For writers, there is no being “inside”


When people are calling me an asshole or a “tradpub defender” who’s simultaneously terrified of the future and incredibly lucky because I’m inside, I can’t help but laugh aloud. Seriously, I bust out laughing at my computer.

Why? Because writers are not on the inside. You write a book –> Someone likes it enough to offer you a contract –> You fill the contract –> If both parties want to, you get another offer.

That’s it. Writers aren’t insiders, they’re visitors. They’re free agents. Some are in great demand. Most are not. From the outside it might look like they’re insiders, but I’ve learned that ain’t so.

The point is (and we’re ignoring the odd stuff like celebrity books and such), the only difference between a writer who gets that pseudo-inside status and the one that did not is that the former wrote a book a publisher wanted to publish. That’s it. The so-called gatekeepers aren’t there to keep you out. They’re there to let you in once you have a book that meets their needs. They’re searching for your work.

But that doesn’t make you an insider. You’re still on the outside, proving your worth over and over again, every time you write a book. #SFWApro