Maybe in the old days, a writer could “just write” and let a paternalistic (or maternalistic) agent take care of all that nasty business stuff. But not anymore.
You’ve got to be reading the posts by Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Dean Wesley Smith, Passive Guy, Mike Stackpole, and more. Kris, Dean, and Mike have all agreed on the following mission statement, which makes all the sense in the world to me.
“Writers! Learn your own damn business. Do your own business yourself. Be business people. Stop expecting someone else to do everything for you–and stop complaining and being surprised when they rip you off. They’re ripping you off because you’re an easy mark. Learn your own business! Now! Or you won’t have a career at all in this modern era.”