An online associate of mine is having their book published by a brand-new small-print publisher. As in, their book is going to be that publisher's first book. Now, I'm not going to pretend I know all the ins and outs of how that happened or anything resembling the full story behind the deal. I don't. But I can say what I have seen sets off yellow alerts in my brain, and it isn't a deal I would do.
But, if I'm being honest, a few years ago I would have been all over that had I been offered it. Whether I would have done it out of ignorance or arrogance or eagerness or anxiousness, I'm not sure. Though I do know I wouldn't have looked at the fledgling publisher with the same critical eye that I do now. I would have just yelled, "Awesome!" and signed away.
A lot talk is going around about E-books, publishing through Amazon, Print-on-Demand services, and who even knows what else, all of which are essentially geared to the same thing: eliminate the middlemen/gatekeepers, and get your book out there to "the people" NOW.
And that's the big temptation there, isn't it? No waiting. No gnawing your fingernails to stubs after you send out queries to agents. No sleepless nights wondering if that editor has even looked at your manuscript yet, let alone if they liked it. You can just get your book out there.
It's oh, so tempting, isn't it? Because it would be so easy. But here's the thing. It shouldn't be easy.
I'll let Tom Hanks explain:
What amazes me is how many people out there are trying to sell me on the easy. No one is trying to sell me on the great. Cat Valente makes a great point that while so many people are talking about how many e-books Amanda Hocking sold, no one is really talking about whether or not the books are great. No one seems to care, they just think it's awesome that she sold so many. This makes me really nervous.
I do hear the sirens calling how easy it is. But I'm going to stay lashed to the mast and weather through, thanks.