Take it away Maria!
Every so often I feel like the publishing industry in all its many forms is like one giant playground.
You have the cool, rich kids, those authors whose publishers offer big advances and lots of exposure.
Then there are the mid-listers, like many middle children, they’re hard workers, and usually quiet and obedient to their parent companies. They’re not looking for trouble—just a steady gig.
We also have the small press kids. Snotty-nosed and a little loud, we’d love to be able to play with the bigger kids. Sometimes they let us into their circle, if only for a short while.
Finally, we have the Little Rascals, self-pubbed hooligans who don’t care what the cool, rich kids are doing. They’re fierce, independent, and have boundless energy.
I’ll also include the unpublished into our virtual playground, the orphans of our world, waiting for someone to adopt them and take them into their fold.
Although I’ve never seen anyone discuss it, I think there are definite class distinctions in the industry. Fortunately, the lines have steadily blurred and it’s happened within the past decade. When I first got interested in publishing I was intimidated by the cool, rich kids. They seemed to know everything and often enjoyed lording it over you.
Slowly, I came to know what they knew and realized there wasn’t much difference between us. I was grateful when a few of them had taken me under their wings, but mindful that I wasn’t of their ‘class’.
While I was busy learning about craft, I started hearing strange noises. Small press was gaining ground. The cool kids warned me not to get involved with them. They weren’t real authors. Real authors are published by New York.
Like magma under the surface, small press kept growing, creating a fertile ground for a new breed of author. New York didn’t get too upset at first. After all, they were serving different markets. Then e-readers exploded on the scene and plowed a crater in New York the size of Manhattan.
The Big 6 persevered. They’d been in business for many years, a little technology was not going to change the way they did things.
That’s when they got sucker-punched by the Little Rascals. All of a sudden a few mavericks were drawing fans by the hour. Worse yet, self-publishing was beginning to lure their stable of big name authors over to their ranks.
And JK Rowling committed the biggest atrocity of all. She’s self-publishing her titles without input from her agent or her publisher. Blasphemy!
Trying hard to recover, the Big 6 has tightened the language in their contracts, restricting their authors and keeping a firmer rein on them. But it’s here I’m usually reminded of Princess Leia’s famous line: “The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin Big 6, the more star systems authors will slip through your fingers.”
The class divisions are beginning to blur and that playground just got a whole lot bigger.
What do you think? Is class still an issue between self-published, small press, and Big 6 authors? Have you ever felt snubbed or embraced by successful, big name authors?
I hope you’ll follow along with the rest of the Indie Roadshow as I share the things I learned on my road to self-publishing.
Synopsis: The road to Hell is paved with good intentions and bad tequila. Shannon McKee finds herself at the end of her rope, and she bargains her soul in a fit of despair.
Shannon’s plea is answered immediately by two men who couldn’t be more different from one another. Yet they share a bond and an affection for the stubborn Miss McKee that even they don’t understand.
When Heaven and Hell demand their payment, Shannon has no choice but to submit. No matter who gets her soul, she’s not getting out of this alive.
Bio: Maria Zannini used to save the world from bad advertising, but now she spends her time wrangling chickens, and fighting for a piece of the bed against dogs of epic proportions. Occasionally, she writes novels.
This particular post could create strong feelings. Please keep all comments civil.