Stay away from traditional book publishing

Dean Wesley Smith knows a thing or two about writing. He’s a prolific, with almost two hundred novels and hundreds of short stories under his belt. In forty years in the writing business, he’s also been an editor and publisher, so when he says, “Stay away from traditional book publishing,” it’s probably a good idea to listen.

The advice comes from one of his daily blog posts late last year.

Yes, I sold my first novel [to Big Publishing] in 1987 and did my last work for them in 2008. I did 106 books (that I can remember) through traditional big-five book publishing. I am pretty convinced that even by my math, most of that was last century.

Let me repeat that. Last century. You know, dial phones hooked to a wall with cords, no internet, no email. That century.

He gives eight reasons. Here’s just a couple.

Reason One…
— They take all your copyright for the life of your work, and often will buy your characters and worlds if you are not super careful. You can’t negotiate with them on this, especially if you went begging to them with your tin cup manuscript in your hand.)


Reason Eight…
The biggest reason for me. You lose all control of your book. And maybe all of your writing depending on the contract you sign. They put a bad cover on your book, a bad blurb, and give you a bad copyeditor and there is not one thing you can do to change that. Nothing. You have no control at all.

I’ll let you explore the rest. Here’s the link.

(And check out DWS’s bibliography on Fantastic Fiction. Just keep on scrolling. Seriously!)


Central graphic: Cäsium137 (T.)Template from chris [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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