The latest Clarksworld Magazine editorial is an encouraging one for self-published writers. In it, Neil Clarke details some of the frustration the magazine faced at its inception; authors who wouldn't submit to online magazines, reviewers who refused to consider the magazine's stories, etc. He likens this early reception to the frustration independent authors presently face as they strive for respect in the marketplace and writes:
"If I had to guess, within two-to-three years, we won't be hearing much about respect based on the medium or method an author employs to publish their work...Traditional and indie publishing models both have value and the smart money is on those that embrace the best of both. Established authors like Mike Resnick have self-published portions of their back-catalog and well-known indie authors like Hugh Howey have signed book deals with NY publishers."
I agree. For me, the focus is forward, wherever the road might take me. For instance, today I'm identifying new markets for stories and submitting both new and reprint pieces. I'll also be working on a promotional blog entry for my self-published collection, which a friend and colleague has graciously requested for her blog (I'll post a link to that when it appears). Tomorrow through Friday, I'll be finishing those worldbuilding panels for Harbour Con-Fusion and diving earnestly into genetics research for Book II of the PTTB series. Yes, I want the recognition, the awards opportunities and the promotional boost traditional publishing offers me, and I'm capable of competing in that arena. At the same time, I know that I'll have to self-promote whether I'm traditionally-published or self-published, and I have certain stories to tell. It's good to know that I'll be able to tell those stories no matter what banner they appear under.