I’ve started to write five different entries today but deleted them all. Damn filters. Sigh.
In general – a letter from a president of a professional organization that contains the phrase, “Who told you life was fair” will always sound condescending. Why? Because it is condescending. Clue: You’re not my mother and I’m not nine years old. I’m also not paying my mother dues (although she claims she’s paid hers). For the record – I happen to be a career focused romance writer. You can ask most people who know me, I’m very careful about the choices I make, about where and what I write and when. My career is extremely important to me so don’t waste my time with “who told you life was fair.” If you ask for feedback from people and you actually get it, well, that’s sort of the point, isn’t it? Or was the point that you only wanted to hear what supported your particular perspective. If so, perhaps it would be more accurate to call for “feedback on proposed rule changes that conforms with my perspectives” because well, life isn’t always fair, as you so correctly point out and not everyone is going to agree with us. So feh.
Something else and as a matter of FYIage, this is not actually related to the above point but something else I read earlier today – epublishing. I love epublishing. Or at the very least, the epublishers I write for. If there’s interest I’d be happy to talk about my experiences – positive and negative. Got a question – ask it and I’ll do my best to answer it.
Epublishing gave me my start. Ellora’s Cave took a chance on me and helped me build a career. Samhain contracted a book in a totally new genre for me and has been amazingly supportive of me an an author. My editor Ann Leveille has made me a better writer each time I’ve gone through edits. The same goes for Angie James, my editor at Samhain. And yes, I do go through edits and I don’t know any authors who haven’t done edits at an epublisher. As to whether or not they’re the hardest edits I’ll ever do, I can’t say. I’ve got a lot of books left in me so who knows what will come down the road? In any case, every book has its own challenges.
My epublished books are, in fact, real books. I work hard on them and I put as much effort into their writing as I do the books aimed at New York. In turn, what I write for New York is just as good as what I write for epublishing. I’m not “too edgy” for New York. When I get rejected it’s not because “New York isn’t ready for me” or whatever. (clearly it’s because they don’t recognize my brilliance)
I want to resist the us v them mentality (and in a way, that is related to my first point). I’ve seen a lot of defensiveness from epublished authors and I understand why. I do. But it’s not necessary. In the first place, the only person whose opinion matters is the one who looks back at me when I’m brushing my teeth (this morning with this new toothpaste with green tea that sucked big time but I digress). Do I know I’m doing the best job I can? After that, do my editors think so? Do my readers think so? Does it matter to me what someone else who doesn’t know me or what epublishing entails thinks of me? Not a bit. Well unless it affects me professionally, and that’s a reality sometimes, but still, as a human being you can only control so much. You can’t control the fact that “I’ll get to it soon” doesn’t actually mean the same thing in publishing that it means in a restaurant or in your daily life. You can’t control the petty ignorance that allows some people to make themselves feel better at your expense by belitting your publisher, genre, mode of publication, age, dress size, etc. You can’t and you know what? It’s not worth the time anyway.
I want, as a professional seeking to advance my career, to expand my base. To write for more places and reach more readers. Hell yes I want to sell to New York! Yes, I want my books at the Top Foods (by the way, I LOVE it when I see my fellow authors there like Lisa Renee Jones’ fab new Blaze for instance). There’s a kind of distribution I will have when my Spice book comes out that I don’t have now. That’s a fact. The only value judgements about that fact are those I let anyone else imbue upon it. It will reach more people in many countries. It will be an audio book and it will be translated into several other languages. That’s freaking cool and I love it.
Does that mean I reject epublishing? Not at all. I love Samhain and EC and I love the ability to write with more freedom. Because I’ve earned it. By that I mean, they took a chance because in fact, they have the ability to take more chances on unknown authors. I ran with it and I’ve been blessed with a nice bit of success and because I have a track record, I can have the freedom to push the envelope. I treasure that. That isn’t to say New York doesn’t offer the chance to push the envelope – but they have financial and other constraints which make the wheels turn slower and it takes longer to make a track record. Again, a fact and the only value judgements are those we give ourselves.
I’m sick to death of watching this sort of west side story situation. WE ARE ALL ROMANCE AUTHORS. Our strength is in our diversity. That’s also a fact. Give it whatever value judgements you wish.