Novelist and equine expert Judith Tarr has had quite enough of seeing writers pushed and manipulated by publishers. The first segment of her series “Escaping Stockholm” is here. At the end of that post is a link to Part Two, and Part Three should be available May 30.
I never broke into trade publishing with a novel (just a couple short stories), but first met and befriended published novelists over twenty years ago. I’ve watched and listened to their experiences. Some years ago, I decided I didn’t want to work under the constraints and conceits of traditional publishing because what such work would require wasn’t the sort of thing I wanted in my life.* What Tarr is discussing–the treatment of authors on all levels of what should be a professional relationship–highlight many of the reasons I chose to self-publish.
*I consider it unreasonable to give an editor one, two, or more years of exclusivity to make a decision about my work. I get that traditional publishing has many reasons for wanting both exclusivity and open-ended time to decide. That doesn’t mean I find those reasons acceptable. Some writers will call me arrogant for refusing a single person exclusive rights to hold what I’ve created–without given either a decision or compensation–for as long as that single person wishes. Most non-writers would call me crazy for agreeing to such a thing.