Playing by the Rules

by juliusmsanz

While I wrote in my first couple of posts that I could write about writing for a long, long time I didn’t know at the time that I would reach 100 posts in a matter of months. For me it’s crazy because this is my first true blogging experience and I honestly didn’t think I would last this long. I could see maybe this amount of posts over six months or more, and while it’s true that I ramble too much and talk about stuff that has nothing to do with writing, I think I’ve done a decent job at expressing my point of view when it comes to writing. Furthermore I couldn’t have done all of this without your support, and for that I thank you deeply.

Let’s talk about serious stuff now.

It seems like it was meant to be, there have been some signs (I don’t really pay much attention to that stuff) that I should write about rules and the state of writing in my 100th post.

The world of writing is completely different from what it was 20 years ago, the internet changed everything. It changed everything in a multitude of ways. First you have a broader market to promote and distribute stories and books, then you have the option of purchasing a book in e-format instead of relying solely on print. Personally I think it’s great, I understand there are some purists out there that still prefer a true book, I used to feel that way and now I’m torn. I’m torn because when I think of the bigger picture I understand that e-books have plenty of advantages and can be more eco-friendly. The very way publishers function nowadays is different from 20 years ago. There is no longer a monopoly that controls our fate.

When you look at it you realise that smaller publishers have a way to be financially stable, and that brings money to everybody and makes everybody happy. I tried to establish a publisher a couple of years ago, but just couldn’t cope with distribution costs if I tried to make physical books, it wasn’t a very viable project (I’m still thinking about it) but that doesn’t mean nobody can get into the industry, quite the opposite. Great things come to those who are willing to risk it, but it’s also a great deal of work and stress.

What bothers me the most is just one thing: everybody is still trying to play by the rules. We still rely on a method that isn’t 100% accurate for a chance to sell a couple thousand books or, if you’re really lucky and good, a couple hundred thousand. But the truth is you don’t have to be good to sell that much, you just have to have a big machine behind you to help. How many writers have seen their works rejected a dozen times only to be later recognized as great pieces of writing? And yet we convince ourselves that they are right, that our work isn’t good enough, and then if we don’t have the guts to deal with rejection we hide in a corner and destroy a great project.

Let me clear a couple of things: sometimes the work is just no good, sometimes those editors are right, sometimes it is good to revise and work on it further and to ask advice (it’s good to ask advice, just don’t take all of it at all times).

But what happens when the work has a chance to shine and make an impact and is simply rejected without a blink or a reason why? What happens then? How can you improve if you’re not told what you did wrong? Nobody is born knowing everything.

Just because there are rules it doesn’t mean they can’t be changed. And when you send your works you are playing by rules that are not yours. Do you understand the rules? Do you understand the process? This kind of rules was simply created by the companies so they can remain in power and dictate the process. I understand the royalties, I understand the percentages, all of it. It still doesn’t mean we have to be satisfied. The truth is that the market is huge right now, and that means complete unknowns can make a splash without a problem.

Part 2 is reserved for tomorrow.

Hope you enjoyed it and again thank you for your support.

Have a nice day!