out and is selling, I’d be thrilled to give it Krill Press. But there’s a part of me that would love to see my Cupcakes books in bookstores as well.

(BTW - do yourself a favor check out the other writers that Krill has published. They are an awesome group of mystery writers and I am tickled to be part of this small but very cool club.)

Whichever publishing path you are contemplating, remember there are no short cuts. You still have to write and edit the heck out of your ms before you put that baby out there. Be brave and persevere. Because right now it really is the Wild Wild West.


Pamela DuMond


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