Of Dragons, Sketches, and Indie Publishing

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eastern dragon sketch

eastern dragon | pen | ~2 hrs

At one point in my life (age 16-18), I used to daydream about putting together a book of poems and sketches. I suppose Porcelain will be my first serious attempt at such a project. Porcelain is a realization of that day dream, at last! I think I will leave the interior files as black and white [saves on cost — and I currently am still focusing on bnw/shading > full color illustrations. A solid understanding of the former would allow for greater expertise with the latter (when I finally get to such a level!)].

I am aiming for 10 sketches in Porcelain — I’ve got to get one more done by June, perhaps. I think I’ll throw in a short commentary on the all-too-lovely subject of dragons, since I do own www.dragonsinn.net, which (shockingly enough) has already been in existence for a decade.

After much pondering over the past few days, I’ve decided to stick with indie publishing. I enjoy planning “what I could do” with various books…working when/how I like, and I feel as if I’m falling into a black hole, if I think of going the traditional publishing route right now.

It’s fine if you’re already a big-name author (who will receive the bulk of the publisher’s advertising/marketing budget). If you’re not…

All good gamblers know their stakes. DIY/indie publishing is pretty straight-forward and relatively smooth-going. You maintain both business + creative control, don’t waste immense amounts of time being unproductive, and don’t have to be at the mercy of an industry that doesn’t really seem to have you, your book or your readers’ best interest at heart. There’s too much emphasis on profit margins and the overhead costs to see to, and not enough on value to the customer (IMO). I’ve also been reading more and more about traditionally published authors who are waiting for their books to go ‘out of print’, so that they can wrestle back the rights to publish their own backlist themselves.

For the moment, I’ve decided to work at building up an audience via the indie/self-publishing route, while leaving traditional publishing as an afterthought. Once you have a huge audience, traditional publishers will come knocking on your door. Then you can call the shots, and tailor the deal in the best interest of yourself and your reading audience. Till such time, indie publishing is the safer, saner option to me. Less drama, less politics, and less wasteful waiting games.

To quote Mark Twain:

“It’s easier to stay out, than get out.”

P.S. I’m sitting on two long essays. One’s on Shakespeare’s Portrayal of Women, while the other is on Melville’s Moby-Dick. I might disappear for a while, till my exams are over for this semester…

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