Cross-Posting

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As a writer/person, I don’t have much trouble sitting down and “finishing a piece of work”, most of the time. However, I have to admit that I can pro-cras-ti-nate a little more on the business/marketing side of things, especially now that I have to do most of that myself, since I am self-published.

There’s a whole horde of things I wish to blog about…I’m getting confused whether I should post it here, or on the EyeLeash blog/book/website.

Another thing that’s “stopping me”, somewhat, is the actual tone I’d like to take with the blog posts. Being too polite might result in a tone which sounds bland. Which is the last thing I want.

However, I can get rather explosive if I do decide to go on an all-out rant about, oh, just about anything that gets on my nerves (particularly when it involves things that get in the way of me achieving my goals!)…sooooooooo…I’m still wondering how much to actually say, and how to go about it.

There are so many author blogs — how does one stand out?

There’s also the “stigma” of being self-published — which I’ve read somewhere (several places, in fact) that is “akin to the kiss of death” to “legitimate publishers”. Well, I suppose so (in another sense…), because if everyone did self-publish, there’d be no need for “legitimate publishers”, right?

Cliff Burns, who wrote this most awesome article on “Writing 101”, mentioned (in an email reply) something about using the new technologies available to get one’s work out there. Yeah, that’s the beauty of the Internet age. Those who have had/do have work published by major publishers may (secretly, or not) scoff at those who have been/are self-published — but as with all things, I believe that a label is just that: a label. What matters at the end of the day is the quality of a product (the actual book, in my case as an author) — not the method it was published, how long it took to be published, who in the industry had to say what about it (though of course, those make for highly interesting anecdotes I could not get anywhere else).

Perhaps I am fortunate to have some design skills too — so coming up with a decent-looking cover + book trailer for my debut novel wasn’t an impossibility. Actually, it was something I enjoyed tremendously — overseeing the entire production myself.

Ok, so I guess this was just a “starter post” — I haven’t been blogging much here, because I tend to favor writing > blogging (I feel it’s more productive / kind of ironic too, since my debut novel *is* a “blog novel”).

But now that I *am* published, the next step is to get my name/work out there…to locate my audience, to EXIST and be “known”…yeah³, so I have the whole “courage, originality, persistence, (and) vision” thing that drives a person toward eventual success (I’m ever hopeful/optimistic, and working towards it).

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4 thoughts on “Cross-Posting

  1. Jess:

    I’ve been a “self-publisher” since 1990 and the stigma attached to the label is gradually dissolving away. Commercial/corporate publishing is in dreadful shape and readers are looking elsewhere for their sources of information and entertainment. Just as newspapers have begun to fade into the sunset, so will big publishers. Computers and the internet have had a democratizing influence, allowing ANYONE to write and disseminate their work–but we, as artists and writers, must always maintain the highest possible standards, making sure our work is not amateurish, an embarrassment to our fellow “indie” colleagues.

    I started publishing my own work because I was appalled by the quality of minds I discovered when encountering agents and editors: representatives of “legitimate” publishing who were sub-literate, personally repellent and utterly devoid of any love for the printed word. I wanted to control my own direction, my own vision…in that sense, those new technologies I alluded to have been an absolute godsend. My stories and novels are getting wide exposure, read by tens of thousands of folks, from Toronto to Timbuktu. What more could a guy ask for?

    Best of luck with your endeavors, literary or personal…

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  2. HI Jess,

    You only listed three sites mentioning self-publishing stigma. If everyone will excuse the clique, this is but the tip of the ice berg. However I believe that the ice berg is shrinking as more self-published authors and bloggers are getting approached by the publishers once they smell money.

    It is difficult for the naysayers to keep claiming it produces a stigma, when multi-million dollar ten book deals are hitting the news.

    Of course they won’t smell money unless a few things come together.

    1, The book has to be something that people want to read.
    2, The content quality has to be high enough to be pleasurable.
    3, The reader knows of its existence
    4, The reader knows enough about what’s inside to decide to read it.

    Notice I didn’t say “buy”, buy needs another small list.

    No 1 is easy, it is a global market now. Tastes are so diverse that you could specialize in an incredibly tight niche and still have an audience. (If you know who they are and can find them.)

    No 2 is down to the author. He she will know his/her audience intimately and will give them exactly what they want. (After all it is a global market; authors are only up against the world.)

    No 3 & 4, this is where your marketing plan comes in. Of course you hate spam and shameless self promoters, so you are not going to fall into those nasty ways. Hours of listing promotional options, crafting elevator pitches, five second pitches, trailers, teasers, teaser shorts, podcasts, and on and on it goes. The more you do, the more you find that you need to learn.

    Anyone reading this who thinks that I am being negative, well sorry but you are wrong. I think self-publishing is the best and now arguably just about the only way for a good new novelist to gain the recognition they deserve.

    Many people have done it, are doing it and will keep doing it. How? By not underestimating No 3 and No4. After all the greatest ever novel will remain unread if no one is aware of it.

    Jess I wish you the absolute best success with your book. If I or my blog can help, then please ask. If you wish to guest post about your self-publishing experience, I would be honored to post it.

    Best of luck/success/happiness

    Andy

    Oh, one last thing; “an all-out rant” could be one of the quickest ways to gain an audience. They can get you attacked (Grin) but it seems everyone loves an argument.

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  3. Hi Cliff,

    I just read online that “editors are being fired again in droves.” It’s not something particularly disheartening to come across, I must admit.

    I don’t know how the publishing industry has managed to run on such an outdated/flawed business model for such a long time. I guess they’re going to be a victim of technology (and rightly so).

    I certainly agree about artists/writers maintaining very high standards – and I couldn’t agree more with the “appellation” you mentioned too! I thought it was “just business” in the beginning –- and it is -– but the extent to which it is taken is pretty much abominable. Sub-literate, personally repellent and utterly devoid of any love for the printed word -– yes, yes, yes [that brings to mind one email from a disgruntled editor, who took offense at one of my characters (in another book I am very likely to publish/market myself, later this year)].

    Tens of thousands of folks – I see what you mean with me having “many, many years of service to the printed word ahead” *groan* :P But we’re living in an interesting/exciting digital era, so I hope to make the most of it as best I can.

    Best wishes to you (in all departments) also!

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  4. Hello Andy,

    Thanks for the list — I didn’t think you were being very negative at all.
    I think publishers are getting increasingly frantic…so I don’t know how accurate their money-detecting-radar would be. I don’t think it was very accurate to begin with, lol.

    Nos. 3 & 4, I think, are part and parcel of doing stuff “on your own” -– it’s insane and sometimes agonizing, but perhaps that’s the trade-off that comes along with really being able to maintain one’s vision/integrity/etc, which would be compromised if taking the “conventional/commercial route”, which is what traditional/major publishers are all about.

    Thanks for the encouraging words too. I guess taking this self-publishing step has its advantages. Indeed, It’s that versus material being left in the closet forever.

    Regarding the rant, I was thinking of airing my views on SMeyer + The Almighty Twilight $erie$. I can just imagine the swarm of diehard rabid fans (and many of theem srsly can’t speel and use pRopEr capITalizatn) that would appear (along with the nasty, hilarious things they’d have to express).

    It’d be just another “attack of the clones”, I presume…

    PS: I would be most happy to do a guest blog post — am working on it ^^.

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