Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Not everyone is happy with the Amazon, Smashwords, Nook, etc. self-publishing craze. I used to belong to an MSN group called Writer’s Café, and after its demise along with all other MSN groups I’ve kept in touch with many writer friends from the site. The ones who were already published have been a tremendous help in tips on publishing trends and recommendations over the years. They have legitimate gripes about the publishing marketplace created by the advent of easy self-publishing. It was pointed out to me, rather humorously I might add, that by selling novels at 99 cents to 2.99, people actually depending on their writing for a living find their livelihoods in jeopardy. I’m now known to my handful of published authors from the group as Freebie. Every e-mail I get from them starts out with Dear Freebie now, which cracks me up to no end. We’re friends and they were overjoyed when I landed contracts for Lancelot and Cold Blooded. It was one of them who told me to quit giving Wild Child Publishing so much time and find out what happened to Cold Blooded. It’s past the editor now and in copy edits at this time, finally. Anyway, I never take offense at anything they tell me. In this case they’re probably right, but I did defend the decision pretty well.
Look, we all know how hard it is to get an agent or publisher. It’s nigh impossible. Keep trying, keep trying… blah… blah… blah… I know, and I do. But… when no one’s buying what you’ve created and an opportunity comes around to at least reach a few readers, it’s just too hard to resist. At one point I had six manuscripts on the query trail, with no takers, even though I had accumulated a couple of publishing credits, and I’m now 90,000 words into my latest. When Charles Gramlich and Jordan Summers illustrated the ease of Amazon publishing I just couldn’t pass it up. Monster and Archangel were two non-stop action novels which were too long and too political for agents and publishers. I had an agent from Canada request a full look at Archangel who gave me one of the greatest let-downs ever. She said, ‘I couldn’t stop reading it, but it was like driving by a ten car pileup. I couldn’t stop looking but felt guilty the whole time. Thanks for the look, but I can’t represent this.’ I still have her e-mail rejection on my back room wall at work. I made the case to my old friends from the defunct Writer’s Café that it was impossible to sell Monster and Archangel to anyone in publishing, and I pulled the sixty card on them – wahhh… I’m old and I don’t have the time to wait. :)
Then I got an e-mail that started out Dear OLD Freebie, how would you like it if people were giving away free automotive repairs all around your business? Heh… heh… heh… I nailed my buddy on that one. It just so happens there are what we call in automotive repair ‘Backyard Bobs’ doing free or next to nothing vehicle repairs all around me. They’ve generated many new customers for me. I’ve even consulted and bailed out a few of the nicer ones who didn’t realize their limitations until it was too late. Point being – if you’re good at what you do or you create a product people want, they’ll pay what the market dictates. At this time the publishing market is in a state of war because there are a plethora of frustrated writers marketing their goods cheaply. I’m sorry I’m one of them and my 99 cent specials selling a few copies a month are adding to the degradation of the publishing world. Wait a minute… I’m not sorry… light a candle… cry me a river… my querying list is about to go up to five novels again and if I don’t sell an agent or publisher on any of them in the next few months there may be a bunch more 99 cent specials on the way. :)
If it seems like I had a good time with this, you're very perceptive. :)