Monday, January 26, 2009

Too Much Information

Conventional wisdom.  OK Stop.  What in the world is conventional wisdom? The truth is I read somewhere I should read publishing trade news and keep abreast of the happenings in the publishing world.  Let me tell you - publishing news is enough to make the staunchest would-be author throw the keyboard in the trash. Or throw-up. One or the other.

Publishing houses are laying employees off by the dozens. The news is doom and gloom. Books are obsolete, digital publishing will abolish writing for pay. Eighty percent of the query letters I send out get no reply at all.  Not even a rejection form.

Then the kicker - Times is running a story about an author who got fed up and self published.  In case you haven't heard, self-publishing is supposed to be a career killer. That's the scuttlebutt. But here's this self-published author who's been offered a better-than-half-a-mill deal by a major publishing house. Wait-a-minute, shouldn't she be hearing the death knell of her writing career? What the heck is going on?

They could have easily split that deal between five of us and we all would have been thrilled! 

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy for that author - and I'll read her book when it comes out. But all this conflicting news is too much.  Should I be excited that great deals are still floating around out there, or despondent because the publishing houses are failing? And how to I concentrate on writing when a little voice in the back of my head is telling me I'm wasting my time?

I wish I'd just stuck my head in the sand but it's too late now. I know too much.