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.
A terrific ariticle from theage.co.au 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?
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.
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.
Pindeldyboz is a pretty cool and popular literary website and just like many of those pretty cool and popular literary websites, it has also launched its own pretty cool and popular print edition as well. And it accepts unsolicited submissions.
Whether you're a fiction writer, non-fiction writer, poet or illustrator/artist, you might want to consider submitting to Pindeldyboz; particularly if you are an artist. Pindeldyboz publishes good designs and new concepts from creative minds – and your artwork has a chance to be the cover art of one of Pindeldyboz's future print editions.
Now, how cool is that? So get creative and send them an email.
Wil Wheaton, writer, actor, blogger, amongst others, has released a very limited edition of a chapbook, More Than This. He's printed 200 copies and is now selling the majority of them via his website through Paypal. And man, the chapbooks are selling like crazy but that's not the point.
The point is that Wil Wheaton's effort to publish something original all by himself clearly illustrates how easy and contemplating it now is to publish your own work (I'll use the term self-publishing in this post although some people might not really consider this as self-publishing per se). You have to put a lot of work and dedication in your manuscript, run to a good printing group, tell them how many copies you want to print and there you are: a published writer. You may even consider giving your book/chapbook its very own ISBN number (for Mauritian readers, visit this page for more info about how to get an ISBN number) as well.
The great thing about self-publishing is that it's really something personal, in a way. If you're self-publishing, forget about the money. Rather, think about that satisfaction of publishing your own words on paper. Distribute your self-published book/chapbook to your parents, relatives and friends and wait for their comments. They're all love it, obviously, and you'll be considered a writer. Try to distribute your book/chapbook to indie bookstores as well. They understand and love the concept of writing for the love of writing and just don't care about that other concept: writing for the economic benefits of the publisher.
If you're buying Wil's chapbook, take note that he'll sign it for you. Isn't that just too cool? And the foreword is written by his stepson. Can you see the love and dedication? Can you see the author-reader relationaship that simple doesn't really exist in mainstream publishing?
Go for it people, self-publishing is a really satisfying because, you're in control and because you know that you're loving every minute of it.