Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Late in the Game - Self Pub Hell

I've been a huge advocate for self publication for years now. Despite having queried (and received requests), I never could quite get on the bandwagon of having to fork over so much money and control over my original work to someone else. I mean, hell, you don't see a painter have someone else go in after they've finished and say, "Here, get me more paint and let me just add some more, and you know what, hand me that bottle of turpentine too while you're at it." Or perhaps, it's like a choreographer/coach working with a dancer for a long time on this beautiful piece, only to have someone run on stage and ad lib in the middle of the performance. Traditional publishing has just never felt right to me.

However, lately, and I'm ashamed to admit that I'm so late to the game, I've been learning about another side of publishing, a tedious and exhaustively overwhelming side of self publishing. It seems so obvious that you have to do it yourself, but the side of self publishing I was never prepared to face was the business management. I've always been a bit of an idealist, thinking that writing, cover art, and editing was the bulk of the work. Oooooh, I've been delusional. It's a bit embarrassing seeing as I've been such a huge advocate for it. On a daily basis, I look at my significant other and say, "I get it now. I know why people traditionally publish, to avoid all this s**t." Then it's usually followed up by something like this,

Me: Wanna know what I've been reading about today? I've been reading about __________.
Him: What've you learned?
Me: It's the devil, and no one will take you seriously if you do. Your book will end up in the trash if you do/don't do ________.
Him: So what does that mean?
Me: Well, from what I can gather, and I'm only on page 56, I'll essentially have to start my own publishing company and hire a printer to print my books if I want to go full on true blue self publishing. I think. Hell, I dunno. It's expensive.

This all stems from me doing something I never thought I'd do, and my reasons for not doing them were arrogant and weak. I didn't read books on the craft of writing and publishing. I shall now divulge my own misconceptions.

  1. I thought that all that information was free and out there on the Internet.
  2. I thought the books were only sold for the idiot who was taking writing up as a hobby...you know, "This might be fun, I have money to throw at it." 
  3. I saw these books as a kind of "get rich" or "how to turn your talentless self into a sensation." And while some of those type books have merit, they are usually marketed to those who buy them around New Years and quickly stuff them on a shelf.  
  4. I thought they were aimed at the literary who had no shot at real publication.
Oh, go ahead. Hang me now. I deserve it. I know I do.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Collecting Things Part 1

I've always had a penchant for journals. The blank pages are like a precious form of artwork to me; the covers are art. It's one of the few things I collect, along with tarot cards. Who knows why anyone collects anything these days. I know someone who collects salt and pepper shakers, which is undeniably a thing you only can use one set of at a time. I suppose if you had multiple types of salt and pepper from all over the world, then it would make sense, but this salt and pepper shaker collector does not. In fact, I'm pretty sure she uses salt from one of those $1 disposable cardboard picnic shakers.

Some people collect in hopes that whatever they are collecting will someday be valuable. Or, in the case of my journals, I see them as valuable. To me, they are the embodiment of  writing and creation. They have space for any number of stories or ideas.

I wonder what others might collect. Four leaf clovers? Trading cards? Bottle caps? People of notoriety? Memories? Lucky rabbits feet? And of all the odd things out there, what does this say about the collectors? What kind of character does this create...

Friday, January 10, 2014

Blogging Without Coffee - 2013 Recap and some 2014 plans

It's been well over a year since I've posted on this blog.

I've grown a bit rusty at blogging; I'm tired of ranting and you should know by now how I hate the term "platform building."

To get me back into the swing of things, I suppose I'll do a recap of 2013. Well, we should start in the end of 2012 because that's when I got pregnant. Well, that occupied most of 2013. Ya know, lots of months carrying my son, the six hours it took to have him (guess I do have birthing hips after all- pain med free mind you, which means I'm a goddess), and then the months of sleeplessness. Now, we're on to teething.

So as I sit here contemplating what to write, I find myself drumming my fingers over the keys and never really pressing down. I ask myself what great nugget of information I've learned and need to share with the interwebs. Don't get me wrong, I've learned plenty, but either the people reading this are already parents and have been there and done that. Or, they don't have kids and don't need me to add to the list of people telling them just how hard it really is.

So, I ask myself this, do I have any news on the writing/editing front? Well, I guess it is kind of news that I've closed shop on the editing front. I turned away too many people in the last year, simply because I didn't have the time dealing with all the pregnancy issues. Nowadays, I'm fearful that I just may be too snarky for my own good. I have a hard time being polite and nice, especially if I haven't had my Starbucks. Which, come to think of it, may be why this blog entry is kind of sucking.

I have been doing daily writing prompts, which is great for my fiction writing. I've also filmed a crowdfunding campaign to launch my book. The number crunching for that is kind of devastating, but by my non-solid (at this point) numbers, I'd only need approximately 3K folk to give up/donate/"back" $5 worth, which is essentially a cup of coffee... totally doable right? I think so.

Honestly, the reason why I want to publish is because I want to be able to be more altruistic myself. I really want to help my family out more. Trust me, they need it. My talent lies in writing, so this is the best solution I can come up with: lean on others altruism, then pay it all back to the world many times over. Of course, the crowdfunding campaign comes with perks, so by definition it's not entirely altruistic to "back it", but I say screw the definition, it sure seems altruistic to me.

There's so much ahead of me, and this is all I was able to blog about today. Maybe I'll try again after I brew myself some coffee.