New Trends in Publishing

I have heard it said that a writer should never include chapters of their novel on the web, especially at their website. I have also heard that self-publishing is the kiss of death for a novel. Many old school editors and writers profess that agents and editors will not consider that which has been published online or is self-published. Worse yet, self-published novels do not sell. Perhaps sometimes these things are true, but I am sure they are not true in all situations.

Seth Harwood recently spoke at the Redwood Writer’s Club on how to podcast your novel before it had reached publication. In other words, produce a chapter each week for others to download and listen to on their MP3 players. This way, your writing gets out there and you get an idea on how well your work is received. Mr. Harwood said that he actually sold his book by giving it away. You can read all about Seth here: http://sethharwood.com

J.A. Joshi is a self-published writer who I greatly admire. She participates in the Writer’s Digest online forum. Ms. Joshi also self-published Follow the Cowherd Boy through Trafford. In her mid twenties, she followed her own intuition about how to publish her book, went on a marketing spree across the country, and has shared many of her adventures with the writing forum. She now has a wonderful blog: http://jaijoshiz.blogspot.com/

As a writer, I think many of the rules to selling your work are timeless. Spelling and grammar should be impeccable, story should be well crafted and in line with what sells today. Read writer’s guidelines and follow them to a tee. Read the type of stories we like to write. However, I think that the acceptable manner of publication is changing as the internet becomes more predominant in our lives. Change is important, and it is even more important to move with the changing times.

In my own writing life, I am proud to say I am working hard on my novel. I am on chapter 11 (no, it is not about bankruptcy). While I was on vacation a few weeks back, I wrote anywhere from two to four hours a day. My goals are to write one to two hours a day on my novel, as well as write and sell more short stories.

What are your writing goals?

Happy writing to all!

7 thoughts on “New Trends in Publishing

  1. How flattering that you should mention me, Susan. Thank you!

    There's nothing more inevitable that change and the publishing world is changing. The problem is, as with any change, it's making people afraid. They shouldn't be. They should see that there are more possibilities and opportunities out there than ever before.



  2. Jai:

    I was going to let you know I had mentioned you, but thought..no, I'll let her find it. I really admire you for your tenacity and hard work with your book. Just carry that attitude throughout your publishing career. I love you blog, by the way!


  3. You're totally right! Times change and the rules sure change with them. Jump those gates like they don't even exist! (In a few years they really won't anyway.)

    Right now it's time to make your own path!

    Great post!



  4. Seth, you talk was wonderful at our last Redwood Writers Meeting. Forward movement is what change is all about, from new ways of publishing to marketing what you write. Thanks for dropping in!


  5. Susan, I'm glad your enjoying my blog. I'm having fun on yours too. And hey, our templates match! I didn't even realise it until the other day when I saw this post.

    Great minds think alike, eh?



  6. I do not agree that self-published books do not sell or that major publishers do not pick up self-published books. The ugly thing about these major publishers is that they seemingly ignoring art for the sake of profit. That is, they choose stories that have a greater potential to sell, nevermind if it's predictable. If a self-published book has to suck, it is not the self-publishing process but the author itself. After all, the beauty of self-publishing lies in giving the author full control of the entire creative process. This is why i agree with you when you said your work needs to be polished to perfection because a book is the reflection of the author.


  7. Migis,

    It depends. I have heard that good self published non-fiction will get picked up by major publishing houses quite often. However, it is rare for a traditional publishing company to pick up self-published novels. However, I think there are exceptions to every rule.

    However, just because a self-published book does not get picked up does not mean it cannot be profitable. The author has to do all the publicity work, marketing, advertising, etc., in order to sell their work.

    You are right- it is up to the writer to produce a well written book.


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