So… you think you have it tough as a debut author. Competing with millions of others wearing your shoes – trying to get book deals with five major publishing houses, and not knowing someone in the industry or having a huge Author Platform. The pressure feels stifling; the possibilities – daunting! You think, “Ah, heck, for authors a hundred years or so in the past – it must have been a piece of cake compared to what I am facing!”
Always wanting to say "with" this rapidly changing industry, today I read an article in Penn State News, about a doctoral candidate who is working on her dissertation of what writers in 19th-century France faced. Apparently, during that time France experienced Decadents; our current industry calls us Independents! One major difference I saw in the article is that authors of that period gauged their success on the connectedness to a publisher; because of technology, we have literally no constraints!
The article became really fascinating to me, as the writer described those French Decadents! What did I see? The fantasy writers of today – writing about things unknown and perhaps a bit immoral - and in her words, “… fascinating, if a little crazy!” Needless to say, they were not picked up by the limited number of mainstream publishers of the time and had to rely on “relationships” with others to gain any kind of visibility. Alas! They did not have the technical advantage of Facebook or Twitter.
You really have to applaud this woman – so intent was she on getting to the heart of these writers, she used ArcGIS to create interactive maps, and following significant research on a handful of well-known French Decadent writers of the time, made some very interesting discoveries about the impact on their success – dependent upon where they lived.
I don’t want to spoil Helene Huet’s discoveries for you; I know you will enjoy the article as much as I did – and would love to hear your comments about how it may have changed your perspective on the challenges of being successfully published that may or may not be in front of you – perhaps what you looked at as a challenge is actually an exciting opportunity… considering everything!
Anna Weber | Literary Strategist
Residing in the Metro Phoenix area. Anna Weber, a Literary Strategist, has been supporting the endeavors of debut authors for over a decade. She has written more than a dozen books that guide writers through the phases of becoming a successful author: writing, publishing and distribution, and marketing and promotion. Anna is a prolific writer, a frequent speaker and presenter before entrepreneur and service professional groups and provides breakthrough strategy sessions to clients globally. An ardent student of the rapidly changing publishing industry, Anna spends approximately one third of her time researching and/or attending continuing education programs. She lives in Chandler, Arizona with her husband, Robert Stearns.