A craft descended from the greats such as H.P.Lovecraft and J.R.Tolkien is a huge burden to writers now a days. Claiming to be writer of any genre creates immediate comparisons to those who have come before us. Often this is enough to dash any hope of being published, let alone gaining fame for your works. How can a new fantasy writer measure up to the legendary “Lord Of The Rings” trilogy? Why write horrific tales of science fiction when Lovecraft’s tales of “Cthulhu” still haunt the dreams of people today?
Writing novels today is just as creatively difficult as it was thirty years ago, but more often than not a new idea is labeled as similar to this and there for not new. We stand still in the shadows of the stories we read as children and are smothered out of the pursuit to write by them.
Comparisons aside many other daunting tasks prevent most creative writers from taking the leap in publishing. Nowadays it seems impossible to get your darling story into the hands of an agent and before the eyes of an audience. What’s worse is now you don’t actually need to submit works to anyone. One would ask why this is so bad? Well when anyone can publish their work for public access, it means anyone will.
With the wonder that is the internet loosening the flood of publications through kindle and nook how can you make your well edited and original story shine through such a mob of haphazardly created slush? The question actually leads to many issues that past writers would never have thought of. The traditional write-and-submit-to-publishing-houses method is almost dead. Even using an agent to pump up your work is borderline useless. Why, you ask? Well, in truth, the nail in tradition’s coffin is social media.
In today’s markets writers must have a dedicated following of hundreds to even catch a glance from publishers. Agents will tell you the same, and in a weird “catch 22” of sorts you must have a fan base before they will publish what would build a fan base. Honestly, it is from a fear of failure on their part—why invest in a nobody when someone else already has fans?
Self-publishing is the new way that is rising at an astronomical rate, and many writers are catching on. At least they should be if publishing is their goal.
Next time I will be talking about the steps to self-publishing and what it is like doing so in today’s market.