Reviewers On the SPFBO

So Fantasy Faction put up its consolidation of responses from reviewers taking part in the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off. It’s worth reading for the range of responses—from the majority who found good reads to the minority who seem to believe indie writers are arrogant little things who ought to buck up.

As of this moment, my comment is still in moderation,* but I’ve included it here:

Thank you for putting these answers together! It’s interesting to see the numbers–the majority–in line with others in the field. (As in, the six out of seven SFWA members who consider indie publishing on the same professional footing as trade publishing.)

We talk often about self-publishing being a revolution. In truth, it’s an evolution, and the entire ecosystem will eventually evolve with it. As a reader and a writer, I greatly appreciate those who are taking part in the transition rather than waiting for it to be over. 🙂

I believe that truly, because we’re not talking solely about business opportunities here. We’re talking about a cultural and sociological shift as well. When business opportunities broaden, when consumers gain more control over purchasing decisions—and when those two things combine to alter the level of influence enjoyed by primary and secondary players—there will of course be resistance from some.  Few people like change, especially when it affects their foundational expectations.  And of those who don’t like change, very few will set that dislike aside in order to explore the opportunities of the new.

Three years ago, I told folks who asked me about the changes in publishing that it’d likely take three to five years to integrate. The three-year notion turns out to have been optimistic in terms of the most entrenched. But it’s about right for the majority. We have a little bit of time to go, but pros in the field who gain their news and information from diverse sources know things are changing beneath the feet of those who wish to stand still.

In the meantime, readers are enjoying their expanded options, and don’t much care who approves.

It’ll be interesting to see the readership and influence of different reviewers in the coming years. Will the most-read and oft-citied be those who opt now to stick solely to trade-published works most favored by marketing departments? Or will it be those whose diverse reading pool matches that available to readers?

If you’re a reviewer who’d like to see professional indie offerings, and would be willing to give SFWA some feedback, please drop me a line via my contact information.

And, once again, I really really wish I could find those old discussions about whether online markets should be considered professional, or if they were simply a dumping ground for stories that couldn’t cut it in the print mags.

In the meantime, I’m off again to Sirens for the evening!

*I moderate my comments as well, so the observation shouldn’t be taken as a criticism.


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