Well, it is 7:27 a.m. and I’m drinking cocoa and emailing myself and doing other writerly things before caffeine, so I’m not sure how wise this will be, but here goes.
I’m not self-published. Self-publishing is a complicated and shifting and very-not-homogenous model, but generally speaking, if you can find someone’s books in Barnes & Noble or WalMart, they’re published by one of the major New York publishers (at this point).
I’m published by Scholastic, whom I love. It took me quite awhile to catch their eye, but I am fine with that. Publishing is a hard business, but it does not want to eat your heart.
People ask me if I “agree” with self-publishing, which I think is a weird noun-verb pairing. Self-publishing is not a question. I cannot tell you yes or no. Nor is it something obvious and straightforward like chugging a whole bottle of maple syrup. I would tell you in a heartbeat that the latter would be ill-advised because I’ve never seen anyone that it worked out well for.
Before I was an author, I was an artist. I spent the first part of my art career promoting myself — doing all the advertising, marketing, and art-making myself. I enjoyed it and it gave me total control, but it meant I worked 60 hour weeks and spent 10% of my time making art and the rest marketing it. The second part of my career, I applied to a good gallery and got accepted. They handled the marketing and advertising and … it was glorious. I got to shift to 40 hour work weeks and spending 75% of my work time actually making art.
This is why, for now, traditional publishing is for me. I would rather spend my time writing than marketing. Yes, I must work as part of a team, and I must give up my 100% control of the way my books are put out there, but for the most part, Scholastic really gets me. It doesn’t feel like a compromise. It feels like that gallery: glorious. There is something marvelous about that very first moment that I share a manuscript with Scholastic, and I hear what the marketing and publicity team thinks of it.
Also, I really want to be in every bookstore everywhere. And right now, traditional publishing is the only way to make that happen.
Hm. My cocoa is all gone. Also, this girl “Maggie Stiefvater” seems to have emailed me a line to my next novel. Weird.
/rebloggable by request
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