Big Fish, Little Fish

You know, hanging out at RT and waiting to pitch this past week was a real eye-opener. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that while there is a big difference between being pubbed and not being pubbed, in some ways there’s an even bigger difference in what sort of pubbed author that you are.

And that’s not to say anyone was nasty about it at RT, but clearly there does seem to be a line drawn between epubs and hard copy pubs. Whether that’s something that was caused by the big RWA bru-ha-ha a few months ago or just something that’s always sort of been there, I really couldn’t say.

I do think there seems to be a misconception about the quality of writing between books that are epubbed and those that are printed and that’s a shame. I won’t lie – I *do* prefer hard copy books – but that’s only because I like the tactile sense of pages beneath my fingers. Well, that and I like to read in the bathtub, or at least I did – when I had the time. I don’t think I’ve ever really seen one as better than the other as far as quality goes. I’ve certainly seen my share of stinkers in both sets, but epubs really do seem to be an easy target. Maybe it’s that whole “erotica = crap” attitude that still seems to be out there. (And I can’t lie about that either – I don’t mind reading it, I don’t mind writing it, but I *have* to have a plot that I can believe…otherwise it just doesn’t work for me).

Still, sitting there and waiting for my turn to pitch, I was awfully surprised to see the number of pubbed authors waiting their turn to try to find an agent or to pitch to a larger house. Jeffe had mentioned something to me the other day (I think it was her), that even when you get pubbed, all it means is that you’re now in a much, much larger pond – only now, *everyone* in that pond is pubbed, ranging from the big NY Times BestSellers to authors at the smaller epubs or PoD houses. It’s rather daunting, honestly. (And I’ve still got a very long ways to go – nothing quite like chatting with people who tell you they wrote 10 or 15 books before they got pubbed to bring you back down to reality). And it never stops. Even when that first book gets pubbed, there is no resting. Everything ends up going into the Next Book or the next set of edits, or whatever else it is you need to do to get yourself out there.

Clearly, writing is not for the weak.

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2 Responses to Big Fish, Little Fish

  1. Jeffe Kennedy says:

    It was probably me — and it’s really true that getting pubbed is not the ride off into the sunset moment. No question that it’s wonderful and validating, but it is simply another rung on an endless ladder. I noticed that Nora Roberts entered her last book in the Rita mainstream category. And she’s got a Steven King blurb on her books now. Everyone is always reaching to be just a little higher…

  2. Darchala says:

    It’s probably tied into the fact that *anyone* can put writing online for people to read, with no real quality control. It’s not the same thing as e-publishing, but I’d hazard a guess that a lot of people lump them together, if only on a subconscious level.

    I doubt I’d ever actually buy an e-book, though–both because it’s nice to actually have the physical book, and because proximity to a computer totally murders my attention span.

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