Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Insecure Writer’s Support Group, What is Traditional Publishing, and Ninja News!

It’s time for another group posting of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group! Time to release our fears to the world – or offer encouragement to those who are feeling neurotic. If you’d like to join us, click on the tab above and sign up. We post the first Wednesday of every month. I encourage everyone to visit at least a dozen new blogs and leave a comment. Your words might be the encouragement someone needs.

My awesome co-hosts for today are Krista McLaughlin, Kim Van Sickler, Heather Gardner, and Hart Johnson! Be sure to pay them a visit and thank them for helping today.

Last weekend, I handed my manuscript off to my test readers.

This was after a month of edits, which included adding numerous small scenes, embellishing on others, expanding some subplots, killing off pet words, and eliminating weak adverbs and adjectives. Plus finding misspelled words. (Why is it after writing four space operas I continue to spell hangar wrong?)

Now, I’m one of those writers who prefer the editing phase. Getting my thoughts onto paper or screen is difficult. I’m usually not fond of my story while actually writing it. During edits is when I really start to like what I’ve written. The vision comes together and I’m happy with it.

My test readers aren’t writers. They’re just readers of science fiction. As my target audience, they let me know if the story works for them, what wasn’t clear, and what more I need to add. They’re actually tougher than any critique partner. I’m not too concerned though.

My real concern is that I only have one critique partner now. And within the next couple weeks, I have to find two more.

Any speculative fiction authors looking for a critique partner?

And… I nailed the synopsis this week! (Until my publisher gets a hold of it of course.)

Big News!
CassaStorm is a finalist in the eFestival of Words Awards for science fiction!! If you enjoyed it, please vote HERE

Ninja News

I need co-hosts for the next few months for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. If you’ve participated but never co-hosted, you’re missing a lot of fun. (Trust me, it’s even more fun to be on the host side of the equation!) If you can help in August, September, or October, just leave a comment or shoot me an email. Thanks!

Susan Gourley’s final book in The Recon Marines series, The Marine's Doctor, is out now! Pick it up at New Concepts Publishing.

Remake by Ilima Todd on the cover of Publishers Weekly!

Jeremy Hawkins is hosting What is Your Favorite T-shirt. Check his site for details.
And be sure to see all his new t-shirt designs at the NeatOShop!

Colin Frake - On Fire Mountain Event

Coming soon – On Fire Mountain by Colin Frake

Epic music masters, Two Steps From Hell, stretch the boundaries of the e-book, combining intriguing storytelling from Nick Phoenix, forty six hand drawn pen and ink illustrations from Otto Bjornik, and unforgettable musical themes from Thomas Bergersen—recorded with a live orchestra. Additional music by Nick Phoenix. Soundtrack & ebook available NOW on iBooks andCD Baby

Create the most epic book trailer in literary history for Two Steps From Hell’s enhanced ebook, Colin Frake, using Thomas Bergersen’s compelling orchestral track, “Battle At Hoback”, a brilliant blurb from the mind of master storyteller, Nick Phoenix, and intriguing hand drawn illustrations by Otto Bjornik!

The top 3 cinematic winners, chosen by TSFH, will be featured in Epic Music Vn’s 2-year celebration tribute video and awarded copies of the Colin Frake ebook and soundtrack, as well as signed cover artwork! The overall favorite will also receive a signed future public release album!

Hosted by Samantha Redstreake Geary and Epic Music Vn

Traditional Publisher and Author Question

It came up on another blog about what is a traditional publisher and a traditionally published author? The assessment was that an author is only traditionally published if he is with one of the big five. Otherwise he can’t call himself traditionally published, only independently published.

I did some digging and found this:

SWFA’s site where they define traditional publisher, self-publisher, and subsidy press:
A commercial or trade publisher (a.k.a. a traditional publisher) purchases the right to publish a manuscript (usually together with other rights, known as subsidiary rights). Big houses and larger independents pay an advance on royalties; small presses often don’t. Commercial publishers are highly selective, publishing only a tiny percentage of manuscripts submitted. They handle every aspect of editing, publication, distribution, and marketing. There are no costs to the author.

This was from Writers Digest Shop:
Traditional book publishing is when a publisher offers the author a contract and, in turn, prints, publishes, and sells your book through booksellers and other retailers. The publisher essentially buys the right to publish your book and pays you royalties from the sales.

This is from Scribendi:
In traditional publishing, the author completes his or her manuscript, writes a query letter or a proposal, and submits these documents to a publishing house (or has a literary agent do this for them, if one can be acquired). An editor reads it, considers whether it is right for the house, and decides either to reject it (leaving the author free to offer it to another publisher) or to publish it. If the publishing house decides to publish the book, the house buys the rights from the writer and pays him or her an advance on future royalties. The house puts up the money to design and package the book, prints as many copies of the book as it thinks will sell, markets the book, and finally distributes the finished book to the public.

Jan Friedman had an Infographic on the subject.

And I happened to find this on the history of traditional publishing at Cyber College:
Before the 1960s, the book publishing industry was composed mostly of independent companies whose only business was books. But, growing profits made the business attractive to large corporations looking for new investments.
(Sad so many small publishers were gobbled up, isn’t it?)

I also sent an email to my publisher. They responded that they were surprised to find out they weren’t a traditional publisher anymore and that would be news to the tens of thousands of other small and mid-sized publishers out there. (Yeah, from their tone, I think my question amused them.) Their answer - I'm a traditionally published author.

So, what do you think is the definition of a traditional publisher? If you're an author and not self-published, do you consider yourself traditionally published? Are independent publishers still traditional publishers?

(Bet you guys never thought I’d throw out something like this for discussion, did you?)

What are your writing insecurities today? Any science fiction writers looking for a critique partner? What’s your favorite t-shirt? And how do you define a traditionally published author?

And if you can, please vote for CassaStorm at the eFestival of Words Awards!


Sean McLachlan said...

I like having nonwriters as beta readers too. They look at the story, not the mechanics, and will give a much different perspective than writers. It's good to have a mix of writers and nonwriters on your beta reading team.

stu said...

If you find yourself short of a critique partner, I'd be happy to help out.

RaveAir said...

Easy! I didn't find any "hanger" word in the CassaStorm. ;)

I hope your test readers will be satisfied with the current status of your new book, and you won't have to modify too many things.

ELAdams said...

Congrats on finishing edits! That test-reader phase is always exciting, because you get to find out how your story works for readers.

The traditional publishing question is actually kind of related to my insecurity this month - the strange attitude I've sometimes encountered where small presses are viewed as inferior to big publishers. I'm with a small indie press and I've lost count of the number of times I've been unable to get my book featured in events (or even debut author groups) because "we don't accept indie or self-published books".

It's a bit disheartening, especially as my books go through the same rigorous editing process as they would with a larger publisher - the only difference is that, at the moment, I'm not in bookstores. Ah, well!

Lynda R Young as Elle Cardy said...

Puts hand up for critiquing. I love scifi and any form of spec fic as you know and I'm looking for another crit partner too.

I'm surprised small and mid-presses aren't considered traditional publishing by many. It kinda of makes me giggle a little. I definitely consider you traditionally published.

Shah Wharton said...

I'm happy to sign up to be a co-host for September onwards. :) shahwharton at g mail dot com.

I doubt you'll have any trouble finding CP's, but I fear I'd have little to offer - not being a reader of space opera. But that doesn't matter, and you can't find anyone better suited, then of course I'll help. :)

And yes, you're totally a Traditionally published author. I am not, although I could have been. But that particular offer wasn't good enough to swap my present status as an indie author. In contrast, your publisher sounds perfect for you and your books.

Lan said...

I make the same spelling mistakes all the time. Sometimes I think my fingers and brain get lazy and I just type the equivalent spelling and then let spell check pick it up!

I think "publishing" will morph into a much different entity in the next few years so the notion of self and traditional publishing will probably be obsolete soon. I can't wait!

SittieCates said...

Yay for your synopsis and the help you're getting from your beta readers!

Fave T-shirt? A black one. :-)

Elephant's Child said...

Congratulations on finishing that first round of edits. And good luck with CassaStorm.

Brian Miller said...

hope the readers give you some useful long do you give them to get back to you? and congrats on being a finalist for the award....

Mark Koopmans said...

Congrats on the nomination and put me down for September or October - if you need a IWSG cohort, er co-host peep :)

Cathrina Constantine said...

Congrats on getting the first edit complete and off to a cp. Now I'm off the vote for your book.

Sandra Ulbrich Almazan said...

Congrats on CassaStorm!

I am looking for new crit partners, but this time I need them for a fantasy novel, not SF.

Tony Laplume said...

Hang on, are you telling me it's "hangar" and not "hanger"? Perhaps we ought to hang 'em both.

mooderino said...

I can write a killer synopsis that hits all the right notes, until I show it to someone else. And then it's back to the drawing board. Well done on getting so far so quickly.

Moody Writing

Miranda Hardy said...

Great news for CassaStorm!

Interesting topic on traditional publishers. I suppose it's a subjective thing, but I consider small presses traditional as well.

Rhonda Albom said...

Congratulations on getting to test readers. I am doing Camp NaNoWriMo this month, and hope to be able to get a draft to beta readers by next month. I am happy to co-host sometime.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Sean, exactly!

Thanks, Stuart!

Zoltan, that's because I took them out. Because yes, I did write hanger the first time.

Emma, exactly!

Lynda, thanks, and you have a deal!

Shah, thanks! And it's been a good fit so far.

SittieCates, agree with you on the shirt.

Brian, a month or less.

Mark, thanks!

Tony, I saw we merge the spelling and make it easier for everyone.

Moody, know the feeling...

Anonymous said...

What a great way to find out how well your story flows - let people who aren't writers take a peek at it. I hope it comes back from them with nary a fix to make!

I can co-host either September or October (preferably October).

Jemi Fraser said...

I like the idea of having non-writer beta readers in addition to my awesome CPs!

Misha Gerrick said...

Mailed you about a possible CP arrangement. :-)

Traditionally published, I feel, is any sort of arrangement where the publisher undertakes to cover the cost of publishing in return for a portion of a book's income (as supposed to prepayment.)

Jennifer Lane said...

I too like the editing process. Congrats on writing the blurb! It's been fun to go about this at the same time.

I have published with a small press publisher and don't consider myself traditionally published. Interesting discussion.

Denise Covey said...

Congrats on CassaStorm being in the eFestival. Hope it wins for you!
Who would have thought there were so many views on traditional publishing? I thought a traditionally published author was one who chose a publisher over self-publishing...but I suppose having a small publisher is not much different to self publishing. I'm yet to find all this out for myself, so what would I know?

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

What a great idea to have your test readers be the actual audience for your work and not be writers. They're coming at the story from a whole other direction.

Madeline @ The Shellshank Redemption

Unknown said...

There's always that one word I continually misspell and it's always one I used CONTINUALLY!!

Congrats on the edits! I LOVE the editing phase. Like you, fleshing the story out is the hardest. And, yes, I usually HATE my story as I'm getting it on paper/screen. HA! And here I thought something was wrong with me! Even if there is, I'm in great company :P

I'd love to help out with co-hosting the IWSG in October. My only concern is that I work every Wednesday and wouldn't be able to really dig into the posts until late afternoon or the next day. If that's not a problem, I'll be happy to help. If it is, I totally understand. Just thought I'd throw that out there!


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Congrats on finishing edits. And the nomination.

And traditionally published is only the big five? What a load of crock. Those definitions describe a traditional publisher exactly. It's not based on size. Not even based on needing an agent, as I can name many small and medium sized presses that require one. Besides, thirty years ago there wasn't a big 5 or 6 - there were many, many smaller publishers. Don't worry Alex, you are a traditionally published author.

Unknown said...

I agree; just because a house isn't large, does not make it non-traditional. Congrats on CassaStorm--that's awesome! What I write doesn't really fit in a genre, but I'd be happy to be a critique partner, if you still have a need.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Some people just love to change the definitions. Just because its a small press does not mean they're not a publisher. Gazillions of authors are not with the Fab 5. It doesn't mean they aren't traditionally published.


Great job on the eFestival nomination!

Thanks for having me as a co-host!


T. Powell Coltrin said...

Looks like you have plenty of partners for now.

Doubt is always my insecurity, but the good thing is, EVEN if I thought I couldn't write, I would.

River Fairchild said...

Now I'm wondering if I've ever spelled "hangar" wrong and missed it... :) Words are such tricky beasts!
Congrats on getting your edits done!

Anonymous said...

To me, if they pay me and a book happens, that's traditional publishing. If I'm expected to pay them, that's something else.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

It sounds as if you and I have the same feeling about first drafts! I am never more insecure than when writing a first draft!

As for traditional publishing, I think most people define it just the way your three references did: A publishing house contracts for the rights to your work and publishes your book with no cost to you. The size of the publisher does not matter.

The person with the blog who said "traditional" meant only the Big 5 is ... how do I put this ... wrong. Yup, that's the word. Misinformed. Or trying to be divisive.

Mason Canyon said...

Congratulations on finishing your edits and your nomination. (I'm off to vote in a second). With all that is going on in the publishing world, are there any true traditional publishers left. I'm just thankful there are those publishing wonderful books to read whether they are traditional or non-traditional.

Marta Szemik said...

Sounds like you're right on the ball with the novel - awesome!
I stopped defining and pretty much caring about being traditionally published for some time now - and that's not to make it sound like it's wrong for others - it's just not right for me because it doesn't help me with my bottom line which is to support my family with my writing which I'm doing :)
So to me, at this point in my life, it doesn't really matter what the definition is. I care more about being a successful writer / author. A definition to a name doesn't exactly pay the bills.

Anonymous said...

When 18 Things came out, I contacted some book bloggers that I'd followed since 2010, thinking some would be happy to review my novel. All of them except one responded that they didn't review 'indie' books. I scratched my head because I didn't know I was indie, I wasn't self-publishing. But the truth is, my publisher does POD, offers no advances, & their books aren't placed in bookstores around the country. They are working to change that *fingers crossed* as they grow, but I do not feel like I'm not a product of traditional publishing due to those 3 reasons I listed. Doesn't mean the books they publish aren't good & still have value, obviously. And doesn't mean book bloggers need to be snobs about indies either.

Dean K Miller said...

Biggest insecurity today: Actually a tie for first place:
Editing, sorting and arranging my first poetry book...and accepting an invite to join a critique group of amazing writers (the same group I declined over a year ago because I was way too insecure.)

Congrats on a solid month of writing/work in June.

Arlee Bird said...

It's weird--there are certain words that I always misspell and some that I have a tendency to misuse repeatedly.

Good to hear the progress you're making on your next effort.

Tossing It Out

Luanne G. Smith said...

Good job on the edits. I need to find some non-writing beta readers too.

And I was a little confused by the "traditional" publishing comment as well. Seemed a little narrow to identify it as only the big 5.

Tonja said...

I think it's a good idea to have "normal" readers do beta testing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Rhonda, thanks!

Elsie, thanks, but I know these guys - there will be a lot to fix. And thanks - October would be great.

Double thanks, Misha! Hopefully I'll get to my emails by noon...

Denise, as far as I can tell, I went through everything authors with bigger presses do.

Jennifer, thanks!

Diane and Melanie, good to know.

Heather, how many are in a gazillion?

Anna, good point.

Dianne, thanks, and those first drafts suck.

Sarah Ahiers said...

Well, i'm definitely traditionally published (or will be) by every definition.

I think when people say "traditional" they're referring to the big 5. But that doesn't mean that a smaller house still isn't traditional based on the actual definition

Diane Burton said...

Congrats on finishing the edits and the nomination!

I agree with the definitions you posted regarding traditional publishing. I'm a hybrid, both trad and self pubbed (what many of us consider "indie"). While being pubbed by a trad has "prestige", the money is better (for me) as an indie.

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Most of my betas are not writers. It's readers we want to appeal to, so it only makes sense to go to readers for their input.

I the only thing I have ever considered when defining traditional pub is how we writers wear labels as badges and use it to set up a sort of writer caste system...while readers have no clue and just look for good books.

Congrats again on the award nomination! And how cool is that for Ilima?

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

Congratulations on your nomination!! That is so awesome! Good luck! And good luck finding more cps. I'm sure you'll not have a problem. :)

Juliana Haygert said...

Having non-writer readers is actually pretty good. Since they don't know all the writing rules, they can judge without being biased.

Congrats on CassaStorm being a finalist in the eFestival of Words Awards for science fiction!

Chemist Ken said...

Sending out stuff to my CPs always leads to a bit of insecurity.

I'd be happy to critique your story. I think I always learn more by reading other peoples manuscripts than I do when I look at my own words.

Jennifer Hawes said...

Congrats! There's small, medium and big book publishers. You're still a traditionally published author using any of these sized pub houses:)'
I'm always misspelling one word continually throughout my first drafts. I'm going to visit more IWSG posts later today. Another vacation day today!!

Nicole said...

Looks like you've got lots of CP volunteers, but I'll throw my hat in the ring too since I'm also working on a space opera. :) Congrats to Ilima and the others with great book news. That Q about "traditional publishing" was really interesting.

Fundy Blue said...

I think you have more than 300 words! ROFLMAO!
I'm going way out on a scary limb and volunteering to co-host in October ~ unless you think that's too brazen for a newbie IWSGer. I woke up really excited today! The Red Spot of Jupiter is currently in my brain ~ so many ideas swirling and storming around. It's good to be alive!

Kim Van Sickler said...

Wonderful idea having your beta readers as distinct from your critique partners. Fans would make better betas because they really care about the story arc (and sometimes critique partners are just being polite). I also usually find the editing process more comforting. It's hard starting off with that blank slate. As to your final question, I want to add, when I first started writing with the goal of publication, I had a fixed idea of what I wanted. But over time, that desire has changed drastically. I'm self-publishing my debut novel and couldn't be more thrilled with how it's going so far. I LOVE being in control. Why didn't I realize this before and spend so much time soliciting agents? Not that I wouldn't want one. The right one. But I'm done wasting so much time chasing them.

Pat Hatt said...

I screw up well and while here and there no matter how many times I go back and fix the damn thing haha people who are just readers do tend to give great feedback. As for traditional, seems to be a whole slew, not sure one can be pigeon holed in anything though this day in age.

Unknown said...

best of luck with the test readers, and I'm like you: I like the editing phase because the hardest part (plotting) is finally over :-)

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

I'm available to co-host any time, Alex. Congratulations on the e-Festival of Words Award! Very kewl.

Anonymous said...

I blame auto-correct for you. :)

Congrats on the award, Sensei!

farawayeyes said...

Unfortunately, no IWSG for me today. I'm buried in personal carp.

Interesting question about traditional publishing. I agree that anyone willing to pay for and publish your book vs. self publishing, seems pretty traditional to me. Why are we always splitting hairs? Just more things to be insecure about!

Shell Flower said...

Congrats on your nomination for the award and for getting to the beta-reader point with your fourth novel. Awesome. The thing about traditional publishing is that it is changing so fast, soon there might not be such a distinction. As more quality books are indie published, people won't be drawing that line.

Kimberly Gabriel said...

Ah, yes - editing. A man after my own heart. I love that phase too. I'm so thrilled you've been successfully writing, Alex. Happy 4th of July!

PK HREZO said...

Hey Alex!
I'm like you, I prefer those first few rounds of editing. It's satisfying, whereas the drafting is so draining. lol
Congrats on CassaStorm up for the award! I'll head over and vote!
And I'd be happy to read/critique for you anytime. Just holla. ;)

Michael Offutt, Phantom Reader said...

That's an interesting bit of research you did on "traditional publishing" and its subsequent definition. The first thing that comes to mind is umbrage from those authors published by the Big Five who seek/desire a separation between their books and ones that have been rejected by their big publishers and agents. It's an interesting "divide" and shows that the writing industry is hardly inclusive even though new voices can create a rising tide to lift all boats. Congratulations on your books success, Alex.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Thanks so much for mentioning my book. Funny about hangar. In the very last read through of my last novel, I found a 'hanger' because I do that all the time also.
I think the controversy about traditional publishing is sometimes caused by people who feel superior because they're with one of the big pubs. They still want to look down on everyone else. I with three different small presses and have a submission with a fourth and consider myself traditionally published.

Charles Gramlich said...

I like the editing phase myself. Love working the raw clay into final form.

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, Alex, congrats on being a finalist. Congrats also to those who have a new book out.

Although I first published with two small publisher, had to query and they did all the work to produce the books, I looked at my work as being traditionally published.

For some reason, we as humans always need to create unnecessary distinctions that perhaps make us more special than others. For me, once the publisher is doing the work to produce the book, you query and you're not paying to be published, then you're traditionally published.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mason, thanks!

Marta, very true!

Jamie, that's really sad they responded that way. Their loss.

LG, very narrow.

Sarah, exactly.

Diane, you would know then. And another author who is a hybrid said the same thing about the money.

Elizabeth, as a reader, I don't care either.

Thanks, Ken!

Jennifer, thanks.

Thanks, Nicole!

Fundy, that made me laugh! But the IWSG portion is under three hundred. And thanks - will need help in October.

Kim, good for you! And I hate the blank page.

EE, Amen.

Thanks, Joylene.

Debra, thanks. I'll blame it as well.

Faraway, thanks, and no worries.

Thanks, PK!

Fortunately not all authors with the big five are like that, Michael. Elizabeth and Elana are both super nice.

Julie Flanders said...

Wow, congrats on the efestival awards. Off to vote as soon as I finish this comment.

And I'd be happy to co-host again, I could do any of those months.

Mary Aalgaard said...

Congrats on all your writing and awards! I think traditional publishers are the ones who buy the rights and give advances. Self-publishing is when you pay for it all yourself. The Independents are somewhere in the middle.
My insecurities stem from competitiveness, comparisions, and egos.
Play off the Page

cleemckenzie said...

The distinction of traditionally published based on size and clout of a publishing house is bogus. Congrats on the Word Awards. I'll stop by and vote.

Loni Townsend said...

Grats on nailing the blurb and getting edits done. I don't read much Sci-Fi, so we're probably not a good fit as critique partners. Hope you find some good ones though!

Kristin Smith said...

I had to laugh about misspelling "hangar." I have my words that I misspell all the time as well, no matter how many times I've typed them.

I'd love to co-host the IWSG for October. Here's my email:

Very interesting discussion you brought up. I consider you and any others who have published through a publisher (whether it be a large, mid-size, or small publisher) as being traditionally published. I'd love to offer myself as a critique partner, but since I don't write sci-fi, I probably wouldn't be the best one to do it. Good luck!

Unknown said...

"Hangar" is spelled with two "A"s?? Holy crap! I've spent the last two weeks on a fight scene at an airport, and I've been spelling it "hanger" the whole time Whew! You saved me, Alex! <3

Congrats on being a finalist at eFestival!

Congrats to Susan and Ilima!

Since my book is published by a company that undertook all production costs and will pay me royalties but did NOT pay me a advance, I consider myself in possession of a book contract, but not traditionally published. Only if you pub with the Big Five (or a substantial, advance-giving press, like Tor of Flux) should you consider yourself traditionally pubbed.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

About what to call yourself or what is officially sanctioned by the majority -- to me, it is not what you are called, but what you answer to that counts.

I'm heading to vote for you now. You will probably have a ton of volunteers to act as a criique partner -- but should the impossible happen and you do not, I will be glad to help in whatever way I can.

Many congratulations on Ilima Todd for being on the cover of PUBLISHERS WEEKLY. Did you know I was on the cover of it, too? Then, I rolled over in bed and was off of it. Sigh. :-)

SK Anthony said...

Ooh, that's interesting about the traditional published and independent published author . . . I never thought to question it. Or that others would question it. As far as I see it, small and mid-sized publishers still represent traditional published authors.

Best of luck with the feedback, that's the biggest help you can get so I hope they're honest and are helpful. ;)

Jeremy [Retro] said...

HAPPY DANCE... Thank you! So many things going on and we are on the countdown to the end of the year all ready... Yikes!

You are awesome, once again thank you for the shout out!

Tyrean Martinson said...

I would love to be a CP for your book, but I don't have a scifi book for "trading" with cping - just Champion's Destiny - fantasy - and it isn't ready for a CP yet by a long shot since I'm just drafting at this point.

Awesome news all around!

And as for publishing - I've always thought it odd that small press publishers get separated out from the Trad presses, especially since they operate in a very similar way. However, I did create my own business name - Wings of Light Publishing - just for my own books, and I don't feel that I'm a small press. I might, just might, someday expand WoL to publish other writers, but that's in my super long-term dream plan. I would actually have to have a line up of cover artists, etc. to offer something like that. Maybe when I'm not homeschooling and my kids are in college, I'll get there.

Anyway, I guess I think that the line between "types" of publishing is pretty thin. Any indie author could take their business name and publish other authors with their expertise. A small press could offer advances (and some have in the past). Trad publishers could offer self-pub services. Anything is possible.

Huntress said...

I received my critter comments regarding book two, edited it and sent it to my fab editor, Angela. Awaiting the results this month.

Traditional vs non: Darn SWFA anyway. Snobby much? Too bad. I'd like to say I was a member. But it looks like they are in the minority.

ilima said...

Wow, thanks for sharing my photo, Alex! And I'm excited for you getting your book off to readers. I'm always so nervous about that step. And as far as traditionally published...I would consider small and mid-sized publishers to fall in that realm.

Nancy Thompson said...

CassaStorm is way in the lead, Alex! As for the traditional pub question, if a pub offers a writer a contract & published his/her book, sharing the royalties, it's considered traditional. The question is really what kind of publisher, Big 5 or small press, which determines whether the author can call themselves indie or not. If you're small press like we are, Alex, you can use either, as we are considered traditionally published, as well as indie. With the way the industry is going (badly for the big guys atm), I'd say we're in a good position.

L.G. Keltner said...

Personally I'm glad there are still small publishers out there. I wish there were more. The big five are great and all, but they aren't a good fit for everyone. I'd definitely consider you a traditionally published author. And no matter what conclusion people come to on that front, your books totally rock either way.

As for spelling errors, I'm frequently surprised by the number of them I find in my work when I edit. As meticulous as I am about things like that, some things slip by me, and some of the errors are downright embarrassing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Susan, and you are! Happy to feature your latest.

Joy, that's how I look at it.

Julie, thanks!

Loni, so far I have a lot of offers.

Kristin, thanks!

Lexa, glad to help! Yes, there is a difference. And if an advance makes the difference, I did get one for my last book.

Roland, thanks, and that's funny.

Thanks, Karen.

SK, that's how I see it.

Jeremy, you're welcome!

Tyrean, I like fantasy. And that would be cool if you expanded and took other authors.

Ilima, thanks and you're welcome.

Thanks to all who voted!!

Jackie said...

Congrats on CassaStorm being a finalist and for turning your ms over to test readers!

Crystal Collier said...

That's some pretty epic stuff, Alex. I'll head over to vote now.

Jeff Chapman said...

Traditional publishers give you a contract and handle the editing, production, distribution, and pay you royalties. It doesn't matter how big or small the press is. The key changes in publishing that have blurred the definitions are new production (eBooks and POD) and distribution (Amazon, Smashwords, etc.) tools. Ultimately, the only thing that matters is whether or not your book is selling. Do readers care how you're published?

Rachna Chhabria said...

Its great that you completed the edits and nailed the synopsis, my synopsis takes me ages and even after all that time, its sucky and yucky :(

I definitely consider you traditionally published. Congrats on becoming the finalist.

J.Q. Rose said...

Trad publishing or not trad publishing. So what as long as your book gets in the hands of readers. And just like Jeff Chapman, do readers care how you're published? In fact that is the question on my blog post for today. What a coincidence. Glad you are so far along on your next book. Congrats!

Carrie-Anne said...

I see traditional publishing as the Big Five, a huge house with little to no creative control for the writer after the contract has been signed. At the moment, it seems to represent the status quo, unlike the many indie houses and options available.

Unknown said...

Good for you getting your novel off to test readers! That's quite an accomplishment. And I think the two somebodies who step up are super lucky to be your critique partners. If only I read Sci-Fi. :)) Best of luck finding your new CPs!

Toi Thomas said...

It's kinda funny that you're looking for a critque partner when I'm looking for all the help I can get. It's nice to know it's not just us little guys who need help sometimes
Good luck on your award. I voted for you. That's a cool virtual book fair that I never heard of til now.
How cool is it that Ilima Tobb's book got on the cover of Publisher's Weekly.
As far as traditional publishing goes, I don't think it's size that matters. You are traditionally published if a publishing house accepts your manuscript for publication and distribution and then, at some degree or all inclusively, assists with editing and marketing without you having to invest personal funds.
Independent/self and hybrid publishing are discussion for another day, perhaps.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Best luck finding a critique partner! Glad you have a few GOOD beta readers, that's awesome!

I love Colin Frake's cover, though I thought that was the title since it's bigger than life. :P


Jenni said...

I loved reading about your process, Alex! I like how you use beta readers (who aren't writers). I've never done that before, and I could see how that could be helpful.
Congrats on Cassa Storm being a finalist!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Nancy, good to know!

LG, thanks! You rock. And I hate that I still mess up hangar.

Jeff, books have sold, so that is indeed more important!

JQ, I'll have to read your post then!

Toi, I am indeed looking. And maybe I'll get someone in here to discuss hybrid publishing soon.

Jenni, they save the story while my critique partners save the writing.

Chrys Fey said...

Yay for finishing this phase of editing and passing your manuscript onto your test readers. I enjoy learning about your process because I find it interesting that you like to edit more than writing the actual story, but I don't really hate editing, myself. It's just all the rounds I do that become tiresome. I would love to help out, but I'm afraid science-fiction isn't really my niche. I know you'll be able to find willing critique partners though. :)

Sarah Foster said...

Once I got the hang of editing, I enjoyed it, too. I honestly think I can eliminate 90% of my adverbs--most of them without even altering the sentence. I hope everything goes well with your test readers!

I've co-hosted before but I'm totally up for doing it again if you'd like! So much fun!

Tina said...

Oh wow...I really am out of it. It's the first Wednesday of the month...not that you could tell at my blog which epic failed at putting up an IWSG so sorry.

This was a most unusual Alex post. I've always thought of traditional publishing as someone offering you money for your book, and they take it from there, and independent publishing where you yourself have to take on the publishing costs, marketing and all the other aspects.

My favorite t-shirt is an old, threadbare Springsteen shirt from the 80s...

Tina @ Life is Good
On the Open Road! @ Join us for the 4th Annual Post-Challenge Road Trip!

Sherry Ellis said...

It's always good to get feedback on your manuscripts. I'm glad you have some beta readers. I bet you'll find some critique partners, too.

As far as your traditional publisher question, I think L. Diane Wolf summed it up pretty good in her book. Traditional publishers buy your work and pay publishing expenses, self publishers create their own publishing company and publish their books, and subsidiary publishers make you pay to publish your work, but the Library of Congress Numbers and ISBN numbers are registered under the subsidiary publisher's name, rather than the author's.

Tonja Drecker said...

Congrats to being a traditionally published author??? ;) Seriously, these word games are always ridiculous.
Editing is my favorite part by far too. Good luck with them!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on getting that draft out to your betas, as well as being finalist. Awesome news!

Sheena-kay Graham said...

I'll be glad to help you in September. If filled October, I was a co-host before and loved it. Congrats Ilima on making it in PW!! So glad your writing is going along Alex and I bet your readers will love it. Congrats also Alex for being up for an award.

Rusty Carl said...

Congrats on the draft being done! I don't think the definition of traditionally published authors has changed in a very long time. Folks who might balk at some small presses (and are equating them with self publishing) probably are reacting to some ebook mills that don't really vet submitted material. They just slap on a cover and release as many books as they can in hopes that one or two of them hit it big. It's really predatory stuff - and has given legit small presses a bad name.

Donna K. Weaver said...

So excited for Ilima!

I think there's an incredible amount of arrogance for people to say you're only "traditionally published" if you with one of the Big 5. I guess it makes people think they're better. Pffft.

M Pax said...

First, before I forget, I want to say congrats to Susan. Love that cover.

I rely on my editor these days as I write too fast for any CP. Luckily, she lets me know if I jump the shark or veer left.

Traditional publishing, is being published with one of the big 5. Yet the rest of us together own a larger chunk of the book market these days. Go us!

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

Congratulations on finishing your edits.
Good luck in the contest.

Birgit said...

The definitions -I had to reread them-hahahaaa. Hanger is what hangs from a person's nose and hangar is what you need when in space or so. Maybe that is a way to remember how not to spell it:)Congrats on how far you have gotten on your book. This seems so fast-good for you!

Birgit said...

The definitions -I had to reread them-hahahaaa. Hanger is what hangs from a person's nose and hangar is what you need when in space or so. Maybe that is a way to remember how not to spell it:)Congrats on how far you have gotten on your book. This seems so fast-good for you!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Chrys, no worries - I've had some awesome offers!

Sarah, appreciate it.

Tina, no worries. And that's how I've always seen it.

Sherry, that does sum it up!

Sheena-kay, September would be awesome.

Rusty, those mills sound awful.

Donna, that made me chuckle.

Mary, just don't jump the Sharknado.

Birgit, I'll try to remember that.

Andrew Leon said...

I'm going to say it like this:
The current, popular definition of "dystopian" is also wrong. Just because the public has glommed onto an incorrect definition and claim it as something does not make it the correct one.

Traditionally, small and mid-range publishers didn't exist. Go back to the 80s, and you will find that, basically, the only thing that existed were the large publishing houses and vanity presses. Anything that has come after cannot, then, be "traditional."

However, I get the desire of small and mid publishers to want to claim to be "traditional;" it gives them a certain legitimacy, but it doesn't make it accurate.

And, no, I don't care if I am the one against the 99. It doesn't make me wrong. Popularity is not a measure of accuracy. Just like it's popular to think that the dinosaurs were killed by a meteor when nearly all paleontologists will tell you that that is not the current belief.

(I'm not following comments, today; I'm too busy too filter out the 100s of emails I get when I subscribe to your feed.)

(And, yes, I know I'm contentious. But I'm not angry, even if it comes across that way.)

Rosalyn said...

So much to absorb here! I am thrilled for Ilima and her cover (so pretty!) As for favorite shirts . . . well, my husband has lots that I like, including a Firefly inspired shirt with a t-rex and stegosaur, "Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal"

Hart Johnson said...

YAY for getting your book in front of readers! (and good job getting a synopsis done--man I hate those things).

Interesting concept with the book/sound track. I've been wondering when we'd see that. I'd really love to have a function with ongoing link capacity (like to look at maps or in high fantasy, complex relationships (like family trees)).

And yeah... traditional is much more than just the big 5... Not sure why people try to fuzzy that line.

S. L. Hennessy said...

It's always hard to find trustworthy critique partners. But a necessary part of writing. If you need test readers who love sci-fi and read a lot in the genre, I'm sure there is a MULTITUDE on the blog-o-sphere who would jump at the chance (you have one right here in fact!).

Gwen Gardner said...

I'm with you, Alex. I don't love my first draft, either. That's what editing's for! Thanks for all the news :)

Laura Clipson said...

I'm the same, I much prefer editing to writing the first draft.
I can help co-host in September, if you need someone.

Nicki Elson said...

Congrats on getting to this stage of the process with your new book. Can't wait to get a look at that awesome blurb!

My favorite T-shirt was my Fixx concert T-shirt on which appeared a mysterious shoe print after a crazy night. The shoe print never came out. I'm so sad I didn't keep track of that shirt. :(

mshatch said...

I'm going to pass on entering the fray regarding the meaning of traditionally published. As for drafting vs revising...let's just say I like revisions a lot better than I used to. I just wish I was quicker!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Hope you find some crit partners. And congrats on being done with the editing!

Trad publishers, to me, are pubs of any size that offer some form of advance and then pay royalties for sales exceeding that advance. Trad pubs should provide the following services for free: covers, formatting, editing.

Sounds like the definitions are in flux, though!

Leovi said...

Yes, buno provide an objective review, you do not run only in PRAISE, to help us see our mistakes when they still have choice.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Andrew, according to the history of publishing, the small and mid-range publishers were the only thing that existed in the 60's and 70's and even in the 80's. So they are tradition. And based on every definition I could find, they are considered traditional. I'll side with facts.
And you don't sound angry.

SL, thanks! And yes, I got a lot of offers today.

Nicki, weird story about the t-shirt. said...

I envy you saying your edits are finished. I'm a couple of weeks away and long to say that I'm done. Sigh. I also feel like my story takes shape with editing. It feels good, doesn't it? Congrats on Cassstorm and GOOD LUCK!

J E Oneil said...

It's the a in hangar that gets you, I bet. That's what happens to me. Good luck with finding some new crit partners. I always have a tough time hanging on to them. I hope my books aren't scaring me off.

Natalie Aguirre said...

That's such a snobby definition of traditionally published to say you have to be published by the big 5. And so untrue.

Good luck with the critique partners. I know you'll find someone good. I have one person I already critique with who I've become friends with and just joined a larger group in town that meets twice a month or I'd offer.

Liz A. said...

Traditionally published? I'd say anyone who submitted their manuscript to a house and had that house accept it is traditionally published. But that's just me.

I could use a crit partner, but at the moment I'm not working on anything.

Andrew Leon said...

Well, I did a bit of research on the topic sometime between the last year and the year before and, what I found then (and, now, I wish I had kept my resource links), is that the accepted definition of traditional publishing (from those not trying to define themselves with it) is being published by a large publisher (and those publishers have existed for a century, so I don't know why you're saying they didn't exist in the 60s and 70s; they did), generally housed in New York or London.

Other publishers (small and middle) follow a traditional publishing model, but using that model does not make them "traditional publishers;" it makes them independent publishers using a traditional model.

The definition of independent is any way of publishing that falls out side of the large publishing industry (the big publishers). They cannot both be traditional and independent.

Those are the facts.

As I said before, Star Wars, despite its huge success, is an independent film because it was financed outside of the Hollywood movie houses. Publishing is the same way. If the money doesn't come from New York, it's indie.

Jay Noel said...

My beta readers are TOUGH, but I've come to rely on them. It's always better when your betas are smart readers vs writers.

I'm off to vote for CassaStorm!!!

Krista McLaughlin said...

I wish I read science fiction - but I don't usually, so I can't help there. Sorry! But I wish you all the best with your test readers. I have the same problem with spelling "definitely". I use it frequently when I write and still spell it wrong and usually have to cut it because I use it too much.

Good job on your synopsis! I'm awful at those.

Anonymous said...

Hey Ninja Captain! CassaStorm is definitely going to get my vote! I'd be more than happy to co-host any of the months you mentioned. If you prefer, my alter ego, Lily Eva at lilicasplace would love to do it since I focus more on writing on that blog. I'll leave the choice up to you and I'll shoot you an email also. (Hugs) Eva :)

Liza said...

Guess I can always learn. I considered anything as traditionally published if it wasn't "self" published.

Mason T. Matchak said...

Ah, the joys of handing off the manuscript to readers... I'm always nervous and wondering what they'll say, and if they'll spot any glaring errors I missed. >_< I am blessed to know some people who are very good at critiquing, though, and some who just plain love to read my work. Eh heh heh.

I've always thought traditional publishing meant that it was done via the usual method of agent, editor, and publisher, not like self-publishing. That's just how I see it, though.

And my favorite t-shirt is one my co-workers found for me. It reads "I am silently correcting your grammar." ^_^

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Kim, it will happen!

JE, yes!

Natalie, it is.

Andrew, the history above says that they were much smaller back then. Sorry you can't find the links, but the only ones I found were the four above, and they all state the same thing. Plus there was one from Nathan Branford's blog, but it was already too long a post. Those are the facts I found. Think that is overwhelming evidence.

Thanks, Jay!

Krista, thanks again for co-hosting today.

Eva, thank you!

Mason, that's a great shirt!

Helena said...

I'm like you Alex - I prefer editing to writing, especially to writing the first draft. Editing is easier for me and I can then concentrate on style and substance. And congrats on getting the synopsis done! Seriously, I can write a long chapter of a novel in less time then it takes for me to summarize my tale in a synopsis, query, or blurb.

As for traditional publishing: years ago I read a bio of the legendary book editor Maxwell Perkins of Scribner; his writers included Hemingway and Fitzgerald. This bio describes in detail how Perkins would edit the manuscripts and how publishing worked back in the days when it was a "gentleman's profession." In those days, editors made the ultimate decision to acquire or not to acquire. Now, I'm told, the marketing department and bean counters have more power. Sad.

Mark Means said...

I can see how editing is the "easy part", especially after having to get the initial words out. Best of luck with the rest of the process!

Christine Rains said...

Great work that your manuscript is off to your readers! And congrats on the nomination. I wish I liked editing my stuff. I like much better to do other people's stories. It's tough to do my own. I think the definition of what it means to be traditionally published will change as the publishing world changes.

Anonymous said...

Traditional publishers are ones that offer a contract and in turn ready the manuscript for the world and make it available at retailers at no cost to the author. I still see independent publishers as traditional publishers because of this.

I tried to vote but couldn't see a button.

klahanie said...

Hi Alex,

I don't get this need for a critique partner. I guess that's because I'm not that immersed in this writing thing. Test reader and edits and whatever would make me crazier than I already am. This means, kudos to you for having such dedication. I'll stick to therapy, shared writing.

I really don't see how being part of the IWSG would be fun to me. Then again, I'm very much somebody who does their own thing.

Congrats for being a finalist in the eFestival. You get my vote, good sir.


Cathy Keaton said...

We are like the same writer-type, Alex! I love my story when I edit it far more than when I'm writing it. To have written is better for me than to be writing.

Good luck finding some critique partners. What am I saying? You don't need luck for that. You probably already have 2 as I write this comment, lol.

Julie Musil said...

Congratulations on being a finalist! That is SO cool! I define traditional as the book being published by a company. But then I've heard that indie includes small publishers. So...heck...I don't know!

Elise Fallson said...

Good luck with this next phase of your writing, more and more I'm finding that I like the editing phase as well. Ok, now I'm off to vote! :)

dolorah said...

My understanding of traditionally published is that an agent/publisher picks up the story/novel and takes on all the publishing and marketing risks. If you self published on any medium, then you're not traditionally published. Alex, I'd consider you traditionally published.

I want to be traditionally published. I need the self esteem boost of having an industry professional say its good.

Suzanne Furness said...

Congrats on finishing those edits and the nomination. Interesting to read the thoughts on categories of publishing! I am a little surprised to read that some consider traditional publishing only to include the big names.So many excellent smaller houses out there that offer the same terms.

I can't co-host in August but would be happy to help out later in the year.

LuAnn @ BackPorchervations said...

How EXCITING!!! Is sending your manuscript to test readers like sending your child to school? Voted for CassaStorm.

Unknown said...

I think everyone's got a few words that they can never spell properly, but control and f make the process of finding them a lot easier than they would have been in the past!

Gossip_Grl said...

To me traditionally published means working with a publisher and publishing company to get your book to print. The Queen song Under Pressure comes to mind! :) Congrats on your space opera. Right now I am committed to another writer for reading a WIP and loving it!

Unknown said...

I have already sent an email to you regarding helping one another out with critiquing. I would love to be partners and look forward to reading your next work. I am humbled by your offer, thanks Alex.

A very interesting post regarding traditional publishing. It seems to be a bit perplexing in definition.

Patsy said...

I like editing too. Just as well as that's all I seem to be able to manage at the moment.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Helena, yes they do.

Medeia, so do I. And you have to register with the site to vote. Sorry, forgot to add that.

Cathy, I do!

Julie, they are still companies, right?

Donna, thanks!

Suzanne, thanks - the fall is still wide open.

Thank you, LuAnn!

Thanks, everyone!

Annalisa Crawford said...

Congratulations on being a finalist. Traditional publishing for me means any publisher that accepts submissions and publishes without cost to the author - and, in the main, supply their books to bookshops, rather than just distribute to Amazon and other online retailers.

Anonymous said...

Ninja Alex,
Awesome news that you nailed your synopsis. That is harder for me to write than the actual story.

Have a great month!


Michelle Wallace said...

With regards to indie/trad publishing, I'm not too clued up...
It seems like the boundaries are not so clear anymore, anyway...
Times have changed and so has the publishing industry.

Sam is involved with so many interesting projects. Really innovative concepts which seem to be extending the 'literary playground' and taking it in another direction. These projects could play an integral part in shaping the literary evolution... who knows...
Congrats on finishing your edits...
Good luck with your CP search.

Suzanne said...

Congrats on the nomination, fingers crossed :)

Being totally honest I haven't read through the previous 145 comments *hangs head in neglectful shame* but if you need a co-host Sept or Oct happy to help :) August on hola with the family - they might not take kindly to disappearing on the computer for umpteen hours LOL!

Suzanne @ Suzannes-Tribe

Maurice Mitchell said...

Having test readers that are just readers of science fiction is a challenge Alex since they'll just focus on what they like instead of writing ability. Congrats on being a finalist in the eFestival of Words Awards! I'd vote, but I haven't read the book.

Unknown said...

yay on finishing edits! Best.feeling.ever. though I am the same, I do prefer the editing/revising stage over writing.

Mark said...

If you need another beta reader, let me know:) Interesting point about publishing too. I think that so long as you've written something good and gotten it out there, you're a writer. No two ways about it:)

Catherine Stine said...

I love the editing phase too. It's about polishing and deepening. I wish I could volunteer to be a beta reader, but I haven't even started to read and prep for my spec fiction course in the fall. EEK! It looks like you have some great volunteers, though! Good luck with the edits.

Robin said...

It is taking me forever to slog through editing. I just don't like it the way you do. Bah.

As someone who worked at St. Martin's Press back in the early 90s I discovered that being published didn't necessarily equate to fame and fortune. SMP had then (and maybe still) one of the biggest catalogs of any major publisher. And so many books were swallowed in the mid list. Those authors were often not happy that there were book was designated a small amount of marketing and publishing dollars. (Hey, I can understand that, but there was nothing I could do about it.)

So getting published by one of The Big 5 doesn't necessarily mean your book will be better marketed. In fact, it could be eclipsed entirely by a Bigger Book and/or Known Author. A smaller press has fewer dollars to spend marketing a book. But is their smaller more than a mid list title at the Big 5???? That I do not know.

mail4rosey said...

Big congrats to you on getting to the readers. I don't write, but it sounds like you're getting to the end stretch, and that's got to be a good feeling!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Annalisa, my books have been in Barnes and Noble and others, so good there.

Michelle, she's involved in some cool stuff!

Suzanne, thanks!!

Maurice, that's why I used them for the story and critique partners for the writing.

Thanks, Mark!

Catherine, you're going to be quite busy.

Robin, I've been fortunate my publisher has put money into marketing my books. Interesting you worked for one!

SC Author said...

You're winning by a landslide - I think I'll say my congrats right now :D *knocks on wood*

Cynthia said...

Good luck with finding a critique partner.

I strongly disagree with the assessment that you need to be with one of the big fives to be considered traditionally published. That's like saying that you must own one of the top five brands of cars to be considered a driver.

Anonymous said...

It's funny you say you keep misspelling hangar. I had a story (it was spec fic too) and I had a hangar and I had no idea it was hangAr not hanger, and I would have never known if, for some strange reason, I decided to google air craft hanger and google was like "You know that's wrong, right?" Not even any of my betas or editor knew about that. We all thought it was hanger. It was a lucky catch.

Murees Dupè said...

Congratulations on reaching the final With CassaStorm. That is just amazing. Yay, for finishing your synopsis. I like that you use your target audience as test readers. To me that is so cool, because everyone else suggests I use fellow writers, when potential readers can tell you exactly what doesn't work for them.

Thank you so much for your inspiring words on my blog. You are very kind.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I'm a traditionally published author because my medium-sized (not one of the big guys) publisher gave me a contract and does all the hard stuff like content/copy editing, cover design, printing ARCs and mailing to reviewers, issuing a catalog for booksellers and libraries and more. I put no money up front unless I chose to do so for extra promo activities.

Stephanie Faris said...

Yay to handing your manuscript over to your betas. I hate the editing phase. I always end up painted into some corner that I have to get myself out of! Even with the short articles I write for clients, edits pain me, especially when I get one of those obscure requests like, "Make it less professional." (Yes, I've had clients request I make BUSINESS articles less professional!) Line edits are easy-peasy, but those, "Rework this entire scene" or, "the entire book needs more tension," I get a headache!

Ava Quinn said...

I like to edit, but I like drafting. The best feeling is when you actually feel like Ralphie from A Christmas Story writing his Theme. Good times.

Lori L. MacLaughlin said...

I consider an author to be traditionally published if he/she is not self-published or vanity published. Good luck with your award!

Sher A. Hart said...

I don't care for trade publishing anymore except that I expect better editing. Sigh. If none of your new crit partners work out, ask me. I've been reading SF since...well...that time machine went back to the age of dinosaurs. I used to be a lab rat, ahem, lab scientist. I also wove a logic net to catch plot holes, but don't ask me how it works.

Unknown said...

Yay! It's an exciting point when you send your manuscript off to test readers!

So ... the publishing labels thing. I know that some self-published authors (me included) like to call themselves indie authors because, you know, we're independent. But then authors who are with small, independent presses also call themselves indie authors. Or should they call themselves traditionally published? I don't think traditionally published can refer to the Big 5 only, but then where is the line between being called an independent publisher and being called a traditional publisher? (And does it really matter?!)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex .. I'm late - but if you ever need any help with anything just let me know. I haven't a clue what's required .. but I'm sure a brief over will be sufficient ..

Congratulations on finishing your edits and I hope in those amazing comments you've got enough readers .. I certainly wouldn't do ...

Interesting about Hanger and Hangar .. I'd never thought about it ...

I'm going back to vote and check out the awards thingy .. congratulations .. cheers Hilary

Vanessa Morgan said...

Congratulations on being a finalist!

G. B. Miller said...

Having been on all three sides of the equation, I look at like this:

Traditional: If you're with a company that you don't pay to get published and you've basically followed all the criteria set forth under the definition of "Traditional", then it doesn't matter how big or medium or small the company is (done this).

Subsidy: If you've sadly spent money for someone to publish your book, then you're a self-published indie who is probably deep in debt over it (done this).

Indie: If you've spend money properly (i.e. graphic designer, editor) and used a reputable company that only charges for royalties as their fees (i.e. Smashwords and Amazon), then you're a self-published indie not deep in debt (done this).

Father Nature's Corner

Cindy said...

My main insecurity is feeling like I will never finish another novel.

To me being traditionally published is being with one of the big publishers. But they have many books that don't sell that well, and there are many self-pubbed books that DO sell very well. So to me, it doesn't matter how you are published. Either way can be successful.

Bevimus said...

Congrats on the progress with your manuscript- it must be so thrilling to finish the first round of editing and be enamored with your story. It's a dream I have for myself some day!

I take a very literal definition of traditional versus non-traditional publishing: to me traditional means any time that a publisher (regardless of size, style or rep) buys the rights to your manuscript and does the leg work of publishing, marketing and distributing while self publishing is when you own the rights and do all that leg work yourself. From what I've seen on the web it doesn't seem that one is superior to the other in any way, they're just different methods of getting your written words out into the world.

Leovi said...

Yes, I think all we create something we must have a companion review

Unknown said...

Huge congratulations on being a finalist Alex. You must be thrilled with that.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Cynthia, that is awesome!

Patricia, no one caught it in my first book! My publisher had to make corrections last minute.

Murees, you're welcome. I do use writers as my critique partners, but I want regular readers to see it first to me sure the story works for them.

Patricia, exactly!

Stephanie, less professional? That is odd.

Thanks, Sher! I am good to go though.

Rachel, it probably doesn't matter.

Hilary, I wish I thought about hanger and hangar more often...

GB, that about sums it up! And you would know.

Beverly, I certainly don't think one is superior either.

Rebecca, I know I was surprised!

Lydia Kang said...

I'll go vote!

I prefer drafting over editing. To each his own!

Angela Brown said...

Congrats on your eFestival of Books nod. Way to go!

As for the definition of traditionally published, independtly published or self-published, I've often thought traditional referred to the route of publication, not whether or not it was one of the Big 5 or not. But getting a chance to see the different perspectives is interesting.

Shannon Lawrence said...

I's always a little unnerving awaiting feedback on your writing. I've got an in-person critique group twice per month, but I haven't been sending short stories off to my beta reader. Maybe I should. She's waiting for the novel stuff, though, which has been put on hold until the kiddos are back in school, just for my sanity's sake.

I haven't co-hosted the IWSG yet. I'm not sure about August, but I could do the months after that.

Lisa said...

Happy 4th of July Alex and have a great weekend!

Empty Nest Insider said...

Congrats on your nomination, and for coming so far along on your edits! I'm off to vote later today! Sounds like you have much to celebrate this holiday weekend!


kaykuala said...

Great you made good progress on your manuscript Alex! Self publishing is convenient in that printing need not be in bulk. Hope to compile mine shortly! Happy 4th to all!


Deniz Bevan said...

Shucks, now I wish I wrote science fiction :-)
Congratulations on getting your book to the next stage, and on being a finalist!

jaybird said...

I wish I had a bit more of your style/strengths in me! I hate the editing phase and it stops me up every time. I love to let the story and ideas flow but then, the thought of everything needing to be changed, starts to freak me out. I know typos and grammar are huge problems for me, (as well as tenses, OY) It leaves me a bit "insecure" in my ability and because of it, I would never offer to CP for you. I would not want to screw things up!

Kimberly said...

I prefer the editing phase too. I will also be looking for another crit partner or two soon. :)

Congrats on CassaStorm being a finalist for an award - hopping over to vote.

Fundy Blue said...

Hi Alex! I volunteered to co-host the IWSG in October. So now I need to know exactly what that entails. Particularly, do I have to do linky things? I am LD in computers! This morning I finally solved the mystery of why my IWSG badge didn't work, even though I got the image up a couple of months ago. I had http:// at the front of the address. Of such small things huge gnashing of teeth can result! LOL I want to get a jump start in case I have to call in the cavalry to help out with simple computer things! (I'll have access to several savvy nieces and nephews in Nova Scotia in a few weeks0. Hope you had a great 4th!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Shannon, thanks! It's a lot of fun co-hosting.

Jaybird, the idea of getting the story down so I can do something with it freaks me out.

Fundy, glad you figured that out! No worries, co-hosting is easy.

Unknown said...

Good luck with the critiquing! I like putting words on the paper, but the moment I come back it turns to mush :)

AJ Lauer said...

I might be convinced to help co-host in October! I should have my brain turned back on by then :)
Good luck with the editing!

Jeff Hargett said...

oooh I would so love to swap critiques with the Ninja, but there are many more qualified than I am.

Loved the topic that you threw out for thoughts and discussion. In my view, traditionally published simply means that the manuscript or story went through a "gatekeeper" that accepts and rejects stories based on quality and marketability. That stamp of approval carries a lot of weight with most readers.

T.F. Walsh said...

Well done on completing your edits.. you must be faster than me, as I'm still ploughing through mine;)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, AJ!

Jeff, thanks. You'd be qualified though.

Anonymous said...

Good luck with the eFestival, Alex -- you've got my vote. I've always assumed anytime you're contracted for your work and receive an advance + royalties, that's "traditional" and anytime you publish it yourself, that's "self."

Theresa Milstein said...

Interesting questions. I think a publisher can still be a traditional publisher if they're not one of the Big 6 (or whatever we're calling it these days). There are some who make a big impact even with their smaller sizes.

Wanda said...

Congrats on being a finalist Alex!

Leovi said...

My favorite shirt is hand painted with Picasso kitty!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Milo! And that's how I see it.

Theresa, true!

The Armchair Squid said...

My favorite T-shirt ever was a "Kenyon is not near Uganda" shirt from my sister's college visits. It was a guaranteed conversation starter. It even drew the curiosity of a man from Uganda who happened to be standing with me at a bus stop.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on getting the MS into your reader's hands. I envy your enjoyment of edits. Not my favorite thing.

Leanne Ross (

The Happy Whisk said...

I don't care if a writer comes from small press, independent, a side-shooter, or self-published.

But I'll ask you. After reading all of this, what do you consider yourself?

Unknown said...

It's so scary handing your finished manuscript off to someone else for the first time. I'm sure you'll get great responses and feedback!

Ella said...

I hope and Mrs. AC had a lovely holiday!

Congrats, Kyra, your book sounds amazing!

Oh, do I dare, listen to Summer Breeze?!

I can't get Ed Sheeran's Sing out of my head-ok, I'm over it-lol!

Anne R. Allen said...

I'm going to be addressing the subject of what defines "traditional publishing" on my blog on Sunday. My blog partner, Ruth Harris, was an editor at Kensington--a mid-sized American publisher--for many years, and she would be very surprised to hear she wasn't working in traditional publishing. We do have real, traditional publishing right here in the U.S. of A! Not all publishing is controlled by European conglomerates. I see you've removed some of the comments. Probably a wise thing, as I will explain in my blogpost.

Intangible Hearts said...

I always thought traditionally published means that your work is published by a publishing company other than your own self-publishing company.

Unknown said...

I hope it's not too late, but I'm available to co-host ISWG for September or October. Thanks !