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Bob
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I must be missing something on that. According to ITW web site, an author must be published by a sanctioned publisher. I'm a member of ITW, but reading their site, it seems as is self-published can't become members right now. I imagine an author can apply to become a publisher at ITW, but it's a bit complicated. I also did a blog post on ITW, MWA, RWA and SFWA and how they currently all block self-published authors. I use excerpts right from their own web sites.
I agree with all the comments. I suppose uninformed writers don't know these things, but it's not because no one is out there saying it. If you read Konrath's blog or my blog or a bunch of others with experience in both traditional and indie publishing, we all say the same thing. Frankly, self-publishing for a new writer has the same odds of success as querying agents. Not much. The big problem I'm seeing in the self-publishing ranks is too much focus on promoting and not enough on craft. Very few writers' first manuscripts should ever see the light of day, but now, because the technology allows it, too many are. Instead of focusing on sales for that first book that's going to die an ignoble death, writers need to focus on learning the craft and becoming better at it, while at the same time staying on top of what's going on in the business.
Lots of people are telling writers this information. It's just that most writers aren't listening. Frankly, from what I see, the odds of success in self-publishing are pretty much the same as getting an agent, getting a book deal, getting published and succeeding. Which means very, very low. It's hard work and a profession, not a get rich scheme. I've been in traditional publishing over 20 years and indie publishing 2 years and while there are some differences, the bottom line is: you need a great book, run a great business, promote like crazy and work all the time. For most people, I recommend playing the lottery. It has the same odds of success and takes a lot less effort.
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May 18, 2011