Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Golden Needle--veinglory

My apologies for not having posted any reviews for a while. I took a step back to get the proofs in for a long term project, a non-fiction book that should be out with one of the largest non-fiction science publishers by the end of this year. It was an exercise in contemplating the best and the worst of conventional publishing. I won't give you they title because it is writing I do under another name--but I will take advantage of my pseudonnymity to say a few things.

I don't play the game of saying 'industry is broken' or 'any book written deserves to be published'. The industry is what it is, imperfect but basically functional. As things stand conventional publishing is generally going to reach a larger audience and make more money. So yes, as authors we have a range of options available for any given book--sometimes a wide range and sometimes.... not so much. But self-publishing is absolutely not a quick and easy route to fame and fortune.

So... I am not a cheerleader for self-publishing, but I am not a cheerleader for conventional publishing either. After two years of writing and six month of post-submission editing this is more true than ever. As an academic text, this book won't sell much over a thousand copies, and no matter how many copies sell I will be paid nothing. Oh, and I had to completely remove the final chapter which contained most of the important points I wanted to make. Let's just say: I could be more thrilled.

That said, when I mention this publisher's name people are impressed. It will help my career, and all that. It shows I know how this is done, and I can do it. Does that make it a good deal? I don't know. People will read this book due to its publisher, imprint and brand who wouldn't read it if it was anywhere else, and being an academic book it will stay in print a lot longer than conventional published books often do. But I still need to write a book that really says what I wanted to say--so the next one is going to a smaller press and every chapter is damn well staying in there or I will walk away from the deal.

3 comments:

Mick Rooney said...

Good look with the book, emily. I hope it exceeds all your expectations.

Mick.

cheryl anne gardner said...

Agreed Em ... self-publishing isn't a quick and easy route to anywhere, let alone to fame and fortune. It's damn hard work, and in many cases harder then the traditional route. I would love to have editorial assistance, but on the other hand, I wouldn't want anyone telling me I had to cut an important chapter either. So each avenue has its own golden needle amidst a bed of nails.

Me, I just ain't the kinda gal who likes to wait around on someone else's opinion. I would rather get busy doin' than get busy waitin'. For make it happen kind of people, self-pub is great, as long as you don't have unrealistic expectations. Same goes for Traditional Publishing too, I suppose.

I hope the book does well. Congrats to you.

Emily Veinglory said...

Heh. I forgot to mention what I meant by the title, but I see you got it anyway....