The First Rule About Publishing Is…

Over at Making Light, Jim Macdonald lays out the basics of Yog’s Law in clear, simple prose, so even dummies like me can understand.

Yog’s Law is very simple: Money flows toward the author.

The corollary is: The only place a writer signs a check is on the back.

For commercial publishing, this is absolutely true, and, I hope, intuitively obvious. Once you’ve moved away from it, you’re out of the realm of commercial publishing.

It seems like such a simple, obvious thing but sometimes those simple, obvious things need to be stated clearly, loudly and often, just so they sink in.

As an experiment, I self published a book, doing all the work myself. It shows, mostly in the typos. But I learned Yog’s law in a very real sense by doing this experiment. But I’m hard headed and learn by doing, so now Yog’s law is a visceral part of my writing toolbox.

That’s why I’ll be shopping the next book around to publishers.