Dec 6, 2021
The AmWritingFantasy Podcast: Episode 154 – Publishing and Writing Fantasy in Today‘s Market
The New York Times bestselling author, Anthony Ryan, joins the Am Writing Fantasy podcast for a discussion with Jesper about fantasy writing, publishing, and marketing books in today's publishing landscape.
Find Ryan's books here: https://anthonyryan.net/
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Read the full transcript below.
(Please note that it's automatically generated and while the AI is super cool, it isn't perfect. There may be misspellings or incorrect words on occasion).
0 (2s): You're listening to The Am. Writing Fantasy Podcast in today's publishing landscape, you can reach fans all over the world. Query letters are a thing of the past. You don't even need an literary agent. There is nothing standing in the way of making a living from writing. Join two best selling authors who have self published more than 20 books between them now on to the show with your hosts, Autumn Birt and Jesper Schmidt.
Jesper (30s): Hello, I'm Jesper. And this is episode 154 of the Am Writing Fantasy podcast. And Autumn is putting the finishing touches on editing our next novel today. So instead I'm joined by a New York times bestselling author, Anthony Ryan. And normally when I do these interviews, I have like a massive time difference, Anthony, but not today because I think you're in the UK or something. Is that right?
Anthony (58s): Yes. Almost instantaneous.
Jesper (1m 4s): Yeah. And it's, and there's even light outside my window today, which I'm not used to when I do podcast recordings, but you are you're from Scotland originally. Is that right
Anthony (1m 17s): Originally? Yes, I don't sound Scottish, but I was born then spent most of my childhood there.
Jesper (1m 24s): I would actually love to visit Scotland one day. I've been to the London and stuff like that multiple times, but I've never been to Scotland and it's just like the scenery there. It's, it's almost a bit fantasy inspiring sometimes. Isn't it?
Anthony (1m 39s): It is obviously if you, if you grow up there, you have a different view of things. You don't know you growing up in it, you know, I see landscape the, yeah. Obviously, you know, as a true Scott, I recommend everyone should go to Scotland at least one.
Jesper (2m 1s): Yeah. I would really love to go one day, but perhaps before we sort of get started for real here, maybe you could just share a few words about yourself, Anthony, and just talk a bit about what you're writing and maybe how you got into writing. And so on
Anthony (2m 17s): Anthony Ryan, the also the raping shadow trilogy, the cottage Memorial, Trelegy blatantly the covenant of steel, excuse my most recent work and I, which is what I'm currently working on. I got published. I self published back in 20 11, 20 12 and was persuaded to go the traditional route when my first novel blood song took off and been a full-time author since the end of 2012. So yeah, this is what I always wanted to do.
Anthony (2m 57s): And I consider myself really to be able to make a living doing what I love to do.
Jesper (3m 4s): Yeah, that'd be pretty cool. So you have, you have some stuff that you publish and some stuff that is traditional puppets. Is that still the case today?
Anthony (3m 14s): Yes. I don't do that much self publishing these days. It's usually one or two things a year, if that, and it's usually a short work, it's a novella or short story or something like that. Full length works with pretty much always traditionally published these days. And to be honest, given the time and I'm sure, you know, better than I do the time it takes to do self publishing. Well, it's a lot of time. It's a lot of efforts to do it properly. And frankly, that was the time to do all sort of being traditionally published for the most part.
Anthony (3m 55s): It suits me quite well.
Jesper (3m 59s): Right. And you're with penguin IO
Anthony (4m 2s): These days is mostly all wet, a little and brown, I believe, but I'm still, you know, technically published by a switch is part of a penguin. So, you know, it's a thing with traditional publishing. You can be a bit confusing with all the different contracts and everything, but I don't think meters care that much, you know, you publish your next book. So yeah. Yeah. Well, within the national publishers as well, got a lot of different contracts and things with various different publishers around the world can be a bit hard to keep track of them all.
Jesper (4m 45s): Yeah. But then coming from a situation where you have experience with both the traditional side of publishing, but as well as some self publishing, what would you, sorry? Well, you touched upon this slightly there, but what would you say is the pros and cons of each of those two approaches? If somebody is sort of listening to this and debating, should I do one or the other?
Anthony (5m 8s): Well, it's weird. I think the advantages of self publishing are the disadvantages of self publishing of the same things. The advantages are you have to do everything. You know, you do everything yourself. You have complete control over everything. The disadvantages are, you do everything yourself and you have complete control over everything. So, you know, it's, it's a lot of work basically to self publish. We're new at officially published. You will have an editor who works for a publisher. Who's a professional editor. You won't have to hire them yourself, which can be very, probably the most expensive part of the process for self publisher.
Anthony (5m 48s): Especially if you're starting out, you know, a professional editor doesn't come cheap. And if you're writing epic fantasy, I mean, and the charge by the word, I mean, typically in the 200,000 word range, paying somebody a word by word basis to edit one of my novels. That's a lot of money would be very expensive for me. So publish as well as very time consuming. But you do, I think with self publishing, you do get control over the control you get. I know we'd be telling you attractive for a lot of people. If you know, I'm a bit of a control freak, I'm not too bad, but I can't be obsessive about details.
Anthony (6m 33s): And if you're that kind of person, self publishing is probably going to see it quite well, especially when it comes to cameras and cover design and you know, book descriptions and all that kind of thing. So yes, the advantages are that say are the same as a disadvantage, it's all on you. Or you either do it all yourself or you pay people to do it when you're traditionally published. Some of the burden is taken off you because you're not paying for you are an editor, a cover designer and all of the,
Jesper (7m 6s): Yeah. And I'm also thinking maybe what about reread with gods to the editing itself? I mean, of course when you are self publishing, you, as you said, you hire the editor and basically you can just decide what to ignore, what to agree to, whatever, whenever the editor tells you something, but with the traditional publishing, is it more in your experience that you have to more accept what the editor is pushing on you? Or can you still, do you still have the freedom to say like, like, no, that's not going to, I'm not going to change this or that.
Anthony (7m 40s): Unfortunately, I've never got to the point where I vehemently disagreed with us in the editors have told me there is a back and forth and other things we don't, you know, sort of mindless things don't always agree with when it comes to word choice, you know, cutting smaller scenes or something like that. But there have been times when I've been asked to do more substantial rewrites and others, some books don't require a lot of work at the editing stage a…