Tuesday 7 October 2014

You Fall in Love With a Trad

The situation: your heart is exploding but you can’t share your excitement with your fellow indies.

You feel: warm fuzzy feeling alternating with periods of dread.

After a brutal street brawl between indies and traditionally published authors, the Prime Minister has threatened tougher penalties for author gang warfare. You decide that the best thing to do is keep away from those pesky trads.

One unexpected day at a cafĂ© you meet her – a vision of beauty with raven hair, slender legs up to her ears, dazzling eyes… Your heart thumps. But what is that on the table beside her laptop – a traditionally published book?

“You’re just reading that, right?” you ask.

“No, I wrote it,” she says, smiling as if that’s something you’d like to hear.

Everything you dreamt of in those six seconds since first meeting her comes crashing down. An indie-trad relationship – could the world ever accept it?

Don’t spit at her across the table. Don’t declare, “It can never be!” Don’t try to show her the error of her ways.

The important thing to remember is that traditionally published authors are people too. They may do things differently from you and me but at the end of the day, we are all just individuals hoping to sell books.

The friction between the two types of authors exists because of fear and competition. Traditionally published authors worked hard to get book deals, and now that they’ve achieved what they always wanted, they’re not happy to see the industry buckle under the weight of self-published authors.

Some self-published authors have rejected conventional publishing to give themselves more control or money, but others have been rejected by traditional publishers. With so much rejection and resentment going around, is it any wonder that the two breeds of bestselling authors draw their swords from time to time?

Give your new love the benefit of the doubt. If you’d been offered a book deal five years ago, you might very well have taken it.

Of course, your fellow writers might not see it that way. Best fake your own deaths and run off to a foreign country together – to avoid bloodshed. You can then give birth to baby hybrid authors.

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