The 12 Blogs of Christmas: Blog Three

On today's blog, Keith R. Baker has shared a winter story that links into his Longshot series. You can read the story by following the link to the excerpt below.

In my continuing series of positive rants on things I hope will change in the book publishing world as we count down to Christmas, I am going to talk about the traditional publishing model, and specifically their approach to discovering and nurturing new writers and their relationship with indie writers. 

Discoverability in the Writing World

Many of us in the indie world took a shot at traditional publishing. Many of us sort of almost made it. I at one point had an agent, and one of my novels made it to the desks of big time editors for the big three publishing companies in Canada. Another one of my novels was considered somewhat seriously by a small press. But there are many flaws with the traditional discoverability model.

Writers can spend their whole lives submitting and resubmitting their work to various agents, small presses, literary magazines, and and publishers at the expense of writing and honing their craft, and never get anywhere. In a difficult market, big publishing houses are often focused on celebrities and writers who are already successful, making the opportunities for new and developing writers very slim. Furthermore, even if a publishing house takes a chance on a new writer, they often throw that writer to the wolves with little promotion or development, just hoping that the writer's work will resonate. If it does, great, the writer gets more support next time. If it doesn't and sales are low, that writer might be done.

These days, many writers, emboldened by the recent indie success stories, tire of the perpetual chase, submit, and hope cycle with traditional publishing, and put their own work out as indies.  Even if they experience some modest success as indies, but in going that route, they have closed many doors. Unless they are blockbusters like Hugh Howey, most traditional publishers will no longer touch them. It all seems like a somewhat punitive model for writers. There is nothing wrong with going the indie way of course, but at this point in time, indies do not have the physical book distribution model that traditional publishers do, and that can be limiting. It is a shame that trying one way seems to close so many doors for writers.

I hope that in the near future there will be different approaches to publishing whereby there will be more of a melding of the traditional and indie model. I read with interest Mike Elgan's article Why Book Publishing Needs the Silicon Valley Way on a very different approach to publishing whereby all authors self-publish first and agents become talent scouts and books and writers are developed over time just like software is with new release and updates of the same material. I suppose this is a bit like the Kindle Scout model. In the end, I would like to think that the goal of publishing is to build the best writers possible and I'm not sure that the current model completely accomplishes that. Here's hoping for new and awesome approaches in the New Year, or the year after that.

Now onto the blog of the day:

About Keith R. Baker

In addition to being an avid history and genealogy buff, Keith has been an avid outdoorsman his entire life. He has a variety of hats in the business world after completing two periods of duty with the US Navy.  His hobbies apart from reading and research include shooting, teaching others the basics of gun safety & handling. Until recently he took an active role in local and regional politics as a public speaker and campaign consultant.

Keith and his wife Leni have enjoyed living several places in the US, including Illinois, Wisconsin, Missouri and Montana.  They have two adult children, two adult foster children and nine grandchildren scattered around the country.

Fire in the Snow

The big man's boot carefully kicked aside a remaining hunk of what appeared to be a roof rafter.  Burnt nearly to ash, it had almost no weight to it.  Still, it was best to be careful.  Any of the smoldering pile of debris that had been their family home could yet be white-hot.  He didn't need a burnt foot; he had enough trouble already.

Rob Finn's young family had few enough possessions before the fire.  Now, it seemed, they had none.  Farming their tiny acreage had barely provided enough food in the good times.  Along with everything else they'd lost, even their supply of necessary food stuffs were gone.  What would they do? Read more:


Amazon Author Page

Read about Rob Finn and his family in the Longshot series, beginning with Longshot In Missouri, price reduced through Christmas, here.