Sunday, February 6, 2011

Myth-Busting with Dean Wesley Smith

So... this is going to more a self-serving post. I've recently read through all of Dean Wesley Smith's posts on "Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing," and there are a few I want to keep track of as I begin to make intentional strides toward getting myself started in this business (and yes, it is a business).

Overall, I found Smith's articles on the publishing to be thought-provoking and informative. His ideas certainly challenged long-held beliefs of my own and they have encouraged me to learn a variety of new things and to never stop learning, regardless of the subject.

A few of his thoughts appear, currently, to be a bit over-the-top. However, I am certainly not going to challenge him on what has worked for his career thus far.

More to the point, there are over a dozen articles that I found especially helpful and applicable to my situation and set of assumptions about the writing/publishing business. These are deep-rooted concepts that have guided me in my attempts thus far and seeing them challenged is painful, enlightening, encouraging, and all manner of other emotions in between. Thus, for my benefit (with the hope that some of these things might interest any of you as well), I am compiling them here in an order that makes sense to me.

Here we go:

Making Money Writing Fiction

The Myth: Can't Make Money in Fiction

The Myth: Only 300 Writers Make a Living

The Publisher's Perspective

The Myth: New York Works as a Quality Filter

The Myth: You Can Only Sell What's Hot

The Myth: Follow the Rules to Get Published

The Act of Writing

The Myth: Writing is Hard

A Note: Speed

The Myth: Writers Don't Need to Practice

The Myth: Rewriting

A Note: Not Rewriting Does Not Mean Sloppy Writing

The Myth: Researching Fiction

The Career of Writing

The Myth: Rejections

The Myth: Self Promotion

The Myth: Self-Publishing is a Bad Idea

The Dangers of Agents

The Myth: Agents Can Help With Careers

The Myth: Agents Take Care of Your Money

A Note: Agents and Contracts

A Note: Agent Agreements

And Finally

The Myth: "You Have It Made When..."

I just want to say, once more, that I think the entire series is worth reading. These here are just the ones that stand out or really speak to me, personally, as a writer and a person. By all means, let my sample here interest you. But I hope that it encourages you to read the rest of the series if you have any interest at all in the writer's life, the business of publishing, or the potential livelihood of a loved one who may have chosen this profession. Mr. Smith here may not know everything, but he knows enough to paint a stark picture of what this career holds in store for those who seek it.

Until next time, then.

EDIT: 13 Feb 2011 -- I was poking around the "Writing Excuses" website earlier today, and I found an episode the guys did responding directly to Dean Wesley Smith's series of articles on agents. It's an excellent counterpoint to Smith's extremism. The comments, as well, are well-reasoned and insightful. Definitely worth a listen and a read if you're more interested in this ongoing debate about the worth of agents.

No comments:

Post a Comment