Monday, September 26, 2016

The Future of Declan Finn The Publishing Industry, and DragonCon

I went to DragonCon with a bit of a mission: to enter something close to traditional publishing.

I was actually feeling kind of good about it, especially by the time I left. I had the business card of an agent with connections to Baen and Tor. I had Jodi Lin Nye's business card. After the Dragon AWard ceremony, Baen editor Toni Weiskopf came up to me, shook my hand, and said it was nice to meet me, she had read my blog.

For that last part, I grinned like an idiot until I had to sit down. Also, it may have been because I am generally terrified of public speaking, and it only kicked in after the ceremony was over.

Ever since I got back, I've been having backroom conversations with people who have varying opinions on the publishing industry.

The short version of the conversations seem to boil down to, "Baen is okay, screw everyone else, and just self publish. You don't need no stinking agent. You just need to publish four books a year."

Uh huh. Gee. Thanks for the help.

I try not to talk money, or sales numbers on this blog. I do everything I possibly can to avoid any such thing. I'm told that, proportionately, I'm not doing that bad.

"Not bad" is enough for me to live with several other people in New York City, but not enough for me to move out of this town, into somewhere else. I love New York, but the cost of living is murder.

But I've been inundated with stories of bad agents -- agents who have great ratings in predators and editors, and are not scam artists, but who have rewritten and destroyed books by inserting themselves into the writing process.

Or stories of publishers who will destroy books by lousy covers. I've gotten a few of those stories from multiple sources. Not to mention, hell, have you seen some of the covers put on good books lately? Count to A Trillion is a great book, but the cover art is very .... bland.

So, what the hell am I doing?

First of all, I'm going to do everything. Yes, everything.

I'm going to submit something to Baen that no one has ever seen before.

I'm going to talk with Jodi Lynn Nye about her agent experiences.

I'm going to submit to the agent.

I'm going to self publish the Complete Pius Trilogy as one Kindle volume. Just as soon as the artist is done with it.

I'm going to self publish the sequel to Codename: Winterborn. Just as soon as the artist is done with it.

Yes, I'm going to blame Dawn Witzke, the artist, for a lot of it. Even though I really should be spacing out releases on principle.

I've also got another project on the block. Which I will discuss tomorrow.

What will I be doing with Set To Kill and the vampire novels? No idea yet. I'm waiting on rejections.

So far, this year, I'm going to at least publish three more works of fiction.

So ... yeah, we're not done yet. The year isn't over, and neither am I.

The fun is about to start.


  1. Hey,you've got an Eats shoots and leaves moment going on in your article title.

    Sincerely, your friend, the comma


    Though I wouldn't mind a Declan Finn publishing industry! Looking forward to some of those upcoming releases.

    1. Check the latest blog.
      Your wish is granted. :)

  2. Take it from somebody who's been doing this "writing" thing for fifty years and has the scars to show for it: You're doing pretty damned well, and as best I can determine, you're doing just about everything right.

    My advice: 1) Be VERY careful about the publishing contracts you're handed. There are some amazingly audacious power-grabs going on out there. A lot of publishing houses consider writers disposable. Don't make yourself disposable. 2) Write what you want to and make it shine. If tradpub doesn't want it, you already know what to do. 3) Like they say in square dancing: Don't stop; don't slow down. 4) Listen to your readers. They're the ones writing your paychecks.

    I'm currently reading Honor at Stake and I'm quite impressed. Will move to the Pius books after that and a few other reading commitments. Catholicism as a category in fiction is under-served. You chose wisely. The challenge, as always, is letting potential readers know how you chose.


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