Wednesday, October 7, 2015

IWSG - It's Tough to be a Writer Today

The Insecure Writer's Support Grop

Being a writer today is challenging. It’s gotten so writing the story is the EASY part. These days you need to be your own proofreader, editor, cover artist, publisher and marketing specialist if you want to gain traction. If it sounds a bit daunting, that’s because it is.

The sad truth of it all is that in today’s publishing climate, you no longer have the luxury of simply writing the story and moving on to your next piece of inspiration. You have to take the time to learn how to edit, how to create a cover, and how to set up accounts at the various online booksellers and upload a finished product. You have to market your book yourself, which you’d be doing anyway even if you used a more traditional publisher.

When I started out, way back in 2003, self-publishing was still a taboo topic. One simply did not self publish. Hell, back when I started, epublishing wasn’t accepted. The “big girls” at the Romance Writers of America (RWA) did everything they could to stop the jagernaught only to discover they couldn’t. Digital publishers sprang up everywhere and only a few of those original companies survive today. But that survival is threatened by the indie writer.

I’ve benefited greatly by being published through a select few digital publishers. I learned how to edit, which is vitally important. I learned what I like for a cover (and sadly rarely got it).  We learn or we stagnate.  I had the bulk of my work with Whiskey Creek, but they sold to some company no one had ever heard of and tried to force everyone to sign on. Oh, no. So my books went down with the ship. Now I have the chance to see that it doesn’t happen again. Been there. Done that.

And I’m not alone.

Having had publishers 1) file bankruptcy, 2) disappear 3) sell the business, I can attest to the fact a reversion of rights clause isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on or the space it takes up on the monitor screen. Writing a coherent story with good characters and a decent plot takes a lot of time. That’s time not spent with spouses, children, family and friends. Getting screwed by a publisher isn’t any fun and that leads me to why it’s tough to be a writer today.

I’m not alone in seeing indie publishing as the only viable way to avoid getting screwed when it comes to publishing rights. It’s not that I WANTED to become my own editor, cover artist, publisher and market specialist, oh no! I want to write. I want to immerse myself in a world I’ve created and fly! But the good old days are over.

It’s tough to be a writer/proofreader/editor/cover artist/publisher/market specialist today. 

Rayne Forrest


  1. Here, here. The entire creative world today is very much become a DIY endeavour. If you want to get your content out there, be it books, art, music, performance, whatever - if you want it done well, quickly and with any modicum of control, you have to do it yourself. The wonderful thing is that we HAVE that option and the opportunity to do so. It's just a hell of a lot more work most of us never expected we'd be doing when dreaming of being an author/musician/artist.

    IWSG October

  2. Control is key. I've worked with publishers for over ten years. I made it a point to learn from my editors, both good and bad, and I don't regret that time. Now that I've learned how to do covers, there's no going back for me. Thanks for stopping by Twenty-six Keys today!

  3. Ugh. Yes, that is frustrating! A publisher folded earlier this year and I felt so bad for the writers. Some of them found other homes for their books, but so sad.

    Stephanie Faris
    IWSG Co-Host

  4. Time was to indie publish was the kiss of death to a career. Now it's just another tool in the writer's arsenal. And I remember the days when e-pubs wouldn't take anything previously published, which, cause and effect, had a lot to do with the rise of indie publishing.