In today’s brave new world of publishing it can be easy to pit indie pub against trad pub in a real, Katniss-vs-The Capital sort of way (can you tell I just saw Mockingjay Pt1? LOL). And although that can be fun, I’m not sure it's entirely accurate.
I think it can be easy to believe Authors, especially those with fancy, trad published books at your local book store (be it big or small) as just another cog in the wheel of big business. After all, they got an advance(maybe), they get royalties (possibly), they have a big 5 house backing them and doing their marketing and publicity….right?
No. Not right. Not all the time, anyway. Not even most of the time.
Authors are a small business of one. Yes, even those who contract with a big 5 publishing house to make their book. Still a business of one.
If the Author chooses to hire an agent (that’s right, I said the author chooses to hire the agent) then great, business of two. It’s the Author’s revenue that supports the Agent (and don’t get me wrong, Agents, from what I can tell, are worth every penny). If the Author chooses to hire an editor in addition to the agent, now you have a business of three. It goes on and on from there.
The author is the creator of the product. Everyone else is contracted by the author to represent, polish, fabricate, sell, or market that product the author created. And more often than not the Author is spending their own money on some or all of these services (marketing, editing, publicity, travel, you name it, they spend on it).
Authors are CEO’s of their own business (and sometimes more than that – sometimes they are CEO, COO, VP of Marketing and Distribution, etc. etc.) The publishers, whether indie or trad, are vendors hired by the Author to produce the book. That’s how I like to think of it anyway.
Somewhere along the way we stopped seeing authors as entrepreneurs and shifted into seeing them as something…else.
Well, not all of us. Chuck Wendig has been calling himself an author/entrepreneur for a good long while. *tips hat to Mr. Wendig* If I had a beard I would scratch it in your honor, good sir.
I say all of this as a reminder that this weekend, after the turkey has been devoured by you and your family, and you’ve pulled yourself out of bed at an unholy hour to go shopping , we shouldn’t forget to support an Author.
Buy a book. Any book.
Indie pub’d? Great. Buy it.
Trad pub’d from a local bookstore? Still great.
eBook? Awesome. Buy it.
Online bookstore? Still great.
Because with each and every purchase some of that money is flowing back to the author. The small business at the heart of it all.
Can't afford to buy a book? Consider supporting an author another way.
This weekend, get out there and support an Author.
Want more about Author as entrepreneur? Check out these posts:
Supporting Small Business
Self Publishing Truism Bingo by Chuck Wendig
Check The Box: Do You Want To Be Your Own Publisher, Yes Or No? - by Chuck Wendig