Friday, October 29, 2010

Is it really TOO expensive?

It's a fact that most authors now-a-days have to pay a good majority of their publishing costs themselves. They also have to take care of the majority of publicity efforts as well. Some writers happily accept this sad fact, yet there are some who never get anything accomplished as a result. I have seen so many people use the excuse that it's too 'expensive' and therefore quit all required action. If you are serious about being a writer and getting published you will not let monetary issues prevent you from fulfilling your dreams. I, for one, had to save several months working many jobs I hated before the opportunity came to me. But, when it did, the elation that followed was beyond what words could express. Regardless if I was considered 'successful' by others or not. It all comes down to this, if you think publishing costs are expensive, just try to imagine yourself unpublished for the rest of your life.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The good few

Believe it or not, there are actually some in the publishing world who sincerely try to help writers find success. Because there are so few of them, you really have to use complete discretion. The method I used before I went with a publishing company that actually worked was to befriend someone already in the business. When you know someone personally and you are on good terms with them, it really adds to your benefit in the publishing process. I think the one major mistake I made with the would-be fraud (my first publisher) was that I did not get to know her better. Knowing someone gives you the indication on how professional they are, how serious with your benefit they are, how fair they are and so on. Personally, I'd say that less than 30% of publishers are actually going to give you a fair deal. But, because I do have an extremely fair publisher, I can't necessarily say that they are all out to cheat you. It makes me very grateful to have such a publisher and it also gives hope to the rest of the writing world who is trying to be published.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Being realistic

In the business of writing there exists many people out there who are essentially unrealistic on the quality of their work. What I mean by this is that they feel that their work is worth a fortune simply because they created it. While I admire anyone's pride in their efforts, it is this same belief that holds them from real progression. My publisher recently had a would-be client who was very difficult in this manner. He felt that his work was a guaranteed success and that it was a basic privilege for her to be publishing it. He also wanted her to continuously compromise her fees and services. I thought the whole thing was quite absurd. I mean, when you think about it, if his work was so magnanimous why had he never before been published? You would be surprised to find out how many would be writers actually feel this way and they refuse to be flexible enough to understand the thought that Rome was not built in a day, neither will anyone's career ever be. It is a life-long process. Needless to say, my publisher wasn't tolerating such behavior from anyone who needed her much more than she needed them. Writers must have a down to Earth attitude regarding their direction, their career, and so on. After all, as far as success is concerned, it's completely up to them.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Reading between the lies

I don't know if everyone has had the opportunity to deal with low end publishing companies that promise to get everyone published, a no questions asked sort of deal. Well, if you haven't you've probably saved yourself a lot of time and frustration. I know for most budding authors out there it seems very promising to have an avenue that will finally bring your work to fruition. But, as with everything, we must read between the lines. The first thing these companies will do is charge a nominal fee (and that is usually substantial by the way) then say they first have to 'proof read' your work and see if it is up to their standards. What there standards are, however, is not discussed with you and never will be so they can have a justification for the next part of this so called 'process'. The next part is, of course, to say that your work is not good enough for them to sell to major chain retailers and then to say that the only feasible option you have is to have your work 'reviewed' by their editing department. This also will cost you a nominal fee. The editing department will then subtly mangle your work (and any esteem or self-belief you have as a writer) until they have a finished product that is more to their liking. Usually by that time it does not even remotely resemble anything that you created in the first place. This leads us to the final step, basic rejection. Even if you are fortunate enough to have your work actually published (90% of those that apply usually do not) you shouldn't expect to see your work in any major bookstores and any and all promotion of your book will have to be handled by you. In short, you are back to where you started from except now you are at least 3 to four thousand dollars poorer (sometimes it is more). I, myself, have never relied on such companies as I consider totally worthless and anyone who does not want to go through the same 'process' I have before mentioned, should feel the exact same way!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy Halloween

Halloween has been and always will be my favorite holiday. I absolutely adore the history of it and the wicked mood that brings is simply to die for! But, when the holiday comes around each year I just cant help but notice the amount of commercialism that is apparent. I mean people actually think it is just about getting into some asinine costume and asking neighbors for candy. Most of them probably don't understand that it is a pagan celebration and many believe it is the one night of the year that spirits of the dead actually walk the Earth among us. I guess I have a unconventional attitude towards Halloween. I like to enjoy myself usually in a cemetery and in the night time I will get out my organ and play haunting tunes. And the truth is, it is the one holiday of the year where I can truly be myself.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Creating a demand

I know by experience that there are many writers out there that think they are going to be an over night success. It is these same writers who believe that their work should only sell for nothing less than a fortune. I'm pretty sure that with time most of them have to learn the hard way that without a demand for their work, it won't sell at all. That leaves them with only two available options. Either to #1: just quit writing altogether (you'd be surprised at how many of them do that) or #2: Create a demand. Creating a demand can be challenging. I, myself am still in the process of doing it. But, I don't believe anything is truly impossible. I think being flexible in where your work is being shown has a lot to do with it. For example, I like to approach book stores (usually little holes in the walls) and offer complimentary copies of my books to see how the public responds to it. Plus it's a great way to get the owners of such stores to read your work as well. I know a lot of people would have a great deal of trouble in giving away their work for free, but if you truly want to be noticed and appreciated, sometimes it's a must. Remember, the more people read your work the more they know about you. And the more they know about you, the more of your work they want to see.