Publishing Is Hard

January 17, 2020

I have been listening to back-episodes from what is now called The 6-Figure Author’s podcast. I have alot of respect for the folks who produce it. They are all doing well as indie authors and take time out of their busy lives to share all of their marketing and practical writing knowledge and experience with other aspiring authors. Not just that, but they manage to enlist all sorts of industry experts and indie-author support system administrators to enlighten their listeners, as well. It has inspired me to think about the pros and cons of indie- or self-publishing versus traditional publishing.

Also, check out the end of this post to see the awesome new logo I made!


My current work in progress is called, The Regent’s Game.

Goal draft word count: 90,000  —  Current word count: 13,735

This book is a YA portal fantasy with steam-punk overtures. No, no, no wait! It’s awesome, I promise!

This is the half-done book I talked about pulling out of the cobwebs last time. I have a whole truck load of words already written, but since I have to basically re-write every word, I will be counting only the words that have been revised. I can generally get through about 20 pages in a sitting if I am uninterrupted. All of my big scary talk last time about protecting my writing time is still valid but I may or may not still be getting my serious and scary faces worked out.


My most recent post in The Adventures of the Andran Company was Chapter 6, A Princess and a Priestess. I am aiming to post Chapter 7, Ladies and Gentlemen, by Sunday night. At the moment, our intrepid and socially unconventional adventurers are living the good life in a high-end resort hotel intended for political officials and palace guests. Oh, did I mention they are on a mission in the Queendom of Keenhigh? Oh sure! The princess, heir, is in danger of being usurped. Never fear! Sol and her friends are there to save the day.


If you haven’t had a chance to check out the sensory writing exercise Show, Don’t Tell, Writing Exercise_ The Five Senses try it now. It is nothing revolutionary, but I got really tired of the cliche without any clear and concise explanations. That is the problem with cliches. Someone comes up with a phrase or something they think is clever and says it, it catches on and then it loses all semblance of the helpfulness that it should contain. Phew! I just had to get that off my chest.

Upcoming, when I get a chance, look for: Character Development Exercises, an instructable download; and Writing Believable Diversity, an essay (with fun little play-along games!).


Absolute Write has been down for a REALLY long time and I am sad. It is my favorite place to hang with the gang. I have been relegated to stalking the shamefully repetitive and depressingly political Twitter-sphere. Given it lives up to the aforesaid description with a perverse consistency, I try very hard to remember nothing once I close it. There is, however, a beautiful and fluffy pup that shares the Thoughts of Dog, and I love him.
Personally, In the course of ramping up my writing and preparing to publish, I have attempted to educate myself on the pros and cons of traditional publishing versus self-publishing. Here is what I have come up with:

First, let’s be clear. Traditional publishing and an author’s ability to break into it is not always a direct comment on the author’s writing. It is a business decision based on a few simple criteria. Remember, querying agents and submitting to publishers is actually the process of an author asking for a company to fund their work. Their decision is less about how good the stories are on a level playing field and more about how good the agents and publishers are as salespersons. They are really only likely to fund projects that they believe can and will sell easily and alot.

That means that there must be a demonstrably established market to which they can present the work, with minimal marketing effort and even less up-front financial investment. TPs have established, bulk publishing facilities, lowering their costs per book, as well as proprietary software and standards of editorial and proof operations that cut man-hours to minimal requirements. Since a book sale is typically final no matter if you like it or even read it, this allows them to turn a profit even if the product is stale, predictable or simply bad.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that the industry does a bad job. I am simply saying that the ability to hook an agent/publisher is not a valid measure of the work of an author.

Self-publishing, on the other hand, puts nothing between the author’s work and the readers. It is my considered opinion that an author who is able to establish a readership and sales and a reputation through directly publishing their own work, without the backup and infrastructure of a traditional publishing agent or house, has a more accurate measure of their talent.

Pursuing self-publishing takes confidence in one’s ability to write a compelling story. Additionally, an author must know their own story and not only what audience might be interested in reading it, but also how to find them. This allows one to take the reins of a custom marketing campaign giving the author the ability to reach out to the readers who are looking for that work. Once the work is released, a self-publishing platform, complete with e-books, print-on-demand and maybe audio books, allows more time to catch the attention of the intended audience.

I would say that traditional publishing is less likely to offer the breadth of targeted outreach that self-publishing can simply because the author is farther removed from the readers when the work is filtered through a traditional publishing platform. Given that author’s are asked in traditional publishing to spend almost as much in out of pocket of marketing as a self-published author does, self-publishing is a more than valid way for authors to find their niche, their voice and their under-served reading audience.

That said, the prospect of a nice, fluffy up front pay advance will always be a shiny beacon to the starving artists of the writing community.

Ɛ|3  Amy

PS: How do you like my new logo!?

Ubriel Bryne