Saturday, May 11, 2013

Independent Despite the Sea of Crap (or Less Determined)

The Cruel Paradox of Self-Publishing - Peter Osnos - The Atlantic

I read the above article, and I couldn't help but think about how it reminded me of another part of my life. Strangely, it gave me hope.

You see, today I got more samples from my big push to try and get free baby stuff. This was actually a motherlode - including a variety of bath and laundry products as well as two free diapers. I didn't expect so much from this particular company (which shall remain nameless so as to prevent inundation and deprivation of those who have the balls to ask as opposed to those who just sign up on freebie sites).

I mention this because it is a perfect example of issues in publishing. It is the reason I hate self-publishing and yet keep working at it (like a moth to a flame).

Just like all the people capitalizing on free samples from companies, there are too many people trying to be published authors. These people have ruined it for the rest of us and I will say the unpopular but true thing here - many of them should give up. And many of them will - but not before they inundate the market and make it more difficult for those crazy people like me who are absolutely determined to make something of themselves. Of course, just like the samples, if you keep asking, eventually you'll be rewarded. It just might take you asking 60 times until you hit pay dirt. I just wish 60 times in publishing came as quickly as it did with my sample requests...

Still I have no illusions about this path, or any other in publishing. Like so many independent authors, I haven't struck it rich. I have however, more than broken even, if you discount the hours of labor put into my writing. I am in the process of joining a writing staff for a site that will gain me additional visibility. It will also likely bring some cross traffic to my blog as well as increasing my followers. This is exciting, because some of those people will also choose to buy my books (I might even get some advertising revenue!).

This is why I'm doing my writing challenge now - so these new followers and visitors will see how serious I am and how many options they have to read my stuff. I am convinced this is what I should do. I meditated about it, and every time I thought about writing, self-publishing came up. Don't get me wrong - I'm going to continue to submit short stories to magazines to increase visibility that way as well. I'm not completely dismissing the idea of traditional publishing down the road. I just don't know that traditional agents are willing to deal with the kinds of stories I write - at least not right this moment.

JEREMIAH for example, is poignant right now, as it provides a spring board for discussing reproductive rights. Agents aren't sure what to do with it. That seems stupid to me. But what do I know about publishing? I'm a writer, not a salesman. The business is subjective and I'm utterly biased.

So for now, I continue my insane writing goals and will publish an insane amount of books in a short time. Hopefully I'll be able to start a new challenge after a routine is established with the baby in the fall. Maybe my little crazy project will catch someone's attention, a la "Julie and Julia," who knows? It could happen.

What I do know is that if you keep pushing as hard as I am now, something's got to give. It's got to - even if it's a hairline crack I never saw coming.

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