From Dean Wesley Smith:
Yes, I Know That is a Dream for Many…
But it is a horrid (and I mean horrid beyond words) path for writers now in 2018.
But Dean, how can you say that? You first published with traditional publishing, right? Yes, I sold my first novel in 1987 and did my last work for them in 2008. I did 106 books (that I can remember) through traditional big-five book publishing. I am pretty convinced that even by my math, most of that was last century.
Let me repeat that. Last century. You know, dial phones hooked to a wall with cords, no internet, no email. That century.
Yet traditional book publishing hasn’t changed in the slightest from those old dial-up days and writers still want to work with them. Stuns me.
. . . .
— They take all your copyright for the life of your work, and often will buy your characters and worlds if you are not super careful. You can’t negotiate with them on this, especially if you went begging to them with your tin cup manuscript in your hand.)
— You need a book agent to deal with them. Book agents really are equal to dial-up phones, or better put, pay phones that take your money and never make a connection. (You got to be really old, meaning you had to live in the 1970s to remember that.) Book agents will also take your copyright if not careful, and also your money. A very large percentage of them are scams these days.
— You will make no more sales than you could publishing the book indie, and actually in a few short years your indie sales will pass any possible traditional publishing sales. And you will not be able to trust the traditional publisher’s royalty statements every six months. Their accounting systems are also stuck back in dial-up phone land. Not kidding.
. . . .
— It takes forever to sell a book to traditional publishing, often if you count the agent time, rewriting time, and publishing time, three to five years from writing the book to it being published. You sell a book tomorrow to traditional and B&N goes down before your book is published, you are done. Chances are your book will never be published, but they will own and keep all the rights to it anyway. (You signed the contract, sorry.)
You must write what they want you to write, not what you want to write. And also, you must write slower, do fewer books, and often contracts will keep you from writing for anyone else in any genre and any series. Not kidding.
Link to the rest at Dean Wesley Smith
PG will add another reason not to deal with traditional publishers because the milk of human kindness has gone a little sour in him due to the aggravating technical issues in his life: These days, publishers are packed with mediocrity.
Think about it – Does anybody with more than a thimbleful of business sense go to work at a traditional publisher in 2018? PG thinks not.
Is anyone who could be hired into another industry at about the same salary staying in publishing in 2018? Why would they?
Is there a bright tomorrow for traditional publishing?
Is smart money investing in publishers or bookstores or the supply chain that links the old-model book business together?
Does anyone quit Amazon to go to work at Random House?
PG will go lie down for awhile.