Thursday, June 16, 2011


Somewhere along the line the rules were changed.  The old rules meant you had to get approval for your book from a literary agent, usually after a 3-12 month wait.  Then wait another year or so to find a publisher.  Then if you were one of the lucky few who found one, you got to wait another 18 months before your book hit the bookstores.  Whew, am I glad those days are over. E-Readers have changed the game.

This is a complex issue with many layers.  The gatekeepers are going away.  This means some really good writers are finally going to find their way without the hindrance from a suit in New York who doesn't like vampire books, so goodbye dreams.  Unfortunately, this also means that every shmoe with a laptop is now writing a novel and posting it on Smashwords because, after all, the gatekeepers are gone.  Is this intrinsically a bad thing?  No.  Readers will find the good stuff, just like they find the good music without ever hearing it on the radio.  The most common way will be word of mouth, which is always the most powerful method. 

The reason I believe this isn't a bad thing is because of my experience within the publishing world when the gatekeepers were still taking three martini lunches.  After one publisher told me how much he liked my Nick Bracco novel, he then admitted how much he despises mafia books and if The Godfather were offered to him, he'd have turned it down immediately.  Really?

Okay, you say, that's just one guy.  But therein lies the problem.  With all the consolidation within the publishing world, there's only 5 or 6 big publishers left anymore.  What if four of them don't like mafia books?  You mean your chance of bringing your award-winning novel to the masses depends on the approval of maybe three or four people in a high rise in Manhattan?  Good luck with that.

So where do we go from here?  Up.  Where?  Up.  That's right, we move up the evolutionary ladder to a new system where the reader gets to decide what's good and what's not.  Will it be difficult at times to sort things out?  Sure.  But eventually the readers will have their say good or bad.  I wouldn't want it any other way.  Let me decide what I like.  After all, I'm a reader too. 


  1. Great post, Gary. The only problem with the new rules is that with all the crap floating around, the good stuff can be hard to find by the readers. However, under the old rules, My books wouldn't be out there now. :)

  2. Great post Gary, I like the way eBooks have been such a game changer. After all, they helped me to find your stories. Sure there are some lousy "new" eBooks out there but there are lousy books from traditional publishers too. It can always be a crapshoot. In the meantime there is a whole new world opening up for writers and readers. Your blog post celebrates just that!

  3. Great post Gary - I have discovered how frustrating the traditional process can be. I know that my work can have a good sized audience, but maybe not as big as a traditional publisher would want. I like John Locke's idea to write for a niche of followers. Fortunately, e-publishing has given us that opportunity.

  4. Thanks for your insight for this method great story; this is the kind of feature that continues me though out the day.