Yes, I’m an author that’s rejected a publisher.
I suppose one of the main reasons is that I’m a businessman. I’m not going to take on some job that costs me more money than it’ll bring in. Oh, the book could bring in some money…but I’m not counting on it. And really, these types of books aren’t for writers like me. Who are they for? Academics.
I have no higher-ups, I only have customers and potential customers. I go for sales, not something that’s going to make me feel good and that I can show off to everyone else – I have more than fifty of those already. What’s more, most people don’t give a damn when you try to show your books off, and after awhile, they don’t make you feel that good. But I do have student loan debt, rent, bills, and a family to feed. That’s why I go for paying projects, not projects that require me to pay them.
Honestly, I’m disappointed, insulted, and laughing at the same time. I mean, you get 92% of the earnings but I do all the work? I’m sorry, but besides banking and healthcare, I don’t know any other industries where so many do so little but make so much.
I never got an email back from Arcadia after I told them that I didn’t think the project was economically viable. I said ‘thanks anyways,’ and got no reply. I waited more than a week to put this post up, thinking I might get something and that I wouldn’t have to say this. Alas, I have to say that Arcadia is only interested in their interests, not yours.
That tells you a lot, as does the email I got saying they’d send me some sample books to try and change my mind. The thing is, they’d already sent me sample books. Yeah, this woman on the email had no idea who I was, or that she’d already talked with me.
It’s a sham, really, and I feel sorry for people that get sucked into traditional publishing. You’re not going to find a better look at the decay of this industry than the article Kristine Kathryn Rusch put up on her site on April 2. It was called Business Musings: The Hard Part and goes into how the traditional publishing industry is dying, and how authors like me are dying because of lost sales. Yeah, Amazon KU is a killer, but it hasn’t affected me too much because I have so many nonfiction titles that aren’t exclusive and that can maintain steady sales.
Most importantly, I can focus on books that have a market, not those that could or might. I know which books will sell, based on what books of mine have sold, and I’m writing these. Working for Arcadia would have taken away from that.
We’re talking about opportunity costs here, and that’s something you need to think about. I might only get 50 sales on my next novel in its first month, and a long drop-off after that, but I know I’ll get those sales. And I know they’ll come next month, when I put out that book, not in six months or a year when editors and publishers are ready. I hate waiting, and when I work for myself, I only have myself to blame for making me wait.
Opportunity costs are so important for writers because they force us to look at what’s important, what’s not, and put our attention where it needs to go. If I can make money from something, I’ll most likely work on that, at least for most of the day. We all have projects we work on for fun, but oftentimes those get shunted off to the day’s side spots or rare moments. This blog post is one of those, and like most things we really like, they’ll fly off the fingers.
Writing for others helps a lot, because you make money and also get direction. What’s more, the income is so much better than writing for yourself, unless you’re a big-name author. I like writing for others and helping them get books out, and I wouldn’t be able to write my own books otherwise.
Traditional publishers don’t really work on anything for fun – it’s all money. Arcadia will have to get their 92% royalty rate from another, for I’m too busy.
Thanks for reading!