Voices Less Heard: Must Publishing Always Take Sides?

At FutureBookHack, London. Image: Porter Anderson
At FutureBookHack, London. Image: Porter Anderson

Something that is often lost in a lot of these conversations about money is that economics isn’t just about money, but about time. It is that same economic equation that prevents me from going the self publishing route at this point in my career. There are already so very many demands on a traditionally published author’s time, I can’t even imagine adding the role of managing editor, art director, and publisher to that mix. It would impinge far too heavily on my writing energies. But that’s me and my choice, yours may be entirely different.

That’s one of the clearest statements you may find from a traditionally published author on why she prefers the standard route over self-publishing. And it’s rare to find it.

It’s the writer Robin LaFevers in an essay from earlier this year at Writer Unboxed. In her write, Some Economic Straight Talk: The Economics of Frugality, Abundance, and Creativity, she writes — without a hint of disparagement for self-publishing colleagues — about how her home life, her writing habits, and her financial structure all add up to traditional publishing as the best route for her. There’s some heartfelt sympathy and admiration, in fact, in her references to the self-publishing life:

Self published authors face an additional hurdle of often being dismissed, although that is thankfully beginning to change. And if you possess two X chromosomes, well, prestige may well be harder to come by than that original publishing contract ever was…But also, in this day of self publishing, there are more options available. It used to be there was a danger of writing an entire novel on spec, only to be unable to find a home for it. Now, with self publishing, there is another option available to help augment that financial risk.

By Porter Ander­son | @Porter_Anderson

Writing on the Ether: Voices Less Heard: Must Publishing Always Take Sides?

Originally published by Thought Catalog at www.ThoughtCatalog.com


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