Friday, June 8, 2012

The Publisher's Ultimatum: Yet Another Reason to Self-Publish

I read a lot of Urban Fantasy-Paranormal Romance.  I can't help it, I like vampires, werewolves and such. Zombies?  Not so much.  All that mindless brain eating gets old fast.  In any event, there's a lot of  UF-PR out there, and most of it is really good.

One of my favs is a new-ish series by J.A. Saare, Rhiannon's Law.  It's gritty and the main character, Rhiannon, is a kick-ass smart-ass (my kinda gal).  Great plots, definitely page turners.  The third book will drop soon, and I can't wait to see what happens.

Unfortunately, the powers-that-be that publish the series think not enough books have been sold, and if things don't pick up, they might cancel.  I understand their business aims to make money from the sales of books.  However, this series is fantastic!  Why don't they try to do something radical and innovative to help sales. Like, I don't know, maybe promote it more vigorously?

I assume that the author signed one of those contracts that would prevent her from continuing the story on her own if it was cancelled.  Maybe not, but maybe she won't continue it anyway because the time spent on Rhiannon, Disco and Payne sans traditional publishing would not be time well spent in terms of her bank account. And I can understand that, too.  But it seems wrong that a great story would fizzle out and readers might never know what delectable twists the author had in mind.

Such is the way of traditional publishing (TP).  How many great reads have been rejected by TP houses because the first sentence didn't have enough punch, or they were tired of that particular genre, or the person doing the initial read had a fight with her significant other?  Which is why self publishing rocks.

This is reminiscent of publishing research in scientific journals in a way.  You do a crap-load of experiments, some have exciting, positive results and some that don't show anything.  But sometimes, the data that shows nothing happened can be incredibly illuminating.  Unfortunately, no one wants to publish "negative" data.  So other scientists may, at some point, ask the same questions you did, not realize you found out your hypothesis was null, and repeat what you did because they never knew you tried it.  It's all quite silly, really.

Just because the PTB think a novel doesn't fit the narrow parameters that define what TPs think constitutes a money-maker doesn't mean it's not a worthwhile tome.  But in the meantime, buy Dead, Undead and Somewhere In Between and The Renfield Syndrome.  You (and I, when they decide to continue the series) will be happy you did.

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