Monthly Column

Battle on the New Frontier By Pam Thibodeaux

Authors Note: This article was initally written as a contest entry on but the truths it contain are timeless and truly something to think about!

Print vs. Web…why must it be a battle?

When I thought about writing for this contest, I was quite unsure as to which category to enter. Publishing Horror Stories? We all have them. We’ve all experienced the pain and disappointment of rejection and the humility of being scammed by a not-so-reputable agent, editor or publisher.

Beyond Online Writing…what, exactly, does that mean? Does it imply that we want something besides online publication? Frankly, what writer-though appreciative of the opportunity to be published-doesn’t want to see their name in print? What avid reader wants to sit in front of a computer compared to curling up with a good book? That’s why POD is so popular.

I decided that this article would better fit the category of Print vs. Web, though I hate that title. Vs. always implies battle. State vs. So-and-so, Hollywood vs. History, Roe vs. Wade, Democrat vs. Republican, North vs. South, America vs. England, David vs. Goliath etc., etc., etc. Battles always end in death. I’m talking about more than loss of life. What I’m talking about is loss of ambition, loss of self-esteem, loss of self-worth. The death of a dream.

Why must there be death in this industry?

When we start out, our main goal of writing is to tell the best story we can and to entertain. Some of us target certain markets, some write for particular publisher or genre, but somehow we lose sight of our basic goal; to reach out and touch someone with our story.

There are advantages to both print and web publishing. One thing, with web publication you don’t have to worry about foreign rights and all the other things that deal with getting your work to the world. Now, I’ll admit there are disadvantages to the fact that my publisher is based in Australia, but the truth of the matter is, it is my goal to reach the World with God’s truth. They don’t call it the ‘world wide web’ for nothing!

However, print publishing seems to hold more prestige in certain circles. Why is that when the average printed book stays on the shelf for only a couple of months and an E-book stays on the shelf for a year or more?

It’s redundant for me to give you a list of the differences. We’ve heard them all, experienced a few.

Frankly, I’m pleased to be web published. At least I know my work is out there. I write to encourage and inspire, and leave the rest in God’s hands. Yes, I promote, yes I work to get my writing out there. The Bible says that “God blesses the work of our hands” and that “man plans his way but God directs his steps.” I know I have to do what He commands me to do. I have to do my part. The rest is up to Him.

The Bible also states that God’s Word will not come back void. I am standing on that truth and believing Him for the success of my work. God did not give me (or you) the talent to write in order that I (or you) horde it. We are commanded to share the gifts He gives us and to be good stewards of the talents he entrusts to us.

Maybe someday those in high places in the traditional print world will realize that the big name authors they covet so much had to start somewhere. For me, that somewhere is the web.

Print vs. Web…why must it be a battle? Why can’t we-authors and publishers alike- work together for the common good?


Author Bio: Born May 19, 1961, Pamela Thibodeaux is the mother of four children (two by blood and two by marriage) ranging in ages from 17 to 22. She works part time as a full-charge bookkeeper.

Pamela has been writing for several years and is a member of Coeur de Louisiane and RWA. As a member of Coeur, she won the 1999 “Diamond In The Rough” award, the “Ruby” award in 2000, and is currently serving as Contest Chair and Publicity Coordinator for the organization.

Pamela has a short story Angel of the Day (November 2000) and an Inspirational Article entitled: Perfect Love (Feb. 2001) published in The Romantic Bower Ezine at: Pamela has also written a novel, ‘Tempered Hearts’ published by Writers Exchange Epublishing


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