Category Archives: Big Publishing Industry Practices

‘Uncle’ Alan Moore : “Self-Publish!”

In what many feel is the brave new world of constantly evolving indie economies, several prophets are emerging that I believe are the heralds of change. Alan Moore is one of them. I came upon this article in which Moore rings the bell that tolls for so many of us. That we are early in an industrial revolution that provides the arts with unprecedented opportunity.

https://io9.gizmodo.com/alan-moore-advises-new-writers-to-self-publish-because-1743575906

He’s not wrong. Many of the old guard are breaking rank and pulling back the covers on traditional publishing practices, as I’ve written about here and especially here.

But think of it in terms of the discovery of the new world. Very few in old Europe had any idea what North America was like, or what those who dared venture there had to do, and who to learn from (as in, they all would have DIED without help from the peoples who already lived here and ACTUALLY ALREADY OWNED THE LAND, but I digress), in order to survive. Nor did they care; they had their own concerns.

And I’m not saying Big Publishing is wrong, or that marketed writers are bad. We’d be nowhere without them. Nor am I saying that, given the opportunity, I’d back away from the chance to publish traditionally.

I do feel, though, pretty strongly, that there are few better ways to learn about both writing and publishing and business than to have to build your own canoe and make your own maps…uh, the canoes being books, and the maps being publishing them. I must work on my metaphors.

Getting lost, failing, losing your tools, learning from those kind enough to help, starving…all of those classic, fun trials.

Persistence. Determination. Curiosity. Humility. Those things that keep people going.

Nevermind that if your work didn’t stand up to quality, your would die back then. Little has changed, figuratively speaking.

But what I am saying is that there is a place for all of us, enabled by digital economies and the tools at our disposal. And it is certainly worth knowing that the economies of empire, whatever wilderness your operating in, has its own troubles.

One would never make it far by comparing successes to conglomerates who have already succeeded. Where’s the growth in that?

So, thank you, Uncle Alan, for the encouraging words. I believe you, sir, are particularly clairvoyant in your insight. May very well be quoted someday with a simple shrug and a nod, as a matter of obvious history.




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Publishing Industry Nightmares.

In the ongoing discussion about whether indie publishing is tenable, or even a thing, a lot of ugly business emerges. Most of it is discovered after some careful digging through sites like J.A. Konrath‘s and others in the field who have exposed life in the publishing tower’s secrets. Every year, it seems more of Big Publishing’s practices are exposed, and more and more, they remind me of Big Oil and other “Bigs” who are desperately struggling to understand life in this digital age, and failing.

I strongly believe that we are just as immersed in a technological revolution, that has really just started, by the way, as society was during the Industrial Revolution. Fists are being banged onto desks refusing to acknowledge new ways. Furious millionaires are determined to choke every last dollar from dying industries and practices before they draw their last breath. Men who rose to power with typewriters and letters in the mail scoff at those who dare to publish without them, and do their level best to crush their progress.

Don’t believe me? Read through Konrath. or read this:

https://publishedtodeath.blogspot.com/2017/09/an-insiders-view-of-publishing-business.html?fbclid=IwAR1ltemVunMfjPrdJFe4_nvoayR-bm-KzCNZcNhlHdjV2MoQ1Py5EGO7UWg&m=1

I’ve written in the past about developments in the publishing field in the midst of all this; I find it fascinating to study. I also continue to describe my own journey through and around the barrage that is modern publishing. Note that I do separate that from writing; I don’t believe the two are necessarily connected, and for most people, shouldn’t be. (Same as self-publishing and indie-publishing are not necessarily the same thing).

Erica Verillo‘s not wrong. The chaos she describes is pretty plain to see; just look at your average bookstore chain’s shelves over a year and you’ll see it too.

I firmly believe the future is micro-economic. Small, cottage producers of content that grow organically to be sniffed at by Big Industry, prompting the creators of that content to decide to sell their wares to the machine, or not. And new, pioneering companies like Engen who take their drive and dreams and carve out a chunk using the current technology and craft relationships with their local writers who would never get a chance elsewhere. That is the future, friends.

This is not a new concept. See Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Dungeons and Dragons, Warhammer, Call of Cthulhu, and every other small project that eventually became a marketing powerhouse.

And how did they do that?

Quality.

It always starts with quality.

I’m not saying I’m one of those. But I am saying I’m writing to write, small and in the dark every morning, shaping my stories, grooming them for the world that technology has finally made possible.

I’ve gone from coil-ring notebook, longhand writing to typing on paper, to blogging with clickable links, to printed copies in my hand and my amazon store of published novels and short stories.

And we are just getting started. But the journey, the process of this evolution, is really fascinating and worthy of recording. I really do see it as one of the greatest advancements of the arts in generations.

There was nothing like this for H.P. Lovecraft, or Charles Dickens, or Stephen King. Imagine if there had been! I’ve discussed such in The Write Podcast.

Society is quickly growing exhausted of reboots, and throwaway conclusions of stories because the writers had more lucrative things to do, and the endless mining of old material. They are starving for fresh stories, new worlds, and original ideas. There has never been a better time to have an idea. Everything you need to present it is literally at your fingertips.

And that’s me talking; the darkest, most jaded person I know. So, you know,…possibly relevant.







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Of Decisions Indie.

Posted this little gem on my Pinterest the other day:

 in defense of Indy

These are real things that have happened, and in a shockingly short timeframe.

Independent publishing is very quickly becoming the less scary option for thousands; especially if one does one’s publishing housework and research. Not to say that anything’s been easy, or that my writing will prove financially feasible, but I expected the process to be a hell of a lot harder and quieter post-upload.

I’m finding that the nights of sheer terror over not being a Real Writer (and having wasted precious Bathroom Renovation time) are quickly evolving into mornings horizoned by smiles: each day something new happens that flags a tangible success.

Writers like Kristen Bell, M. Louisa Locke, and J.A. Konrath, and independent media advocates like Chris Hardwick make a pretty clear case. I’m grateful they’re out there, and glad that I started listening to them.  They were an invaluable voice during the dark, “What-the-hell-am-I-doing?!?” mornings.

I still have those, by the way. They usually precede the very good “Just Because, so-keep-going” moments.  Which are my favourite.

Especially when seasoned with good, strong Coffee of Righteousness.

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