David-- everything your write on Konrath's blog about traditional publishing vs. e-publishing is absolutely, positively true, and I have written it all myself umpteen times on there in the recent past (citing Picoult, Oates, and on and on--examples of profound success with current traditional publishing--just as you cited The Kite Runner and The Lovely Bones. But it falls on closed ears. The readers of that blog are zealots for e-publishing. Just as you say, the "hoops" to jump through are the editing process to refine the product, not just cover art and formatting, as the website would have those believe. Joe Konrath is a talented writer of genre fiction, but most of the bloggers on there couldn't write their way out of a wet paper bag. So, they gather in a ritual skewering of the legacy publishers, and roast everything that spurns them. And it makes them feel better. I have tried to turn the tide on that website, and they all still "drink the Kool-Aid", as many of them keep on writing in their cliched way reflective of their writings in general, and they will think what they think about traditional publishing regardless of evidence to the contrary. At least in 2011-2012, traditional publishing rules the roost. Just adding some thoughts to your thoughts. I second your ideas. P.S. If the bloggers on that website looked at ANY other reading/writer's websites (other than those of fellow e-publishing zealots), they'd see that traditional publishing in both e-format and print format, is thriving. It's Amazon that put Borders on the ropes, not the lack of quality writers getting accepted by the gatekeepers.
I think some people really can do well with it, but there's no reason to think traditional publishing is dead, even if print does go away entirely. I think the greatest aspect of this e-publishing movement is how it offers the possibility of publishing things that flat-out wouldn't get published otherwise. Not because something isn't up to snuff, but because there's simply no traditional market for it. Thriller short stories, literary novellas, fantasy novelettes. If you tell a complete and wonderful science fiction story that happens to be 50,000 words, no one will publish it. But that isn't to say no one will read it. Until now they simply didn't have the option. I think writers should be looking at this as a powerful adjunct to traditional publishing not as a replacement.
David--"I think writers should be looking at this as a powerful adjunct to traditional publishing not as a replacement."I've said precisely the same thing on Konrath's blog. Any publisher of any writing by any authors should be heralded, not skewered and charred. I don;t care if a garage-based publisher puts out one book a year for an author, I hope the publisher thrives! Long live anyone in any respect that wants anything written to be published. I told them on Konrath's blog, but... they don't care. They're indie authors spurned by publishers largely because their writing stinks--not because a great story is 50k words--and that's that.If you read Konrath for a few weeks, it gets mighty redundant.
P.S. I think you're right, Dave, but convincing those that make a few hundred dollars total from rallying the troops on Newbie's Guide to buy their 99 cent ditty is fruitless.