The New Gatekeepers?

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Eric T. Benoit
Eric T. Benoit was born in New Jersey and raised in Massachusetts. He moved to Las Vegas, Nevada in 2007, where he currently lives with his wife and 6 cats. The son of an avid reader, Eric learned to read at a young age. Like his father, he fell in love with science fiction and fantasy. His first character, a red-haired elf from the village of Borbury named Bethriel, visited his mind many times over the last 20 years, pleading with him until he finally decided to put her world on paper. Helping to indulge her long-time wish, Eric’s first novel, “Flames of Khyveria, The Khyverian Chronicles, Book 1″, is planned for release in late in 2012.
Eric T. Benoit
Eric T. Benoit

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Eric T. Benoit
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I saw a discussion in a Facebook group I belong to the other day. Someone who belonged to another group came and told us they had left the group due to group requiring a disclaimer on blog posts made to the group saying that they do not support any group with quality requirements.

The big 6

During this discussion someone said something to the effect of, “It’s like they think we will become the new Gatekeepers.” The old Gatekeepers being, of course, the big 6 publishers. I’ve got news for you, we have already become the new Gatekeepers. Indie authors are now in a position where we can dictate terms to the big 6 when it comes to negotiating contracts. The days of submitting to them or to an agent and waiting 6 months for a reply are coming to end. They are now beginning to seek us out and send us query letters, as it should be.

Increased Standards

In the past people have complained about the quality of indie published books. The number of new complaints being seen of this type are rapidly diminishing, why? Because we, as indie authors, have taken it upon ourselves to increase our standards of quality. We recommend titles from other indie authors who also show quality and we band together

to help each other produce quality works.Therefor, if we create a group for authors who wish to publish under an umbrella name, ie: “WeAreQuality Publishers”, then that group should most certainly set standards for those wishing to join. If “WeAreQuality Publishers”, hereafter referred to as WAQ, is started by 5 authors who all produce good quality books that ell well and get good reviews; they do not want Joe Blow who doesn’t edit, doesn’t format properly and doesn’t write well to begin with coming in and messing it up, do they? Joe Blow could now single handedly destroy the reputations of the other 5 authors just by association.

So, yes, we are the new Gatekeepers, and we need to be. We need to try and maintain a high standard of quality if we want to see the current trend of publishers and agents approaching us continue, otherwise we will simply fall back into the old ways of write, submit, wait, resubmit, wait, etc…The works of many good authors would never see the light of day that way, just as they never used to. It is time for indie authors to stand up to their peers and let them know that they need to improve their quality or be left behind. This time, though, they will not be able to blame big publishing for their failures, they will only be able to blame themselves for not taking the time and effort to do what is needed to produce a quality book.