Sunday, November 20, 2011

Episode 32 – Sorting Out The Civil War in Publishing

Click here to directly download this episode.

Alan talks about his Movember fund-raising effort -

Alan talks about the “sagging middle” and the always difficult midway point of writing a novel.

Dave talks about his new Dane Maddock “short” story.

Promo- Dead Robots' Society Podcast

We then go on to refer back to past week’s podcast about pissing people off and this week we talk about the subject itself that was raised – the evangelists for self-publishing versus the evangelists for the traditional route.

Dave and Alan agree that we’ve got sick and tired of hearing from all the evangelists who try to convince everyone that there’s only one way to succeed.

We discuss the differences in traditional contracts and what to look out for. “Gotcha clauses”.

We discuss the pros and cons of agents and agent motivation.

We cover the question of whether publishers and bookstores are dying out.


  1. First-time listener, first-time poster.... I liked the discussion of indie vs. traditional publishing, and I completely agree with your idea that there isn't a perfect answer for everyone. Thank you for adding a little sanity to the conversation.

    I think that you overlook, though, that indie vs. traditional isn't a choice for most people. The choice is between indie and not being published at all. The barriers presented by the agent / publisher are very formidable. Yes, they keep a lot of awful books out of the market, but they keep some good books out, too.

    Traditional publishing is concerned with market trends and commercial viability, and while indie-published authors should care about these things as well, there are stories that aren't marketable. If we, as authors, are supposed to write what we love, but then what we love isn't interesting to agents, then indie publishing is the only path to reach that small audience that might care about our work.

    (Yes, I've been querying, and yes, it's incredibly discouraging.)

  2. Valid points, Tim. I've heard many a person espouse the opinion, "If a book is good enough to be published, it will find a publisher. If it doesn't find a publisher, it's not good enough." That's simply not true. There are plenty of reasons a good book doesn't find representation or a publisher: Timing; already represent an author who writes something similar; too much like ____; we don't believe this sub-genre will be popular by the time we can get it to print; this niche is too small for blockbuster potential... Alan and I believe small press and indie publishing are keeping many niches alive and connecting readers with good books, and that's a good thing.

  3. Enjoyed the discussion--pointing out positive and negative (potenital pitfall) aspects of the traditional and the self-publishing route--or even a hybrid strategy.