When my husband wants to tell me about the techie aspects of what he does, I find my mind glazing over. But when he wants to tell me about the political angles, who is trying to do what, I am all ears. Politics fascinate me. It probably goes with the writer game.
Politics are an important aspect of publishing. Most people know that I write romance novels and have been bringing them out since 2011 when the option of doing eBooks became a reasonable option for writers who didn't want to go the corporate route. It's not only possible now to be an indie, but it can be rewarding-- even financially. There is though, in a corporation or not, no escaping the political aspect of it. This week several articles were brought up in some of the author groups. I thought it'd be good to share them as illustrating how politics impacts marketing a book.
The thing that triggered my interest was someone speaking about how they'd been told a writer had a better chance of winning the lottery than getting a book contract from a big publishing house or agent. What I commented was:
What some don't understand is that many indie writers don't want that kind of contract. I know that irks those who have one, those like the Huffington Post writer, who put down indie writers; but some of us want to have the freedom to bring out our own books. The last time I sent off query letters was in the '90s. I got far enough to have the manuscripts read and get back reasons why they were not accepted. Their needed changes weren't ones I wanted to make. When the option of eBooks came up, I knew it was what I wanted and have never looked back. I don't want someone else dictating my covers, demanding changes to my characters. Indie writers rise or fall on their own and a lot of us like it that way. The only ones controlling how our books do are readers. That seems fair to me.There are those saying if a writer doesn't have a publishing house, which that person was saying was unlikely, they should not bring out their books.
What the writer is trying to create an agenda, a political atmosphere, where respectable writers need agents and publishers. What happens next to the writer who believes that you're nothing without a corporate publisher?
You don't publish your books out of shame. Or you change your book to suit the corporate needs... or you find a smaller publishing house with less rules, which is where they can lose the right to their own books or end up caught into the web of a deceitful business.
Check out the following article for what has happened to some authors and readers who trusted that a professional publishing house must be safe. There are two articles. The link is to the second. Follow it to the first if that is of interest (and if you are writing books and haven't published them yet, it should be).
It might seem these things are not really political, but they are. Politics leads people to do what they must to succeed. We see it most obviously in government offices, but it's everywhere. Unless someone has made it clear to themselves, what they are willing to do to succeed, the traps are out there.
For writers, who need networks, it can be very interesting to explore the politics of the publishing game and that is true whether an indie or in a corporate stable. Politics are at the essence of the tribe and the tribe is at the essence of all human communal connections.