LitReactor's Very Own Rob W. Hart Interviews With 'On Fiction Writing'

Rob W. Hart Interview

Via: On Fiction Writing

Rob W. Hart is a gentleman and a scholar. He's also got a wicked beard a la Chuck Klosterman.

Recently, he did an interview with On Fiction Writing, where he offered some insight into the future of the industry and some food for thought on those who think the self-publishing route is the promised land.

Here's a couple Q&A exchanges:

Traditional publishing in ten years: what do you see?

It'll still be around, though it'll have to change to survive.

In the music industry, the internet and digital distribution have taken power away from the large record labels and given smaller, independent labels the chance to succeed. That’s what’s happening in the publishing industry now.

The publishing houses are going to have to give new consideration to things like publishing timelines, contract terms and digital rights. I think they will.

At the same time, smaller imprints will build bigger bases, even though some of them will never put out a print book. And self-publishing will continue to give new writers the opportunity to bypass the entire “traditional” publishing process.

Self-publishing has become very popular recently. What would your advice be to an author wanting to self publish rather than wait through the long process of traditional publishing?

The most important thing to know is that self-publishing is not the Promised Land.

A lot of the advocates tell great stories about maintaining rights and earning more royalties and creative control. It’s easy for them to talk about their success because they’ve already had it. There are also self-published authors who sell four books over the course of six months.

If you’re going to self-publishing, you need to start with a great product. That means you need to write your book, edit the hell out of it, hire someone to edit the hell out of it some more, and hire someone to design a cover (if you’re not graphically inclined). When your book hits Amazon it needs to be clean, correct and pretty. Building your brand, reaching your audiences – that’s all important, but first your book has to be flawless.

You can read the rest of the interview HERE.

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Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading a lot more during the quarantine January 9, 2012 - 6:29pm

Great interview, Rob. You make mama proud.

Also, I can't wait until Tim sees that picture and realizes you're actually a Republican.

Cath Murphy's picture
Cath Murphy from UK is reading Find out on the Unpr!ntable podcast January 10, 2012 - 9:22am

Totally agree with much of what you say Rob, especially remembering that social networks are for socialising and not relentlessly spamming total strangers.

But when it comes to making sure your book is ready for self-pubbing, you focus on the finer details, like proofing, when I would guess the biggest mistake in most self-pubbed fiction is that the story itself isn't strong enough to carry a whole novel. What would you say about that?

Rob's picture
Class Director
Rob from New York City is reading at a fast enough pace it would be cumbersome to update this January 11, 2012 - 9:54am

Cath - Story is important, yes. But story can be subjective. I think Twilight is the dumbest story in the history of stories but some people seem to like it. 

That's a bit of an extreme example but having a good story is one thing. We're getting into dangerous territory, where there's no expectation for or standard of quality with self-published books, and like I said, it drags everyone down by association. 

But, you raise a good point, and I wouldn't want to minimize the importance of having a good story.