Marsha Canham's Blog

April 6, 2012

I hope Jodi Picoult likes worms.

Filed under: Caesars Through the Fence — marshacanham @ 1:13 pm

I hope she likes worms, because she’s opened a whole can of them. During a recent interview ( http://www.huffingt uk/2012/04/ 04/jodi-picoult- lone-wolf- interview_ n_1403190. html) she was asked:

“Q: What do you say to people who want to emulate your success and want to be writers themselves?

A: My current advice is to not self-publish. It’s still too hard for people to separate the wheat from the chaff, and what you miss out on is the marketability that is afforded to you by a brick and mortar publisher. There’s a lot of crap out there, and one day we may find a way to segregate well written self published fiction from that stuff which anyone can throw on Amazon, but I just don’t think we’re there yet. Let me put it to you this way. The anomalies of self published fiction, the Amanda Hockings of this world – what did they do with their next book? Do they self publish it? No – they make sure they get a publisher.”

My my. I wonder if that makes me chaff?  I’ve been chuffed before, but never chaffed. Oddly enough in an interview *I* just did for Book Lovin Babes ( one of the questions was concerning backlash from publishers, and if I had gotten any.  My answer there was no, not from publishers, but surprisingly enough (and I quoted Ms Picoult’s answer there too) most of the flak has come from authors. Actually, all of the flak has come from authors.

I was partly guilty myself, two years ago, of thinking that self publishing was just another form of vanity press. After all, we dinosaurs who have been in print for over 25 years were conditioned to believe that to be acknowledged as a good writer, one had to be in print. Publishing Houses live by that mantra, that’s how they survive. Some readers refuse to look at Kindles or iPads or Nooks for the same reason, they believe an author is not an author unless one can pick up a book, crack the spine, and flip the pages.

Well. I’m here as living proof that things and people and attitudes can most definitely change. I was prompted to test the ebook market with my first three out of print backlist books and I haven’t looked back since. My most recent book has gone straight to digital, bypassing print altogether and I’m happy as a little pig in….a pen. I’ve encouraged other authors to test the waters as well… Virginia Henley, Jill Metcalf still wear my bootprint on their butts.

In my case, I was able to write and publish a book (The Following Sea) that was rejected by a traditional publishing house. I was told pirate books were no longer in fashion, that readers did not want books in that genre anymore. Virginia had a plantation book (Master of Paradise) that she had been told the same thing. Jill Metcalf writes sweet, sexy homespuns but she’s been away from writing longer my own eight year hiatus and Berkley dropped her line of books.

I have no doubt Ms Picoult was directing her comments to brand new never been published authors… and she specifically mentions Amanda Hocking going from self publishing to print publishing, suggesting she did so to become validated as an author. To that I send a huge wet raspberry.  Amanda was a blazing success on her own with no help from traditional publishers and certainly did not need to go into print to feel validated. It was her choice to sign with a traditional house. It was my choice to self publish The Following Sea. It is the reader’s choice to pick up a print book or to download an ebook, and the reader’s freedom to choose whether she wants to try an Indie author or an established author.

Ms Picoult implies…well, actually she states quite plainly that “there is a lot of crap out there” and while it’s true there may be some brand new authors who haven’t done all their homework as far as editing and revising and hiring professionals to copyedit and do covers etc…they’ll find out quickly enough that they DO have to do all their homework or they simply won’t sell. There is also a whole great whack of damn good authors who, in a perfect world, would have no trouble getting published by a traditional publishing house. But as in every other aspect of life these days, there have been drastic cutbacks and some of the Big Six have gone from publishing 300 books a month to 30.  Some have dropped their programs altogether for buying and nurturing new authors. Some have their slots filled and have no room for the quirky, interesting, new writings from untried authors. Some have spent so much luring in the Big Name authors like Ms Picoult with bazillion dollar advances, that they simply have nothing left in the budget for new authors. It’s a pretty grim Catch 22 situation: they need the Big Names to guarantee sales, to keep their printing presses running, but it costs so much to snag those Big Names, they have to cut back on midlist and new talent.

But where are those stranded authors supposed to go? Does Ms Picoult imply they should simply shelve their manuscripts and wait for the industry to change back to the old system? Won’t happen. Won’t ever happen. The change has happened already and if the electronic marketplace seems to be flooded with us chaffy people, its because we’re all breathing a huge sigh of relief that those manuscripts can come off the shelves.

It’s not up to the authors or the publishing houses to decide what the readers want anymore. It’s up to the readers to choose what they want to read and there’s a whole new world of ebooks and authors out there waiting to be discovered.

Some of my early books made the rounds of every publishing house I could think of back when I was first starting out, but back then there was no other alternative to print publishing. You either got accepted or you stuffed another rejection letter into the folder.

Authors have a choice now. They can send out that manuscript and risk getting rejected for reasons that might have nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of their writing… or they can publish the book themselves and try to carve out a little niche for themselves. Not every self pubbed author is an Amanda Hocking, nor will they see that kind of success, but frankly, I’m shocked at the arrogance of someone who would cavalierly make a blanket statement telling people to not even try.  Especially since not every print author is a Jodi Picoult and won’t see her level of success either.



  1. Well, there is a lot of crap out there, also in print from traditional publishers. There is a lot of great stuff that never found a traditional publisher, too. I don’t fault Jody for sharing her opinion, though. I don’t think she’s judging or giving you flak. I think she’s trying to offer her best advice from what she believes to be true. Publishing has been good to Jody Picoult. It’s no wonder that she thinks it’s probably a better road to travel. And she’s right that it’s very hard to set yourself apart in self-publishing. If you were starting as a brand new author with an unrecognizable name, you would have a hard time standing out. But we know what perhaps she is overlooking– that it’s equally hard for a midlist author to get that recognition, stand out, and survive in the publishing world. Every route has challenges, and I think it’s short-sighted to overlook them or play it down. Worth noting that her advice is for new writers. I don’t think she would have the same words for established authors trying new frontiers. It’s a whole new world.

    Comment by Sherri Browning Erwin — April 6, 2012 @ 1:25 pm | Reply

  2. Over my long career in publishing, I’ve been & done just about everything: I’ve been an editor, copywriter, copyeditor, publisher. I wrote for men’s magazines, women’s magazine, pulpy paperback originals, hard cover & mmpb. I’ve been published by Random House and Simon & Schuster etc. I’ve been a NYTimes bestseller, I’ve published books that sold millions, and books that have been unceremoniously dumped.

    So now I’ve e-pubbed much but not yet all of my backlist and have started self-publishing new books without bothering with an agent or publisher. Why wouldn’t I? I’ve tried everything so now I’m trying this. Why the h*ll not?

    Comment by Ruth Harris — April 6, 2012 @ 2:18 pm | Reply

  3. Volunteering for the Wet Raspberry Choir.

    Comment by llmuir — April 6, 2012 @ 3:32 pm | Reply

  4. Marsha, I’m sure she wasn’t talking about authors like you–accomplished, recognized MASTER writers of romance. She was likely talking about authors like me who are new. The reason I was hoping for a publisher (which I thankfully got for my upcoming book) was for the editing and promotion, etc. In future, though, I will definitely consider self publishing. I think for you, with a serious following of fans of your Pirate Wolf series, it was a no brainer to do it yourself. And, like you and many others, I KNOW that pirates, privateers, Vikings and all those alpha males will ALWAYS be in favor with the historical romance fans. What do publishers know, anyway? They rejected HARRY POTTER for Peet’s sake!


    Comment by Regan — April 6, 2012 @ 5:14 pm | Reply

  5. Yeah!!!! I agree with every word. And thank you for saying all of this.
    Teresa R.

    Comment by Teresa Reasor — April 7, 2012 @ 12:02 pm | Reply

  6. […] to the authors or the publishing houses to decide what the readers want anymore.Link to the rest at Marsha Canham’s Blog and thanks to Elizabeth for the tip. Click to Tweet/Email/Share This Post wpa2a.script_load(); […]

    Pingback by I hope Jodi Piccoult likes worms | The Passive Voice — April 7, 2012 @ 3:00 pm | Reply

  7. You do know her name is Picoult, with one ‘c’? It’s spelled correctly right there in the link you put in this post but you spell it wrong in the writing…?

    Comment by -- — April 7, 2012 @ 4:40 pm | Reply

    • My apologies to Ms Picoult. I read the name off another posting on another board and…well…we dinosaurs have notoriously poor eyesight.

      Comment by marshacanham — April 7, 2012 @ 11:31 pm | Reply

  8. As a bookstore owner, I have told several new writers to consider e-publishing their work. Print self publishing is too expensive for an unknown writer. But e-publishing is an excellent opportunity for a writer to gain readers. I point out the success of published authors in the e-publishing world. I am hoping that print publishers wake up. I know two authors who had their successful series cancelled. They are continuing the series in e-format. In this day and age, there is no excuse to cancel a successful series. After five or six books, the publishers know how many copies to print. Publishers need to think in terms of smaller print runs. What keeps bookstores in business are not blockbusters hits which come unexpectedly. What keeps bookstores in business are readers who come into buy their favorite authors on a weekly and monthly basis. To keep these readers, publishers need to keep print affordable and publish mid-list authors, not just the superstars and new authors.

    Comment by flip — April 7, 2012 @ 6:39 pm | Reply

    • Actually, print publishing with POD (Print on Demand) technology isn’t expensive at all. Amazon’s CreateSpace doesn’t charge for uploading. An author may have to spend a few hundred dollars to have a print book typeset, but that’s the only expense involved.

      Catherine M Wilson
      Shield Maiden Press
      raqoon design

      Comment by Catherine M Wilson — April 7, 2012 @ 7:44 pm | Reply

  9. I am an avid reader. I buy paperbacks because they take up less room than hardovers and they are CHEAPER. I have a Jet Book eReader, a Nook, Kindle 3 and Kindle Fire. I so wish the Fire had come first. I love Kindle because on any given day I can get up to 20 or so free books from Amazon. Some of these so called writers have never been heard of before and they are way better than some of the “big name” authors I have tried. Bless you Marsha for self pubbing. I have all your books on my shelves and in my eReaders. Don’t stop now. Keep them coming.

    Comment by Margaret Sholders — April 7, 2012 @ 6:44 pm | Reply

  10. I’ve been self-publishing for about two years now. I’ve only recently entered the ebook market and not yet Amazon but rather MyEbook ( ) and Maybe it’s my choice of venue’s but my best sellers are the free previews I have on those sites. At first I thought maybe it was my writing, maybe I was a “chaff” as Piccoult says here. However, I now have a difficult time thinking that since I am the only critic of my work. I have a few avid fans and people generally seem to like my work.

    Here’s the kicker, I write comic books. I work with a very talented cartoonist, Paul Johnson and, I publish the books in print. My expenses have gone up and I am at a loss as to how I might bring money in as a self-publisher. I understand the comic biz is one of the most difficult to crack as a writer but I enjoy telling stories in this medium and would like to see our work reach it’s potential audience.

    I’d be grateful for any advice on how to make my self-publishing efforts more successful. Thank you!

    Comment by Benjamin J. Kreger — April 7, 2012 @ 10:53 pm | Reply

    • Unfortunately I know very little about publishing comics, and even less about publishing books with any kind of illustrations, though I imagine there should be a whole secondary wave of younger generation readers who would love to read a comic on their ipods. My best guess would be talk to someone who can format books with illustrations. Sorry I can’t be of more help. Perhaps someone else reading this can?

      Comment by marshacanham — April 7, 2012 @ 11:34 pm | Reply

      • Benjamin & Marsha, I know nothing about publishing & marketing comics but perhaps a post on Writers’ Cafe introducing yourself & your work might lead to people with experience & helpful information. HTH

        Comment by Ruth Harris — April 7, 2012 @ 11:37 pm

  11. As someone who has read multiple self-published books over the past 3 years since I got my Kindle, I can say that the only noticeable difference between self and traditionally published books that I’ve noticed, so far, is that I am more likely to catch some spelling or other grammatical errors in a self-published book. Many self-publishers could use an editor for that sort of thing, even if it’s just getting a friend that they trust to give it a once over, before they submit it.

    But as for quality of the writing, I don’t have any stats to break it down, but I can’t say that I’ve noticed any big difference. Books are a gamble. I’ve been reading for fun since I was a wee lad, and sometimes I’ve picked up a book that I thought would be good and it turned out that I just didn’t like it, for whatever reason. And that’s the same when I buy a self-published book. Some are good, some are bad. There doesn’t appear to be any greater odds that a self-published book will be bad than a traditionally published book, @ least not from my experience.

    Perhaps I’m just lucky, and am a discerning consumer. I don’t just buy anything that sounds good. When I hear about some book, or it pops up in my Recommended For You list on Amazon, & it’s from an author I’ve never read before, then I’ll take a look @ what’s available. I read the blurb, does it hook me? If so, then I may check a few reviews if there are any, and see what they say. I’ll check things like page and word count, see if it looks like it’s worthwhile. If it gives you the option I may click on the sample pages and read them. If that all keeps my interest, then I’ll buy it. I don’t even bother checking to see if it’s from a publisher or not, especially if it’s an ebook.

    And, like I said, sometimes I regret buying a certain book, and don’t even finish it, but that’s always happened. And when it comes to ebooks, most are from .99 cents to $3.99, so it’s not like it’s a huge financial risk anyway.

    So I don’t blame many authors for skipping the publisher’s altogether. People say things like pointing out how rare it is for self-published authors to strike it big, but they ignore how rare that is for traditionally published authors as well. You have to have a big mega-hit, that sells millions and/or gets optioned for a film or TV show, or be really prolific and pump out multiple books on a regular basis with a dedicated fanbase, to be able to earn a living just by writing, these days. I’ve got multiple published authors on my FB friend list, some with several books under their belt, who still hold day jobs. All the traditional publishers are good for is advertising (which should not be overlooked, as that is key), and getting your books in stores. And, in this day and age, with more bookstore chains closing, and folks buying books online, you might as well just do it yourself.

    Comment by J.R. LeMar — April 7, 2012 @ 10:58 pm | Reply

  12. Well said, Marsha! Sorry I didn’t have an apportunity to chime in yesterday…I was a bit busy. But well said. We all have choices. In several cases over the past many years print publishers don’t give even well-established authors the opportunity to write what they love. Authors write what the publishers think will sell or their new print books basically don’t go into print. The Homespun line was at it’s peak when the publisher cancelled the entire line. One RT reviewer once said she had never reviewed an entire and loved it, like the Homespuns line. And still it was cancelled.

    Marsha wasn’t allowed to continue writing the stories she and her mass number of readers so loved…well, she could still write them back then but publishers wanted her to write what they thought was selling at the time. Now she has been able to write and epublish the book thousands of readers have been waiting for! Congrats!

    So, now I am e-publishing my backlist. I dont’ have a big name but readers still like the type of books I write and they pick them up for their Kindles or Nooks, etc. And you now what…it’s my choice. I now have the freedom to write another of the stories I love to write and make it available. Yes, it’s a lot of work making an new ebook draw attention. But when my early books were in print form, I spent a lot of time and money trying to promote them. Now I have a choice and I love the freedom to try and do what I want to do. My stories were once loved and apparently they still have a demand. I want to please readers again! And, again, I say…well said Marsha!

    Comment by JILLMETCALF — April 8, 2012 @ 2:02 am | Reply

  13. Thanks, Marsha. A few years back I sent out my usual query letters, with SASE enclosed. I got a reply from one of the BIG SIX… sort of. My unopened envelope came back to me with a large, reddish purple stamp pounded crookedly across the front; “RETURN TO SENDER”. On the back of the envelope was the hand written note; “This does not fit our needs at this time.” The thought finally dawned, even in my thick skull, I don’t have a snowballs chance in hell with these folks. Fortunately there’s a side gate onto the playing field. E-publishing, it’s tough, requires a lot of hustle and may not work, but at least I’m allowed a shot. Many thanks,

    Comment by Mike Faricy — April 8, 2012 @ 8:29 am | Reply

    • Mike, thank YOU for your post. This was exactly the situation I was trying to get at. Rejection slips are cold, standard, usually photo-copied by the thousands and give no reason to the author, who has spent months, maybe even years writing a book that contains a lot of their heart and soul. I’ve been there, done it, opening that envelope and feeling my hopes sink into my toes when I’ve read “does not suit our needs at this time”. I got it as recently as eight years ago for my proposal for The Following Sea, so it isn’t just new authors getting that kick in the nethers. Established authors are being cut from Publishing Houses all the time simply because they are midlist and midlist isn’t worth their effort.

      I wish you all the very best with self publishing. Thumbing your nose feels really really good *grin*

      Comment by marshacanham — April 8, 2012 @ 11:58 am | Reply

  14. Benjamin. Apple has a new (free) software for educational/graphic publications. I forget what it is called. It has a drawback, in that you can only sell through Apple iBookstore (or give away elsewhere). But it is always worth a try (think of all the iPhone, iPodTouch and iPad users).

    My son is looking into this, too (he does a similar thing to you, with a friend).

    Comment by Kelly McClymer (@KellyMcClymer) — April 8, 2012 @ 10:36 am | Reply

  15. I don’t know how I missed your post, Marsha. It is spot on. I continue to be surprised at the way writers don’t understand why other writers would take the opportunity to let the readers thumbs up/thumbs down their work. Publishers, sure, because they consider themselves tastemakers. But authors? How can they not at least understand the hunger a writer feels to see what readers think?

    Distribution used to be a bar to successful self-publishing without putting miles on the car and wearing out shoes peddling books from bookstore to bookstore individually. Today we can format our books in a couple of hours (when we think they’re ready), and distribute to the entire Amazon customer base — including the U.K.,Germany, Spain, Italy and France.

    I just spent the last three days preparing two boxed sets of my series. It took me more time to fiddle with the format and get it set up the way I wanted than it did to upload it to Amazon, Smashwords and B&N combined. Apple is another story. I’m doing that today (for the first time). Wish me luck.

    Comment by Kelly McClymer (@KellyMcClymer) — April 8, 2012 @ 10:41 am | Reply

  16. Well written argument against the “do not self-publish” statement from Jodi Picoult. If many authors didn’t self-published, us readers would be poorer for it. Instead, we get to read new voices and often at affordable prices.

    p.s. You might get a kick from this:

    112 authors (and growing) who have sold more than 50,000 self-published ebooks. (apologize in advance for the shameless plug)

    Comment by Top100EbookRanking — April 8, 2012 @ 1:44 pm | Reply

  17. I didn’t really go through the “system” when I started publishing my books — I started as a “self-published” author with my first book (which is in process of re-release as the 10th anniversary edition), ‘The Savior’. I was a bit naive then but I was never more sure of my choice than I am right now. That was 2002, at the height of subsidy presses like Xlibris and iUniverse. The snotty comments, the derision, the patronizing and dismissive treatments taught me exactly what I was up against. But I still “self-published” my next books — ‘The Brothers Campbell’ and ‘Illusions & Reality’. I had one book picked up by a small press, only because the publisher was a friend of mine and she wanted it — ‘A Wager of Blood’ — and has since been dropped (she sold the company to another publisher, who dropped it) and re-released by me through my own publishing company, Edin Road Press. I have another book that will be released by a small press (Moongypsy Press) within the next year because I know the ladies that run that publisher and they’re friends of mine. Point being, the only two times I’ve ever NOT indie published have been with publishers I knew and trusted and because it was beneficial to both of us.

    I choose to indie publish. I choose it because I want control of my product, my story, my artwork, my pricing. I choose it because the only people I want to tell me if I’m good enough or not will be the readers, not some “gatekeeper” who may or may not be having a good hair day and will most definitely base decisions on that day. There’s crap everywhere, in both indie and trad published works. That’s a non-issue. I’ve seen trad published books that were badly written, badly edited, badly formatted, and badly received. Again, a non-issue.

    And the negativity I receive still? It comes from those who are still so married to the old way of doing things, they think it’s the only way and they get quite snooty about it. Meanwhile, I’m laughing all the way to the bank, thank you. Because I’m gaining my audience, getting my five star reviews, and I’m still writing and thriving. And these so called experts have yet to get anything in the front door of any publisher and they think their work is the bomb diggity.

    Ms. Piccoult knows one way and of course she’ll embrace it and recommend it. It worked for her, so therefore, it will work for the rest of us. Okay. She’ll give it a shot one day when she finds out what it really is. She’s just scared to try the new paradigm. But she will. And she’ll be eating those words — with a bit of salt, pepper, and humble pie. We’ll welcome her to the fold.

    Comment by Jesse V Coffey, aka J. W. Coffey — April 8, 2012 @ 5:39 pm | Reply

  18. Ugh. Readers don’t want pirate romances anymore? Anytime I see a pirate romance–ANYTIME–I just HAVE to pick it up. I adore pirate romances. I even devour the bad ones (don’t worry Ms. Canham–none of your books are among those!). There are readers out there like me who WANT these stories. While a gigantic publishing house may not think it’s marketable to publish them, authors can make good money selling directly to readers in this “niche market”, and they will love these authors for it. As far as weeding through the crap? It’s called a sample. And when I’m paying under $5 for a book, I really don’t mind occasionally getting burned. In fact, I’m just as excited about reading as I was when I was a teenager, which is amazing.

    Also, Amanda Hocking still self-publishes. She just released her second zombie book (last October I think?) And she’s mentioned on her blog that she’s interested in both self-publishing and working with publishers. Amanda Hocking is also not the only success story in self-publishing. There are a lot of authors who are quietly making a ton of money, like Abbi Glines, Theresa Regan, Belle Andre, Addison Moore, Hugh Howley, and many, many more. Many of these authors could get a publishing deal, but they have decided not to at this point. I’d think more authors would be happy about having a choice, especially when it means that they don’t have to give up on a story they love just because someone else doesn’t think its profitable. Personally, I’m thrilled that so many authors are publishing their Golden Heart entries. I can’t believe some of these didn’t get picked up!

    The comments coming from a lot of these big authors are just mean. They aren’t thinking about readers who read a lot and want new kinds of stories at a great price, and they aren’t thinking about the talented authors who have been pushed aside through no fault of their own. They keep bringing up the Amanda Hocking example as if she’s the only person who has ever made money self-publishing, and the fact that she wanted a traditional book deal just proves that self-publishing is “bad”. I love Amanda Hocking and I’m thrilled for her success, but you don’t need to be a millionaire to be a successful author. Also, Amanda Hocking even admitted that she was probably going to make less money through traditional publishing than she would through self-publishing, but she decided to take that particular offer because she thought it was better for her long-term career. She turned down offers until she got the one she wanted. That isn’t a sign of a girl grasping for validation, but someone making smart business decisions that fit her needs. Self-publishing allowed her to approach the publishing business from a position of power.

    I don’t know. I have friends who are making $1000-$3000 a month self-publishing. That might not seem like a lot to some people, but they are building their brand and making enough money to live on, which allows them to write more books and become better writers. Not everyone in America can find a job that pays more than $30,000/yr, or even $20,000/yr. For some people, even an extra $50-$100/month lets them do something fun, or, you know, keep the power on. This lady is acting like people are going to be disappointed if they don’t make over $100,000 a year! What world is she living in? And when have authors ever expected to make that much?

    Comment by Daria — April 8, 2012 @ 10:17 pm | Reply

  19. […] It’s like Jasmine and Aladdin are on a carpet flying over a vast ocean of books. […]

    Pingback by Critical Linking: April 9, 2012 | BOOK RIOT — April 9, 2012 @ 10:01 am | Reply

  20. I think her sentiment is mostly correct, but the fact is that once there is enough demand for an increase in quality of self-published fiction, purveyors of the product are going to find a way to “separate the wheat from the chaff,” which will then likely cause the relatively new industry of freelance fiction editors and cover designers to explode.

    Comment by Randall G. Hauk (@RandallGHauk) — April 9, 2012 @ 6:13 pm | Reply

  21. Imagine if movie theatres were to try the self-published route. If you’ve been to the cineplex lately you might feel just as overwhelmed. Yet you would be more so if Jane Public could just download her movie into one of the theatre’s auditoriums. Jane’s movie might be awesome, but the cineplex is not going to give her her own theatre. She’s going to have to visit Sundance first. Yet not every movie in that theatre is awesome. There’s actually plenty of big studio crap.

    Self-publishing is not destroying the book world or creating a drowning sea of too many choices. Most of them are 1’s and 0’s on servers or print-on-demand, and they can easily be ignored. What cannot be easily ignored are actual books, produced by traditional houses that are looking for a big score at the weekend box office. (Snooki’s book, for example.) Traditional houses have their Spielbergs and Tarantinos, too, and they think that their popularity will be enough to keep them afloat.

    The traditional publishing houses are becoming frighteningly similar to the big movie studios, and if you’ve been the cineplex lately you might be afraid that the vetters of old are drunk on the numbers of opening weekends, rather than on what is good and right. Sure, the studios will occasionally throw out something brilliant that they picked up from a pool of independent filmmakers, i.e., self-publishers, but most of their in-house junk is from the formerly brilliant or eerily similar to what other studios are doing.

    Has Amazon become Sundance? I don’t think so. Amazon didn’t do anything for Amanda Hocking. Amazon was the distributor, much like movie studios that pick up Sundance pics. Hocking’s success was through book bloggers and social media. I think websites like Book Riot and Goodreads are Sundance—people watching for brilliance and not the bottom line. Sundance is a party where business happens, rather than the other way around.

    Amazon is to the book world what focus-groups and test screenings are to the movie studios: audiences which consist of your neighbors. Sometimes idiots. You don’t go to Amazon to find a book. You go to Amazon to buy a book.

    Comment by Thomas Lawson — April 9, 2012 @ 11:58 pm | Reply

  22. A good book is a good book, period. I migrated from printed books to kindle versions (on my kindle, iPad and iPhone…so I’m never without my favorites) and haven’t ‘cracked a spine’ in two years. Kindle books was where I discovered Marsha’s stories and I thank god for them…and her. Self publishing allows authors to maintain the integrity of their writing, and even though a good editor will

    help to hone and tweak, there are too many bad editors and publishers.

    I’ve noticed a good many authors try to copy Ms Canham’s style, and with the renewed interest in medieval/Scottish highland/time-travel romantic historical fiction (goodness what a mouthful) you have to check the original print dates to realize she was one of the originators not imitators.

    Few authors craft as satisfying a tale as she does, with as much vivid detail and well-plotted storylines. Her dialogue between characters is cleverly rendered and I often find myself laughing out loud (though that might not be her original intention). The Pirate Wolf series is the benchmark and i, for one, am tickled that Marsha decided to make her novels available in spite of — or despite — the lack of marketing awareness of short sighted publishers who think spy thrillers or horror-murders are what readers crave. If that were true, Jane Austen wouldn’t remain so popular, and millions of Marsha’s devotees wouldn’t be clamoring for her to continue to write.

    Ahem…… Already bought, and finished Following Sea. Anxiously awaiting word you’re going to start another project.

    Comment by Jennifer_in_Atlanta — April 11, 2012 @ 10:58 am | Reply

  23. NO ONE WANTS PIRATE ROMANCES???!!! Uh-uh-uh… (I’m hyperventilating here, stay with me…) I WANT PIRATE ROMANCES!!! LOTS OF THEM!! It’s the only sub-genre I can’t seem to prevent my sweaty little paws from hitting that beautiful yellow “Buy” button on Amazon.. It really goes to show how much publishers really know about the ever-changing, ever-evolving, swirling mass of reading habits out there…

    Comment by Ruth — May 16, 2012 @ 10:16 pm | Reply

  24. […] in case you missed the Jody Picoult reference, my blog on that is here Share this:EmailPrintFacebookRedditStumbleUponTwitterLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. […]

    Pingback by I wonder if Joan Brady and Jody Picoult buy the same brand of koolaid. « Marsha Canham's Blog — June 18, 2012 @ 4:59 pm | Reply

  25. I’m glad “Bricks and Mortar Publishers” are out there to separate the wheat from the chaff and protect us from the badly written books and artistically lame authors. Because without them as the Gatekeepers, we might wind up with trash like this!

    Comment by Lynn Reynolds — June 19, 2012 @ 6:30 pm | Reply

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