Thursday, May 10, 2012
And Now For Something Completely Different
This brave new world of independent publishing sometimes makes me feel like I’m in the middle of a Monty Python sketch, as evidenced by the title of this blog.
I released a new e-book this week. Good show, Bravo and all that...right? Not so fast.
Yes, the completion of a book of any length is quite a feat. But the truth is that those first few days of heady excitement when you’ve just started a book inevitably turn into long bottom-numbing hours of hard work. As has been said many times, it’s something one has to do alone, although I suppose there are exceptions. I’ve seen documentaries about television shows being written by committee and thought ‘that looks like fun’. But I digress. See? I’ve been spending too much time alone.
So what’s “completely different”?.
What’s different is that the work of an “Indie” author doesn’t stop at the release of the book. Sure, we can upload the book to Amazon, or whatever platform we choose to work with, but that’s only the beginning. If we don’t want our work to be swallowed up in the 1,171,186 e-book titles available on Amazon as of 8:43pm PST on May 9th, 2012, we have to do something to market it. That is of course after we’ve learned about formatting, applied for and assigned ISBNs, become skilled at creating cover graphics, studied pricing points, set up facebook pages, blogs, websites, and learned about Twitter. Those are just the obvious ones.
So what’s my point? I’m so exhausted I’m not quite sure.
But seriously, publishing today is undergoing a massive transformation...in how business is conducted and who gets to call the shots. Is it worth it to learn these new skills so we can write what we want, unencumbered by publishers’ guidelines? Hell, yes it’s worth it. Fresh new voices are being discovered every day. Voices that would never have been heard if they’d waited a year or two to hear back from every publisher who would eventually turn down their manuscripts.
I wish I could be here a hundred years from now. But by then there’ll be more changes, and another punchy writer talking about Something Completely Different.