Ah, the writing day has become the publishing day. I'm using over half of my writing time addressing my next weak area, publishing a book. I've decided I'm keen to put my book into reader's hands. So I'm exploring and learning.
I've come across several interesting items about it on Red Room and elsewhere. David Carney on CNet had several in-depth articles on self-publishing and publishing ebooks (http://reviews.cnet.com/8301-18438_7-10119891-82/self-publishing-a-book-...). Doing a Red Room search on self-publishing and digital publishing delivered posts and articles about aspects I'd never considered, including the intriguing notion of going to conferences on the subject. I added that to the list.
One tidbit that surprised me was that many books by new authors or relatively unpublished authors suffer at the hand of one star reviews. One rich Red Room post wealthy with writing, reading and publishing insights arrived from Christopher Meeks as I turned to my email. I had just finished reading about one star reviews elsewhere when I read Chris' post, "Reading As A Writer." There was also already a comment.
The comment was from Carolyn Howard-Johnson. Here is a portion: "I loved this post, Chris. It made me think of some of the amateur reviews on online bookstores. They go something like, "I read the first chapter [of your 415 page book] and it didn't give me what I wanted and that's why I gave it only one star."
Exactly what I'd been thinking. Christ also quoted Stan Barstow: "The world may be full of fourth-rate writers, but it’s also full of fourth-rate readers. —Stan Barstow (b. 1928), British novelist, playwright"
And again, exactly. Meanwhile, Fortune-Cookie Tips for Writers #326 from LL B-L reminded me that not everyone will like your book. Not everyone needs to like it.
All this serendipity about writing, reading and publishing are the vitamins and minerals I need to sustain me going forward.
Naturally, I also checked out Carolyn Howard-Johnson's Red Room blog. She offers a book with an enticing and encouraging title: "The Frugal Book Promoter". Anyone who reads me knows that I'm frugal so that appealed to me.
Besides this, I think we're witnessing a fundamental shift in how books are brought to market by publishers. I believe that publishers are developing greater use of digital, epublishing and self-publishing venues as farm clubs, places to let talent develop, find fan bases and develop their own markets. More writers are going their own way rather than enduring the tortuous paths that new writers face when dealing with agents and publishers.
It is a tortuous path for getting an agent and/or publisher. It's based on their likes, talents and skills. They are talented, intelligent, knowledgeable people. I don't demean their ability or skills but I point out that they're a subset of a larger population. We all know that experts don't always under what the public wants. That's true far beyond publishing. If such experts did always know, there wouldn't be focus groups. Columbus, Ohio would not be developing a reputation as a food test market. Cars like the Ford Edsel and the Pontiac Aztec would not have been produced, marketed, and flopped.
Bob Mustin, who often posts about publishing and digital publishing - he comes up numerous times in searches and I subscribe to his posts - shared a link to a Digitalbookworld article in his blog entry, "No Excuses". DBW pointed out that more self-published books are climbing up the ebook best seller lists.
So, I encourage myself, put it out there, in the hands of readers. Cut out the middle layer until the middle layer comes a-calling. Fiction writing is not about getting rich but about telling stories that others might enjoy. Chris Meeks said, "Go treat yourself to a good book. It'll help you grow."
All I'm trying to do is provide some treats for others.
Causes Michael Seidel Supports
Kiva, Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, Propublica.org, Doctors Without Borders, GreaterGood.com