All images on RT Booklovers Convention…’ By C London
If Wednesday’s experience at RT Booklovers Convention highlighted the steamroller effect of electronic books on the publishing world, Thursday spotlighted the stability of the classic machine. Over a dozen distinguished members graced both editor and agent panels.
For the uninitiated, the panels would resemble the submission guidelines present on each agency and publishing house website. Through the eyes of a published author, it was reassuring to see that the efficacy of the machine at culling through the reams of manuscripts they receive is still in place.
Like it or not, agents and editors are the gatekeepers of the publishing castle. It has never been a perfect system. As a highly subjective business, editors and agents have served the publishing world for decades in a similar manner as informed readers might. They are there day in and out, reading through the chaff and the ‘almost ready’ to find that diamond in the rough.
The brave new world of electronic publishing has enabled hundreds if not thousands of authors the ability to format and post their work (‘self-publish’)–many before ready. As it takes a village to raise a child, so to it takes many eyes and minds to polish a manuscript to readiness for readers. An author who thinks they can do it all is more likely than not deluding himself–unless, of course, they are the caliber of a Barry Eisler.
Turning down a half million dollar advance might likewise seem foolish, but when you are as engaging a presence as firmly planted on a sturdy platform of excellence as Barry with as large a following, you just may be able to pull it off.
Until an author has the skills of photographer, digital artist, publicist, editor and agent within his repertoire–perhaps more importantly within his desire to accomplish AND continue to turn out quality material—self publication is NOT recommended. Few of us have the talent, time or resources to pull it off. If anyone does, Barry Eisler does.
As I sat in the front row of a panel about writing romantic suspense on which Barry Eisler and N.Y. Times Best selling author Brenda Novak were participants,
before the beginning of the discussion Barry was overheard to say that he is not at all worried about his decision to go the self publishing route. He has the experience of New York publishing under his belt and is now willing to take the risks inherent in self publishing to glean a much larger percentage of the profits from sales. He has no delusions of the difficulty and work involved. He also has the connections and resources to help him.
All images on ‘RT Booklovers Convention…’ By C London
Later…Boys Don’t Cry: The Male Point Of View, Cover model Jimmy Thomas, Champagne in the Penthouse with Publisher Weekly’s Barbara Vey, Mega booksigning on an almost unimaginable scale, cover models vie for position and more…