Thursday, December 8, 2011

Impatience: The Writer's Worst Enemy

I've written before about how e-publishing comes off as too easy, but what it really comes down to is impatience.

We're at the beginning of December, which means that NaNoWriMo (aka National Novel Writing Month) has just ended.  I don't have any figures or statistics, but I do know that agent querying spikes in the beginning of December, as people who have JUST FINISHED their sprinted masterpiece immediately try to put it to market.  And I would bet a minor appendage that e-pub "indie" books spike right around now as well.

And this is because people are impatient about getting their book "out there".  "Out there" now is more important than getting it right later.  And I know why.  You can't write a book without it being a labor of love, and then you have this thing that you have such deep and abiding love for, and you want to share it.  Right away.  Whether it's ready or not.

I get it.  A few years ago, I would have declared Fifty Year War or Crown of Druthal "ready", and had my impatience not been tempered with a strong desire to succeed via the traditional publishing path, I might well have forged ahead and gone straight to the indie publishing method.  And I would have failed with those, because those books were not ready.  They are now deep in a drawer.

Most of the time, when I read books for critiquing, I can tell they aren't ready, on a fundamental level of pure craft.  And I know of two that have been indie published recently, both times because the author insisted that they "didn't want to wait any longer". 

Added to this is what I call the "cult" of Indie Publishing.  There are success stories in indie/e-publishing, but then you get these proselytizers who insist since someone has succeeded doing it, that EVERYONE should do it and throw away the traditional publishing industry.  I'm just not on board with that.  But these cultists feed the beast of impatience.

But you know what?  Prove me wrong.  If you've got an indie/self-pubbed book that you think is FANTASTIC and will turn me around that this person was right, they didn't need to wait and grind the book through the system, than show me.  Let me know, and I'll give it a read, and talk about it on here. 

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