It’s An Interesting World Out There – Publishing

The book world, that is.

The one where people write books and buy books and try to sell their books and talk about their books and talk about other people’s books.  That one, it’s interesting.

While I spent almost the entire morning reading various websites about all of the previously mentioned I was happily having my own opinions on things, commenting on a blog here and there when that opinion bubbled over, when it came time to write in my OWN blog about these opinions, I’m doubting myself.

Not my opinion, oh no, I have a deathgrip on those.  No, I’m doubting whether or not the World needs yet another blog waffling on about writing and publishing and e-books and all that other shit.

Welp, at the end of the day, it IS my blog, so I’m just going to fart around as I do, and see what comes of it.

Publishing – By the Big Kids

It’s a commonly held notion that someone who’s “published” is to be held in some esteem.  Even those who aren’t aspiring novelists know that it’s wickedbloodyhard to not only write something good, but to have someone else think it’s so good that they’re going to spend time and money on printing, promoting and distributing it.

Big publishing houses have a game they like to play though and just like any game that you want to be really good at while no one else is, they move the goalposts around a lot.  For a while nobody wanted kids going to magician’s school or vampires that fall in love and glitter, but then that changed, and our world changed with it.

For a writer, the game entails some vital steps:

  1. First, working your ass right off to write a good book.
  2. Then work your ass off to get an agent to give it some love.  Many won’t.  The vast majority won’t.  In fact, the majority will probably do the worst thing for it, and ignore you.
  3. Then work with your agent (who’s working their ass right off) to get a publisher to give you some love.

Step 1 is hard enough.  Damn hard.  Crazynuggethard.  SO crazynuggethard in fact, that many don’t make it past this one.

Step 2 is hard too.  Farting-in-Church-without-giggling hard.  Many, the vast majority, won’t make it past here either.

Step 3 is something I know so little about, I feel guilty even putting it on here.  I’m going to guess that it’s hard, but at that point it’s just wackystupidhard for your agent and not you, so shoosh, no complainin’.

Whew.

Dog Forbid, you’ve made it, you’ve gotten that book deal and the only thing hard in your life is your nipples… and then you have to wait.  And edit.  And tweak.  And wait.  And write a bit.  A lot.  And still hold down that job because writing ain’t payin’ the bills yet.  Then wait some more.  You start to regret what I said about your nipples…

YOINKS.  If you’re lucky, Leprechaun’s asshair lucky, then in a couple years you’ll have a book on the shelves of a bookstore, you’ve bought five copies for your mother, and they gave you enough coin to pay off some of those debts and maybe put a down payment on your own place.

If you’re lucky.

You probably won’t be.

Publishing – By Your Own Stupid Self

Yep, stupid.

Let’s face it, you didn’t just wake up one morning and decide that you were going to write a book and publish it yourself because you want to be the one in control.  Or because it feels cleanest, or because you’re a stinkindirtyhippie and don’t like how Bantam don’t use the right kind of recycled owl in their books.

Nup, you probably chose to self-publish because everybody else in the known Universe turned you down.  You probably didn’t take that to mean that your book was a clown turd or that you should just work on another project, get it published, and then pitch your first novel after you’ve gotten some traction.

Oh no.  You probably sat there, with your unpublished self, and thought that everyone else was a big poopyhead.

Even if you didn’t think that, it’s highly likely that you scraped together enough coin to publish your own book because you just didn’t want to wait any longer and you reckoned that book was a winner.

Hell, it even might be.

But to do that, to go through all that, with all the risks involved and all the time you’re wasting, getting rid of your combivan AND bass guitar… well I reckon you’re a bit stupid.

Publishing – “E” styles

Sorry, what?

“E” publishing?  Is that like “E” mailing my book to get it published?

I hadn’t really heard of it either until about 9 months ago.  Hell, I was in The States last July and heard my mother talking about reading books on her “Kindle”.  First thing I thought of was that she’d gotten confused about which light was the lamp and which was the fireplace.

So I’m late to the game as well.  I only finished my first novel last December and I’ve only just heard of Indie Authors and E-Books in the last few months too.

And I’m hellaciously curious as to how that’s all going to pan out.

See, now you can write a book, just like in Step 1 up there, and then you can just skip all that other crap.

I KNOW!

Just skip past finding an agent, or rather getting rejected by hundreds of them, and don’t even bother thinking about any publishing houses or their opinions of your book.

Don’t even sell your wife’s Volvo and cash in little Timmy’s College Fund either, for you’re not going to split your own pocket doing this kind of publishing.  For the most part, it’s free.

FREE.  You heard me, this big bad bitch of a publishing method is FREE.

Holy Hidden Agendas Batman, what’s the catch?

To be honest, I haven’t found one yet.  I think the catch might actually be: you have to actually be a good writer, but I’m not sure yet.

So, am I still stupid?

Maybe, but I can’t see your underwear from here and therefore have no immediate indication of your intelligence level.

What I can say, is that with the E-Self-Nonhugeguys-Publishing Method, you’ve got a much better chance to sell some books.

Getting people to read your stuff really is what it’s all about, and if you:

  • Write a good book.
  • Edit it like it’s your mother-in-law’s obituary.
  • Go to Smashwords, or Goodreads, or someplace like that.  Follow their guidelines and dot and cross things.
  • Promote it.  To people that aren’t in your Stuffed Lion Collecting Club.  Promote it to everybody.
  • Keep writing.
  • And writing.

Then you just might make a success of yourself.

And let’s be honest, the margins for measuring that are a bit roomier with that last option.

Hell, I reckon I can get my wife, my mom and possibly mother-in-law (who doesn’t read this blog) to buy a copy of my book.  If it’s on Amazon.com at $0.99, then that’s $2.98 I made right there.

And all I had to do was something I absolutely love with every fibre of my being.

I’d call that an overwhelmingly huge success.

Wish me luck.

3 thoughts on “It’s An Interesting World Out There – Publishing

  1. Lol, hello. I saw a post of yours on KB and followed the link here. I’m brand new there too, so I feel a sense of camaraderie with everyone who has under 100 posts. ;P
    I like that your first point is to write a good book. I think that needs to be said ten thousand times in a row.

    I was against self publishing till around a year ago, but with Borders doing what it’s doing and with the entire industry being hit as hard as it is, e books and high quality self pub is a real, viable, road for new authors. I find it so exciting that I can be in control of what happens with my book after I’m done slaving over it. Get as crazy on my marketing and everything as I want. In that way, it’s an incredible time right now.

    My only concern is that paper books stay supported too. I’d hate to loose paper to computer, that would be horrible.

    I enjoyed your voice in your blog, funny, open but in control too. Kudos.

  2. Quote: “•Edit it like it’s your mother-in-law’s obituary.” LOL, nice one.

    Well, e-publishing opens a door to the writers and gives a chance to success in sales.

    Besides the good writing of a book, which is the most important part, the other important part is the marketing one. And I’ve read some articles about not to wait until the book is ready to promote the writer, if not the book. Getting people to know someone is a loooong process, so the earlier it starts, the better.
    However, e-publishing is business and management is a heavy factor. Authors must learn many business principles and what the publishing world entails. And delegate work, if something can not be done for whatever reasons one should seek assistance.

    Nice post :)

  3. Thanks guys!

    J – I LOVE the idea of getting to know an author before the book is ready. I’ve just joined Kindleboards and am meeting and interacting with some amazing people there, but you’ve just inspired me to actually ramp that up and start putting myself “out there” a little more.

    I know what you’re thinking, and you’re right. I don’t get much more “out there”. But keep in mind that I’m still wearing pants right now. ANYTHING can happen when that changes!

    HH – This world, she is a-changin’ and I’m curious/excited/nervous/excited and excited to see what’s going to shake out with all of this.

    And thanks heaps about my “voice”. I’ve never been told that in that way, so that rocks.

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