Over at The Passive Voice, indie authors discuss trends and data and writing and readers. Normally, we find all sorts of interesting tidbits that help to clarify our career decisions, trigger story ideas in underserved genres and generally give us a better understanding of the exploding universe that is the publishing industry.
But lately, there's been an odd little comment that pops up with great regularity whenever a new idea is presented.
"What's in this for me?"
Needless to say, Annoyed Writer has said this. But others have that well...I thought they knew better.
What is it with the need for instant gratification in our culture? Why does someone else have give these people a step-by-step instruction manual on how to interpret data that MAY help their individual case? Who do they think they are to demand such things in the first place?
What it really comes down to is these people have no faith in their own talent. Why doesn't someone GIVE them the Magic Formula (TM)? Why work harder when all they have to do is find that blasted Magic Formula (TM)? Because they KNOW people are deliberately hiding it from them!
And even when they don't believe in the Magic Formula (TM), then the reason they aren't raking in the money has to be because other writers are holding them back! They moan that all the other writers and all the other genres should just GO AWAY! If the field was totally clear, then EVERYONE would buy their books!
Um, no, kids. It doesn't work like that. The reason the BHPs have been seeing slow, steady losses over the last decade is because they weren't giving readers the stories that they wanted.
However, if you're new to the indie game, it takes time to build a backlist. It takes time to build a fanbase. It takes time to market your stories. Some writers think they were promised a rose garden with 20's and 50's hanging on the thorrny branches.
Please show me who promised y'all this because I sure as hell didn't. And I want one of these magical rose bushes.
I also want a lightsabre and the U.S.S. Enterprise-D while you're at it.
In the meantime, only you can make your career decisions. I can't. No one can, but you.
Have faith in yourself. Have fun. And if something doesn't work, then the lovely thing about indie publishing is that you can change it.