Yesterday, ex-literary agent Nathan Bransford wrote a post entitled ‘Be Wary of Anyone Who Tries To Tell You There’s Only One Way to Find Successful Publication‘.
His advice that there are many different routes to take rang true. Quite often, I see absolute statements bandied about the Internet, such as:
- Traditional publishing is dead. Anyone who takes that route is simply a slave to the blood-sucking Big 6.
- Self-publishers have no respect for the quality of their work.
- Agents are useless in this new publishing landscape.
- Amazon is going to take over the world and reduce us all to cyberbots.
- People who self-publish are going to hell.
(Okay, maybe I haven’t seen those last two, but you get the picture!)
If we believed all the rhetoric on the web these days, writers wouldn’t know which way to turn. Many seem to be divided into traditional versus self-publishing, each slinging dirt at the other for the decisions they make.
But aren’t we all writers, struggling to make a living? Shouldn’t we be celebrating the options now available to us, instead of decrying how naive someone is when they sign with a traditional publisher, or looking down at a writer when they self-publish?
Just because I have chosen to take the self-publishing route doesn’t mean I expect everyone else should. I can understand why some writers want to be traditionally published — not everyone wants to deal with the A to Z details of their books. I can see why some writers want agents, to help guide their careers and sell rights. And, of course, I can understand why writers wouldn’t want either.
The wonderful thing about the publishing world today is that we have a choice. And it’s up to the individual to make the right one for them, by listening to their gut and educating themselves on everything involved.
No amount of screaming from either side should change that.
Have you made your choice? What influenced you?