Oh, wow. My brain is wiped out after a morning on Twitter. I also hopped onto my NaNoWriMo and did a little (very little) socializing there, too. I have some great writing buddies this year, hoping for more. It’s hard being social. However, I know that being social is the headwaters for the river of creativity that leads to the ocean of publishing.
Oh, my goodness.
They say that we suffer today from too much to choose from, and that’s causing humanity stress. What’s worse is that it’s not real stress. It’s imagined stress, the kind that doesn’t actually make a bit of difference in the long run. We do have to pick and choose what’s important to us, though sometimes I think we get so involved in our cherry-picked beliefs that things go a bit askew. It’s why I like to disclaimer that it’s my opinion. The ones which raise an individual to being so overwrought that they have to speak out can create some wicked controversy and gets everyone on the dogpile.
As a longtime novelist, I’ve had my heart broken by many “How To Get Publishers To Sign You and Make You a Bajillionaire Superstar Novelist!” books. It’s why I’m an indie author. But there are apparently some good reads out there about how to guerilla-market in the new literary landscape. Doing it yourself is Hell. There’s no question about it. Self-promotion can go so badly. However, after the wake-up-screaming nightmarish stories I’ve heard about life with a publishing house, I have come to the opinion that indie authorship is the good neighborhood of Hell. The work is hard, but you’re holding yourself up on your back, not yourself and everyone who works at a behemoth publishing house. Failing as an indie writer is a shorter drop than doing it as part of a publishing house, and you essentially have to do the same self-promotion.
Now, these stories could be out there to scare fresh authors and narrow the market. It could be a sour grapes story about a friend-of-a-friend. I can’t say, because I’ve personally only gotten the Catch-22 runaround of “You have to have an agent to be noticed by a publishing house, and you have to be noticed by a publishing house to get an agent. And no unsolicited manuscripts, either, you loser.”
When I started getting my first book ready for publication (shame-faced self-promotion insert: Beneath a Sunless Sky), there was this Movie-Star-Discovered-at-the-Rexall legend about some unknown reaching 5,000 copies sold as an independent author. That got the author noticed by the publishing house and picked up by an agent, and it was glitter and happiness and joy ever after. It became my quest, to get that 5,000 copies sold and get on my way to the magical city at the end of the high-visibility road.
Are these stories true? Well, I’ve come to believe that a good fiction story can do the trick, too, and there’s always room for a juicy conspiracy theory. My story is one of a brick wall which I didn’t try to scale to see if there was a window I could crawl through. Instead, I’m walking the alleys hoping I trip over a Banksy piece hidden away like a treasure and get inspired and elevated mentally and emotionally.
So, I’m debating on whether or not to push 7 Minutes a Day to a Self-Published Book. It’s by a guy named Rob Bignell. I haven’t read it, but people are liking it. It’s a two-buck commitment for anyone who owns a Kindle or Kindle-reading software. A Starbuck’s “coffee” costs more, so this could help people out as at least an introduction to the massive rave that is publishing and promoting on the digital frontier. In my personal experience, having some knowledge is better than none.
Of course, I’ve been brought to despair by some “How to Be a Published Writer” books. I’ve also gotten a fire under my butt by a couple, especially Some Writers Deserve to Starve! by Elaura Niles. Some days, I feel like I deserve to starve. Other days, I’m bellying up to the grill and I’m firing ‘er up. Some days, it’s reheated microwaved leftovers that inspire me to just not eat. Other days, it’s full burners Thanksgiving feast for fifty, so save room for homemade roasted sugar-pumpkin pie and pecan pie made with molasses instead of corn syrup. Oh, and it’s not pre-fab crust, either. It’s Jacques Pepin’s tart crust, ’cause I’m going big and I am *not* going home to nuke me up a frozen turkey dinner. I own Thanksgiving sides and desserts, baby. Yes. I own them.
*laugh* I shamelessly promote my Thanksgiving dinner like a reality television romance-with-a-douche diva contestant promotes herself, yet I shuffle around slouching and whisper nasally, “I kinda wrote something, if it’s okay with you.” Priorities, Jess. Get yourself some priorities.
Oh, well. My long-winded whiny point: Everyone has tools. Everyone has days when one feels like a tool. But, dammit, doesn’t that make life worth living then writing about?