24 Comments
May 14Liked by L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright

Don't forget about me!

*SNIFF*

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I should do a follow up post with a list of good sites.

Originally I had it worded so I was going to talk about several sites, but I didn't finish it until 2:30 in the morning and at that point I was too tired to hunt them down.

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May 14Liked by L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright

BTDT

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Hopefully, people will take me up on it and suggest other sites--like yours.

Then I can do a second post sharing with.

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What link should I share for you?

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May 15Liked by L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright
May 14Liked by L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright

A wonderful article, and you make some great points - but I'd suggest a shift in terminology. Gatekeepers prevent or allow entry. So in that sense, truly and honestly, there are no gatekeepers in the world of indie publishing.

What I *do* so developing in indie, though, are exactly what you describe here: *guides*. People who have been there, done that, and returned to tell the tale. They've either blazed a path for others to follow (writing, editing, publishing, marketing) or they've gone exploring to find the best sights (reviews).

With indie, you can still go wandering off into the swamps if you really want. Those guideposts that someone put up for you are just that - suggestions of a good way to go. As the indie space develops, I expect we'll see more of these popping up over time: guides instead of gates.

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Oh I love the idea of guideposts!

I used gatekeepers here on purpose to be a little shocking. Because I did feel that we underestimated the value that the main publishers and reviewing magazines were contributing.

But I don't see any need to stick with that language. Going forward, I really like your guide idea.

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May 15Liked by L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright

The review sites are valuable, but they sure aren’t going to make an author rewrite her work for 6 years, because they can only review work that has already come out.

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True.

But...if there were a few really good established ones, a writer might learn from not being able to make their grade.

...and they would help the rest of the authors.

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May 20·edited May 20Liked by L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright

You can always fix it and rerelease, you know. There are ARC's as well.

As above though, that growing, learning, and polishing, that was once fostered by good editors, is now in the hands of other indies, those who. as another comment said, come back and share what they've done with others. That function of fostering growth is happening as well - in various writer's groups all over the world.

I had one amazing cheerleader for my first book, but it wasn't publishable. I knew it needed work (this was before internet) and it fell by the wayside for a long time before I picked it up again and discovered communities of writers to bounce ideas off of and to learn from.

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They're great resources for those who want them!

Indy, however, allows those who don't know they need them to go right to publishing.

There is no particular harm in this, per se, but it is hard on readers.

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May 21Liked by L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright

True, but so have the vanity presses that have been around - about as long as the big publishing companies. For that matter, what the big 5 is publishing these days is Also hard on the readers and I, honestly, will read Very little they put out and Only form Authors I know and trust.

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Vanity presses cost a pretty penny. There were very few vanity books compared to today's Indies.

The real issue is how to find the good authors.

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May 24Liked by L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright

There really isn't a good answer to that, except reading reviews and test driving ebooks.

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May 25Liked by L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright

I like a lot of this. Another thing to consider is do we need traditional publishers who will take on more conservative authors so we can get back into bookstores? Or even get publicity support (an incredible thought). I can think of Baen in this regard but am struggling to come up with other names in SFF.

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I believe we do!

My husband and I sold a lot more when we were in bookstores than we've sold since we haven't been out of them.

It is just the case.thay when people see the book they're more likely to remember they wanted to read it than f they merely hear about it.

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May 25Liked by L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright

I agree about actually seeing the book. Plus Amazon is overwhelming (even for me sometimes). Physical stores are a more manageable selection.

Do you have any likely publishers among the current crop? Or maybe some that could grow big enough to get books into brick and mortar? Seems like it's hard to break into Barnes and Noble though if you're not there already.

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I've started once or twice--trying to get into Barnes & noble--but I kind of balked whenever I got to the marketing plan, so I wasn't sure what to put down.

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May 15Liked by L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright

Vetting is a worthwhile responsibility. A couple of times it saved me from publication of things I would have deeply regretted. This is a really good post and I look forward to seeing more. Have to look into UPSTREAM and see what's there.

I've been hoping To see conversations between professionals online and in podcasts about the use of scripture in satire. Maybe you will have thoughts for the future…? I would be curious about what Mr. Wright would with think about this.

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author

That is an interesting question.

Can you give examples so I am sure we are talking about the same thing?

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May 15Liked by L. Jagi Lamplighter Wright

Thank you! Try this. Let me know if the post does not clarify. "Satire as subject of conversation."

https://sdorman.substack.com/p/satire-as-subject-of-conversation

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Thanks!

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Nick Cole did a podcast talking to authors encouraging them to avoid writing things their mothers would be ashamed to read or they would be ashamed to know show to their mom. I wrote an article encouraging authors to look into themselves before writing something disrespectful. It was about fanfic.

I think I received one ten thousandth of Nick's eyeballs, but our message was similar, for authors to be their own gatekeepers. There should be gatekeepers. The West surrendered on that slowly, then all at once.

Now nothing is forbidden, except decency, Christianity, Families, God. All that is subject to the system's gatekeepers.

As someone noted earlier, gatekeepers is a rather anemic term. Maybe something more muscular and forbidding?

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