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The Psychological Structure of the Publishing Industry: Writers and Authors are the Children, Literary Agents Are the (Good or Bad) Parents and Publishers Call the Shots

29 Apr

Today, we examine the structure of the publishing industry, trying to figure out why you may feel so lousy pursuing a literary career. (Unless you’re one of the anointed few making mega-bucks with your scribblings. I doubt that feels lousy.)

We’re going to take three different points of view, which add up to very similar conclusions. My fellow authors, Ruth Harris & Anne R. Allen, wrote a great blog article about Writers’ Masochism. That refers to writers taking personal garbage and ill-treatment that no one in any other industry would.

Except maybe law, our second point of view on this issue. Here’s a link an article by Will Meyerhoff, an attorney and psychotherapist. If you read Mr. Meyerhoff’s article, I think you’ll agree that the legal profession and publishing industry have much in common.
Professionally, I was an economist, negotiation coach, businesswoman, and horse rancher before entering the writing field. I have a couple of Master’s degrees, including one in counseling. I took my counseling degree in a program stressing family structure and systems––how the family’s unspoken rules work to keep some family members powerless and unhappy and allow others to be fat cats, throwing their weight around. This background served me well when I started writing seriously.

I entered the world of writing after an explosive personal experience back in 1995. I jumped into writing groups and editors and writing full time. Once I had written work and needed a publisher, I became acutely aware of of the structure of the literary/publication world. At the bottom of the triangle were hordes of wannabe authors––and they had to be published and traditionally, only. That’s all that mattered.

The Real Reward of Writing

21 Mar

I’m redoing my website, and bopped onto Amazon to check a fact about one of my books. I noticed that it had a new review. I froze. This is a tender moment for an author. I’ve gotten reviews that were so complementary that I practically levitated. And––like any author who’s been published for more than two weeks––I’ve gotten reviews where the reviewer thought that tar and feathering was too good for my book––and me.

I was in pretty good mood. Should I look at the review and chance wrecking it? Yes. No. Yes. No. Well, what the hell.

As I read the review, my eyes filled and I started to tremble. I was so moved. I’ve gotten lots of very good reviews by wonderfully articulate readers, but something about Glenda A. Bixler’s review moved me.

I thought about it. Why was this review so touching? Because Glenda got me. She understood me and what my writing’s about and captured it. I thought about that some more and realized that the connection that Glenda and I shared through The Angel & the Brown-eyed Boy was a heart connection. What I want more than anything is that kind of connection from my readers.

How to Buy a Good, High Quality Self-published or Indie-published Book or eBook

12 Nov

Talk to readers about self-published books or books produced by independent publishers and you’ll almost always hear the same thing: Their quality sucks. We’ve all bought them: abominable self-published books. We can complain about them forever. But how can we guard against them? I have two ideas that may separate the cream from the dreck: contest wins and star ratings on major review sites. It’s difficult to win book contests. I spell out how difficult. As a consumer, you should feel somewhat confident in buying prize winners. Reviews on major sites are a good guide. Believe it or not, not all good reviews come from friends and relatives. Here are a couple of sites where the requirement all books listed must have a minimum star rating of four stars on at least 10 reviews.