I was honored to teach at Gold Rush Writers this weekend. Antoinette May did a magnificent job of keeping seventy people continually challenged. We had more participants with higher evaluations than ever before. Some items that got buzzed up:
> Fiction is getting shorter, again. Forget Flabby Flash Fiction. E-stories (written for hand-held devices, less than 150 words) seem terribly long compared to the six-word stories some online mags are running contests for.
> Don't say "Self-published." Certainly don't say "Vanity Press." Say "Indie." Say "Independently published." Rumor has some major publishers retreating to what they do best: Marketing and Distribution. Lulu and other "dot com" organizations, based on the Print-on-Demand book presses, work well for many authors. Authors can make more themselves for copies they sell directly, and they do retain all rights. To be honest, I still have a preference for the agent/editor/publisher world, but, from the ideas presented at the conference, I'm a troglodyte.
> On-line publication is no longer, as was told to one of the presenters a few years back, "worth one third of a 'real' (print) publication." Online publication can bring as much prestige as print outlets. Still, before I give my story to www.HotNewOnlineLit.com, I'm patiently waiting to hear back from The New Yorker. Further proof I'm a troglodyte.
>Economic pressure continues on all aspects of the publication business, be it the price paid for hard covers, paperbacks, and, especially, online distribution. The publishing houses are fighting with the likes of Apple and Amazon and putting a squeeze on their authors as well. As an old friend was wont to ask, "Ever seen two big dogs fight over a bone? . . . Ever see the bone win?
>;For people who have a book or two in print, the Author's Guild comes highly recommended. For ninety bucks a year, the Guild successfully represents authors and had a big impact on the Google case. However, they, too, seem to have the troglodyte perspective: online counts little and 'Indie' publication doesn't count at all, although there are whispers that, too, is changing.
Causes Kevin Arnold Supports
Poetry Center San Jose -- President