Romance By Catherine: What is this notion of selling out?

Thursday, April 5, 2012

What is this notion of selling out?

I'm packing up to make my way to Chicago next week. I bought some new fancy luggage that won't fall apart when a Gorilla jumps on it...or when the airline tosses it like a leftover banana peel onto the ramp. I wiggled my butt into a new dress and found a great deal on yet another pair of black strapy-like shoes. A girl can't have to many of those!

The Romantic Times Convention is a great time for romance writers. It's a time for us to gather, talk, giggle and go on for hours about what we love...ROMANCE.

In my preparations to leave I'm surfing the net to see who is going to RT, who isn't. I would love to chat with other successful self published authors. And even those who are struggling right now...but there are a handful of us who have gone about the whole publishing thing ass backwards.

This week I accepted two contracts for Wife by Wednesday to be translated and placed in print in other countries. I'm over the moon. I wouldn't have that opportunity without the work of my agent and her staff.

So what does this have to do with my title of this blog you ask? Well, as I surfed the net I looked up a few people, authors who have managed to self publish work successfully and then go on to sign book deals with a legacy publisher. When looking up these authors I found some nasty stuff written about them. People can be awfully awful sometimes.

One reader didn't like the book that was published by the NY house and went on to tell the author that she 'sold out'. I did a double take.

WFT? Really? Sold out? Just because you don't like the work doesn't mean the author sold out. And perhaps the reader should understand that as a 'successful' self published author, she would have probably made more money self publishing the book than contracting it to a legacy publisher.

My goal as a writer is to write books. I love writing! After the success of Wife by Wednesday I've had publishers contact me asking if I would be interested in working the traditional route. Of course I would. Does it mean I will sell everything I ever write again to a big publisher...of course not!

In case the reading public doesn't know...most authors want to be an author, not a publisher. However, times are as they are, in order to continue to write books and make a dime many authors have turned to self publishing. If an author was dropped by their publisher they have little choice but to self publish. A new writer breaking in might only be able to get their work out there by self publishing.

But what is this notion of selling out? Did I sell out because I wrote a book and sold it for .99cents? No. I made my book available to the masses. If I sign a legacy deal am I selling out to get my books on the shelf? No. Most authors would give their left nut, tit or whatever to sign a 'great' deal. The only thing now is my idea of a 'great' deal has changed. I know the business side of selling books better than most.

I don't mind be the poster child for self published authors. In fact, I rather enjoy it. I've learned a lot and I will probably always self publish. But that doesn't mean I'm going to leave all my eggs in one basket? Not sure about tha. Times...they are a changing folks.

E-Books are here to stay.
Self publishing is here to stay.
Legacy publishers have to make changes to stay afloat.
Small presses need to change to compete.

And Catherine Bybee is going to continue to publish books...self or otherwise.


Sky Purington said...

You go girl! Love it. :-)

Rachelle Ayala said...

Good for you, Catherine! Books are books no matter how they're brought to market. Have fun at RT! :)

Catherine Bybee said...

It's exciting Sky.

Thanks, Rachelle. I will.

Aithne said...

Keep on your track for success. ;D Have fun in Chicago.

~ Aithne

Shelley Munro said...

Have a blast at RT, Catherine.
You've done so well and deserve every bit of success that comes your way :)

Maryrose said...

As a former bookseller (Borders), and now a pre-published author, I applaud you, Catharine. I am fully aware of the uphill battle I face, but I am so determined! You made my day by reading this. Have fun at RT! I was there last year as a bookseller, and here's hoping that next year I'll be there as a published author! All the best, and I'm on my way over to Amazon to purchase "Highland Shifter."
All the best!
Mary Morgan

Maryrose said...

I had posted a comment a few days ago, and it seems to have vanish, LOL! Well...I'll keep this one short. I applaud you for what you are doing as a writer! I am a pre-published author, and a former Romance Expert/Bookseller for Borders Books, til the end. I have been writing for several years, and after the liquidation, I took this as a sign to devote all my energy to my book. I am fully aware of the uphill battle I face, but will continue to strive to get my book published. Your words inspired me, and I felt the need to let you know. I wish you continued success, and today I received a book I ordered....HIGHLAND SHIFTER! Also, since the Romance Readers group I started in 2010 is still going strong, I am going to share this with them.
All the best!
Mary Morgan

Catherine Bybee said...

Ugh, you were caught in the spam gets dirty in there, Mary.

Thanks for you kind words. It is a battle, but if you love to write it is worth it.

Best of luck with your book! And thank you for buying mine.

Carole said...

Since you love romance, you might like this Janet Evanovich quote Evanovich quote