Tag Archives: self-publishing

How Will I Feel?

How will I feel…the first time I become a published author?

No, I am not an arrogant, overzealous poser who think she is destined to be a best-selling author. The truth is that I have a dream to be a published author, and I plan to work hard until I can achieve those goals.

So, how will I feel when it happens? Over the years, I’ve read the books of people I’ve never met, admiring their ability to shape the English language (and sometimes other ones) into beautiful works of art. Writing isn’t about making a political statement or placing universal themes that will make your book literature with a capital L.

The first aspect of writing is about expressing the emotions and ideas that make up the human condition. Even in the vast universes of science fiction or the actions scenes of westerns, the human condition can be found at the center of all writing. It is there, in the unconscious mind of the writer that we find the purpose of writing. To tell the stories that mean most to humanity. The ones about love, war, and grief. I am lucky to live in a world where information can travel instantaneously around the world, sharing ideas with people in different cultures. The desire to share my ideas with everyone is what began my love of writing.

This brings us to the second aspect of writing. The storytelling part. Bards eventually turned into scribes, when they realized the value the written word held for the stories of the past and present. Once a story is transcribed on paper, it can easily travel faster than one person telling the story. And hundreds of copies? Whoo buddy, you are really cooking now.

For those of us who cherish print for it’s massive contribution to passing our favorite stories across the globe, print can do even more for the aspiring writing these days.  Whether you choose the big six, a small publishing company, or venture out into the publishing world alone, there is always a point to having your story available for the masses to experience. I don’t care if it’s on a $200 device that uses e-ink or a paper back with it’s glossy cover art. The thought of having my words available for people to purchase (or free) and read is overwhelming.

Now that I am being taught the process of writing from the inside, I can understand the feeling excitement and anxiety of preparing my work for the world to read. I already know the pitfalls of revising, of working under strict deadlines, and constantly doubting my own skills. Not that all of these hurdles must be faced by everyone, but they are some of the basics. The next big leap in the future will hopefully land me with a book bound, printed on paper (or on a screen) with my name on it. I have the pleasure of meeting many published authors in my first residency of my master’s program.

What is even more exciting is that my fellow colleagues are being published even before the program is finished.

Be sure to check out their published works below:

http://www.amazon.com/Episode-Equals-Chronicles-Professor-ebook/dp/B007Q3LV0W/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0865348782/ref=cm_sw_r_fa_alp_M7JKpb0KQXRM5

This increase in publishing has surrounded me with a boatload of optimism and one seemingly unimportant question. What will it feel like to have your work published for the first time? Ideally, the answer should be elation, joy, gratitude, happiness. However, the act of getting your work published is typically not easy. Louisa May Alcott was forced to change her ending and betray her characters to appease publishers. These days, if you jump through the hoops necessary to publish the traditional way, you may find yourself in need of several consultants to show your book is worth reading. Web designers, twitter accountants, and marketing agents are some of the few necessities that accompany being published right now. You have to be your own promoter. This makes the daunting task of getting the word out much more difficult than just simply writing the book.

Now, you're your own promoter. Takes a little of the fun out of writing it if someone else can't promote it with you.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m going to go 15 kinds of crazy when my first book is delivered to my house “fresh off the press.”  I know that no matter what the cost (tears, money, and especially blood) I will be published. I want to reach people and share with them the joy that books have given me my entire life. At the same time, I have to be willing to sacrifice a whole lot more once my baby has been published. It’s  a completely different job before and after publishing because you have to be a separate person from the writer of the story.  Although that is not always a bad thing. I am excited and nervous for all parts of the process, especially for the first time. Even the rejection letters will be greeted with a smile. That badge of honor will be accepted with a slice of humble pie and a tall glass of get back to work. As I work diligently to perfect each story, I look forward to the day I can post on here, facebook, and twitter that I will now be promoting my book tour instead of working on my next homework assignment.

This cartoon is just for fun, but it shows how truly imaginative you can be if you self-publish.

What are your hopes and fears about publishing? Share them here and happy reading/writing!

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Back to the Future Of Print Books

Although my love of print books may seem a little biased, I will state now that I do love e-books and all that they represent. However, the e-books are allowing print books to hold strong in what everyone loves about them.

Book Cover Cafe’s post, Future of Publishing: Why Print Books Have Plenty of Shelf Life Yet, details four facts about print books that keep them alive in our hearts and on the shelves! The post sheds some light on how writers are publishing right now. We have so many options that it intimidates the crap out of most of us (and if you say it doesn’t you’re probably already getting six figure advances and don’t care!). But purists we’re in luck! The rise of e-books has brought the importance of print to the market.

1.) Authority and positioning-Although e-book sales are on the rise, print on demand makes the value of being published —virtually effortless. In general, the idea is perfect. The ability for a writer to publish from their home without the grueling, devastating process of going through agent-editor-publisher to get one measly book.

Before publishing became ready made, print books were the only way to become credible. Even if you had your own printing press, it still did not pull as big of a punch as having your book professionally bound and stamped by the approval of the most well-known editors/publishing houses. It was the grueling  process, and the approval of highly valued people in the market that made the book have credibility. Logic follows that until there are the same credible people sorting through e-books, we have a lot of people deeming their own work credible enough to be published without the careful eyes of the more experienced. On the other hand, the more experienced or unlucky in some cases can choose the publish on demand as a way to bypass the struggle they cannot surpass or already have.

2.)  Unconventional pages- For writing outside of the straight novel text, the format for e-books is not convenient. Poetry, graphic novels, text books, and picture books all have difficulty being transferred to electronic form. However, the glory of print is that you can do pretty much anything on a page and it still looks great.

3.) Slow reception- The reality of e-book sales halting print books is just a tad hasty. The sales of e-books outside of the U.S. are not impressive. We Americans love the newest, greatest products on the market, and sometimes we jump too high for our new toys before the rest of the world.  It doesn’t mean that we aren’t right about the importance of e-books, but it means that print is still a heavy hand in people’s lives.

4.) The stigma-Yes, e-books are convenient, they’re flashy, they’re functional, they’re cheap. Is that last one a good thing? I know I like when I get school books for $0.75 on half.com, but I KNOW I wouldn’t want my books sold for $0.99 just so that they’re published. Even though my primary goal is not to make money…we writers gotta make a living and a book for a dollar is not going to pay for all the necessities (at least not for beginning writers).

The stigma is…you get what you pay for. When you pay $0.99 for a book without the pages, the cover, the fancy editor, the credibility (sometimes) it shows.  There are obviously pros to this because you can cut the costs for a self-publishing for a writer. However, the author of the post brings up a vital aspect of value. Almost all books benefit from the overall package. The senses are how we experience the world, and part of the magic of a print book is that you get all of them (except taste, but that doesn’t apply to either). The e-book has added joy of video, hyperlink, and instant dictionary. And yet print books have the amazing ability to change according to the kind of book. you need. The old, knowledgeable ones with the dusty, old binding.  The new, exciting ones of alien worlds. The format of print is so versatile that it can take the physical shape of the story inside. And that is something you cannot replace!

This isn’t a competition, a war between the ages. It is an opportunity for co-existence (like that one religion that has all the symbols). For those who want a specific experience both avenues give you what you need.  I know my love of books and writing will grow to rely on the e-books because they are the children (books) of the future, but I will always cherish the knowledge/beauty of the past.

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Bestsellers: Epitome of Success or Overrated Expectation

In response to Joe Konrath’s The Myth of the Bestseller— Hallelujah! There is something insane about the expectation as a writer to make millions to be successful. The above link takes you to a first hand experience of what self-publishing and e-books can do to transform a writer.

As hesitant as I am to switch to e-books, there is something magical about this blog post. This author has published his writing and successfully sold his e-books online. Now you must be thinking, that’s success? I thought success for a writer was getting in the New York Times Bestseller’s List. How do you do that self-publishing in digital form? Well, it’s easy.

Being on that list is overrated. If you look at the books on those lists, you’ll find a majority of them have sacrificed more than they needed to get their book published.  According to Konrath and many writers (including myself) success doesn’t come from millions of books sold. It comes from one. Stephen King once said if you get paid for your writing, you’re a success. The truth is that if you get satisfaction from your writing that should be all that matters.

Don’t set your sights on a career that is littered with rejection, despair, and loss of money. Maybe, the future of writers is in taking the publishing into our own hands or smaller groups of people looking out for the creators of the works. We deserve some credit after years of being underpaid. We need to be recognized for the work we do, instead of being swept under the rug if we don’t make millions in the first year. What if paying for the groceries is enough? Selling a few books a day may be all the success you need to fulfill your dream.

Join the revolution! Self-sufficient, confident writers who take the action into their own hands. They make their books happen because they have the dream that no one else supported. Now we don’t have to create a pile of rejection letters. We can publish our books on our own letting the fate of the readers decide our paycheck rather than a corporation that doesn’t know us.

Although this revolution is just beginning, don’t rule it out. Someday, self-published e-books may become the standard. Give it a try if you’re ready and the big business publishers just don’t see the same vision you do.

Yes, ideally we all think we should be able to sell millions of books, but that isn’t the most important aspect of writing. What’s most important is being true to yourself as a writer to affect someone else with your words.  To me, if I can make one reader learn about him/herself or more about life, then I’m a success. I want to entertain. If I can pay the bills, even better!

One of the shortcomings of traditional publishing as we all know is dealing with the big wigs, the publishers,editors, even agents taking parts of the profit. One of the solutions to that is e-books. The cost of making the books is terrible. As much as I love print books, they cost money to make. That money comes out of the profit of selling the books. If my book fails all of those book costs come out of my future. If I don’t make millions for the people that invest thousands into me, my career is sunk.

The glory of self-publishing is that the writer takes the majority of the profits in royalties. The money isn’t divided 15 ways to nothing by the time it gets back to the creator. The allure of this is so tempting that writers all over the world are jumping on the self-pubbed, e-book bandwagon. AND IT WORKS! It’s not something one or two writers are making money from now.

The key to success is the faith you have in yourself to achieve your dreams

This is the future of writing. It may just be the beginning, but think of a world where writers get to choose how their book turns out. Give it a shot because when no one else has the faith in your book to make millions, you do. You can publish it and make as much money as you are willing to market it. That control/freedom has never been felt before by writers. With the internet at your fingertips you can reach the readers of the globe in an instant, and reap the benefit in a much more personal way.

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