sky media

Self-published book to say: Marry me
2 June, 2006, 11:04 am
Filed under: Authors

Because I clean the bathroom every week. Because I cut my hair. Because I love the way you say “crayons.” Because until I met you, I never thought beauty, wit, and kindness could be encapsulated in one person.

This guy actually proposed his girlfriend to marry him by self-publishing a book via Lulu! Now that’s really cool…

Via The Publishing Spot

Khalil A.

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When penname cover gets blown away
29 May, 2006, 10:24 am
Filed under: Authors, Publishers

A terrific ariticle from about the consequences.  For instance what happens, when it's discovered that this famous children author, wrote the best-selling erotica book under a penname?


Khalil A.

US and only US
24 May, 2006, 5:47 pm
Filed under: What we're up to

James latest post at the So New Media (Publishing?) blog is one of the reasons why sky media exists in the first place.  His post deals with international (outiside US) submissions.  Obviously, given that SNM (let's stick with this) is based in the US, it's all too normal that they will concentrate more on US authors.

And then there's the marketing and promotion of the book which surely will prove to be hectic if ever the author is at the other side of the globe.

As a small press, we only have domestic distribution, and if the majority of an author's readership is going to be in their home country, that means they may be paying very well the cost of the book again in postage. We can discount books bought directly through our website but it never fails that international orders forget to add up postage properly through Paypal. So this whole difficulty presents itself, just another hurdle for a manuscript to overcome in the acceptance process.

The other difficulty lies in promotion. We can't support an international author the way we can those in the states. Because I lived in Germany for three years, I understand the EU and can semi work within it – but anywhere outside the reach of Ryan Air . . . it's almost an automatic no-go. So here comes the lingering guilt again.

You see the problem? It's US-only.  What about the other parts of the world? SNM can't do anything about it and we, non-Americans completely understand.  I mean, we wouldn't have been able to do anything about it either if we were in their place.  It's loads of money to promote a book, outside your own country.

That's why sky media has been created then: to be a voice for all you indie writers in another part of the world.  We're in Mauritius and we're proud.  And if we did it, you can as well, I'm sure.

What I would truly recommend is that people interested in the small press movement start an indie press in their own country. Digital printing is everywhere, and you can sell locally – probably much more than you could in the states, and no one would understand the nuances of local promotion better than you. A McDonald's salary could get you started, and I know there's a McDonald's near you no matter where you live. Yeah. Check it.

Email if you've got any questions.

James is offering some help as well, right? It's now or never people. 

Update: The Clown’s Graveyard
23 May, 2006, 5:54 pm
Filed under: Publishing, The Clown's Graveyard, What we're up to

Ok, we're behind schedule.  We were supposed to release The Clown's Graveyard last week but as you might have noticed, we haven't.  We are actually still working on it and man, there are loads of great stuff coming up with this publication.

Trust us.

Clown photo 

Khalil A.

Book signing? Yes, but no author around!
19 May, 2006, 3:29 pm
Filed under: Authors, Publishers, The Corporates

Books matter. And books are matter. Technology will surely progress and ebooks may or may not alter the equation, but there will never be anything that tops clutching a book in one's hands, rifling through the pages as one zooms to the conclusion of the story. When holding a book, a reader is able to hold a whole world in their hands. And no technology will ever change that.

Well, this pretty sums it up. This great article at Flak Magazine ponders on the above issue and writer, Iris Blasi, does a great job in telling us how heavily-published author, Margaret Atwood experimented with the idea of doing a book signing at a New York bookstore while actually being in London herself, at the time of the event. And she actually did that on purpose and did sign a few books as well. By the way, when we say "a few" here, we really mean "a few."

Now how stupid for an author so heavily backed by a pockets-full-of-money-publisher to do a such a thing. Doesn't she realise that the guy who wants his copy signed wants more than the signature? He also wants to experience the famous author-reader and only your damn presence that grant him his wish.
This type of book signing of Mrs. Atwood is good for those writers who are relatively unknown and don't have big money to spend to go on book tours. And in any case, these writers usually provide the readers with the author-reader experience by using the latest trends like blogs and podcasts. That's the magic of indie writers: they're part of the reader world too, and they know what will really make us, the readers, happy.

As for those big corporates… only time will tell.

Khalil A.

Vote for the best cover
12 May, 2006, 10:29 am
Filed under: Artists, Publishing

Now, this guy, Mathias Klang, has written his PhD thesis entitled Disruptive Technology and he wanted to get a nice cover (to illustrate his hard work?). But Mathias didn't think that he was up to the task and he quite literary asked for help.

He emailed a few people and the blogging world spread the word. It really did. Mathias's request for a cover appeared (amongst other places) on Boing Boing, Lessig, Foreword, Patrik’s sprawl, Perfekta Tomrummet, Free the Mind and Cyberlaw. Now this is really great. Indie world as the way.

Well, people sent in their designs for a possible book cover and now, keeping faith in the indie world and power of the readers/contributors, Mathias is asking you to vote for the best cover. They're all really nice, in particular entry 8.

Khalil A.

RE: Oh, editing
11 May, 2006, 11:23 am
Filed under: Authors, Editors, Publishers

If we link to So New Media Blog today, it might well mean that we've been directing you to those fellows twice – in less than a week, too. Yes, we know: we as may well copy and paste all of their blog posts on this blog to facilitate the transition, but, you know, they probably wouldn't agree in us doing so.

Okay, we're getting boring so there's the link!

James Stegall, publisher of So New Media has an interesting piece about "life as an indie book publisher." We exagerated that one because it's not exactly as extensive as those words between the inverted commas appear to convey. James ponders for some minutes or editing, in particular on how it is touchy territory.

Editing is always touchy territory. In my writing, I always appreciate the Simon Cowell approach. . . but some writers can't deal with it. Since most of my training is as a journalist, I've always believed that writing means rewriting, and the text doesn't belong to anybody except its own internal logic and whatever it takes to make it stronger, better and shockingly clear. That person is usually an editor. A true editor attacks words from every possible angle, trying their damndest to knock them down and prove them meaningless – which is what you fear all along (at least for me), that you're not really saying anything.

Well, we agree to a certain extent. A good editor undoubtedly helps to make a piece of writing much stronger and clearer but better? Sure better, because the piece is now stronger and clearer, however, does he necessarilly makes it any better, in terms of ideas or spirit of the book? I mean, there's no way an editor can connect 100% with the feelings/inner soul that a writer has put on paper so while editing (duh!), instead of making the piece better, the editor may contribute in making the story, well, worst.

This can happen, for instance, when the editor removes some of the "peripheral dressings" of the story, which, to the eyes of the writer, are as important as ever for the reader to get a better view of the story/plot/whatever and to be better incurred in the atmosphere. In the eyes of the editor though, those "peripheral dressings" only contribute in making the story/plot/whatever less interesting in the sense that they are synonyms for more words for the reader to read until he gets to the great car-chase chapter or something.

An editor is the most corporate and less-indie character in an indie press. You can't blame him because, that's his job. While editing, the editor permanently has part of his mind focused on the book's future sales and marketing. In other words, there's a part of the editor that wants to include what the readers like to read (to boost sales) as well and this may lead to a laissez-aller of what the writer's whole message is about.

When an indie writer writes something, he's inspired and fires whatever comes into his mind. The editor then has to tidy things up a little bit but, according to us, the editor should not interfere with the piece he's editing. An editor is damn important, sure, but let them work with orthography, vocabulary and punctiation only.
Khalil A.