Posts tagged ‘Publishing and Printing’

The Indie Trap – Avoid This

English: Mouse trap - "Promax" brand...

English: Mouse trap – “Promax” brand Español: Ratonera de ratones (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before deciding to become an indie author, I learned as much about it as I could, and continue to learn, knowing that it is an ongoing effort. Indie publishing is evolving fast, and furiously. Honestly, I am not so sure how it will continue to develop and how this movement will be seen in the future. What I have noticed is a frenzy about publishing volume, many times with disregard of quality, by new authors, and even more seasoned ones. What caused this? I am not sure either. It is as if everyone is in a panic, a mania, as if independent publishing will cease to exist so, “I better write a lot of books and publish them before it is too late” or it could be ” too many people publishing, too many books out, soon, it will be impossible for my work to get noticed; it is saturated already.”  That is the impression I get when I read or hear other authors recommending to write many books fast, have them out there soon enough, or publishing many short stories, and novellas just to grab readers. It is indie mania out there!

My take on it is this, if you are planning on writing for a lifetime, of being an author for the long run, avoid the temptation. Write at your own pace, write the best book you can present to readers (you owe this to your readers), and publish it when you are one hundred percent plus sure that you have given it your best effort. Forget about what everyone else is rushing about and doing, and focus on your goals and vision as a long-term author. Write your best story, and present it as a humble sacrifice to your readers. When I say sacrifice I am referring to an offering, your best work.

It is hard to foresee what is going to happen to independent publishing, but you will certainly regret it if you put out work that you are not proud of being your best, that you can certainly foresee, so don’t fall in this trap. Don’t let algorithms, ranking, number of books a year … get in the way of your best work. However the industry develops, let it be; you will continue to be an indie author, if that is your vision.

Why Self-published Authors Succumb to Contracts

Français : FICHE GÉNÉRIQUE Modus operandi, ins...

Français : FICHE GÉNÉRIQUE Modus operandi, installation vidéo-interactive, 2003 Conception et réalisation : Jean-Louis Boissier. Production : laboratoire Esthétique de l’interactivité, Université Paris 8, Association Transports. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It is a new world and a new game at the publishing industry. It has opened doors to independent and self-published authors who are enjoying the best time to make their works known without the demands and constraints of the traditional publishing industry model. However, what makes a successful independent or self-published author succumb to a traditional contract? It would be a good idea to differentiate between the terms indie and self-published (this assessment is my view, in general).

I view independent authors (indie) as entrepreneurs who enjoy the freedom and flexibility of maintaining their status as indies, and who have established for themselves  a “modus operandi” that they love and prefer. I view self-published authors as writers who love the craft and have embraced the opportunity with the changes in the industry but whose goal is to one day, become published the traditional way. They might have received rejection notes or not, but their main goal is to obtain publication via the traditional model of publishing, and at the same time, making a name for themselves.

Despite the rules of the traditional publishing model, publishers are turning to Amazon to discover future contracts by following who sells the most/ranking. This works well for self-publishers, who have not been able to reach the system via an agent. For a successful self-publishing author this might eliminate one layer of the traditional method – finding an agent, but agents might be looking for these self-published successes as well, knowing that the sales have been proven, and most likely, will turn into profitable contracts.

Successful Indie authors are smart about all this, and although they love their freedom and flexibility, they would consider the right contract, as long as it proves to be more profitable than what they are already experiencing by their own efforts. For other indie authors, the issue is more about flexibility and the need to control the creative process, and their working style. Indies might or might not want to obtain a contract, depending on their goals.

Successful indie authors who value an entrepreneur model of publishing seem to retain more control over what they want than self-publishers whose goal is to get a contract to validate their status as authors or to make a name in the industry. It seems that it comes down to “what’s in it for me,” and how it falls under “my goals as an author.” Both sides have genuine interests, and there is no right or wrong way to do things, as long as it follows the author’s true values/goals.

Self Publishing – The Rule of Plenty

Let me start by saying that when you decide to embark on the voyage to self-publish, plenty will  undermine your confidence.  As a self-publisher, you will be acting as the writer, the contractor to find an editor, cover artist, interior designer/cover designer … and much more.  If you are doing all this yourself, there is much to learn, little time, and tons of roadblocks, that is, if you want to end up with a product that looks professionally created.  Print on demand may be inexpensive, and if you are just doing e-book format, then your initial expense could be $0.00.  However, this doesn’t mean that you will end up with an excellent product.  If you are a quasi-perfectionist, you may end up becoming your biggest roadblock.

So far, I have embraced the path to self-publishing and I have worked hard towards publishing my first book.  Since I decided to start the process, the rule of plenty has made its presence in my life.  I have had plenty to learn, plenty to do, plenty to cry about, plenty to ignore, plenty to work against, plenty to resist, plenty to embrace, plenty to doubt, plenty to stumble upon, plenty to create, plenty to hate, plenty to whine about, plenty to change, plenty to redo, plenty to cry about again, plenty to disagree with, plenty to fear, plenty to deal with – computer viruses, computer hackers, computer issues, software malfunction, hacked accounts …   And it may have seem that all of this has happened at once.  However, I’ve also had plenty to like, plenty to enjoy, and plenty to love.  Even that my confidence might have been undermined by the Rule of Plenty, I wouldn’t do it any other way.

I have chosen this path, and it is not an easy one.  I have found that the only way to beat the Rule of Plenty is to embrace Randomness when it shows up, and keep going.  Yes, embracing the random is the only medicine to cure a bad dose of the Rule of Plenty.   So, if you have been getting an incredible dose of the Rule of Plenty lately, don’t despair, embrace the randomness of it all, and push forward.  Sooner than later, there will be plenty to celebrate.

Book Progress

This is a short update on my writing progress – it has been a while since my last post about my novels.  Currently, I am working on final revisions for two novels.  I have decided to work on the third novel which is semi-organized in paper and thoughts, and will postpone publishing for now.  There are a few reasons for this, and I rather wait until I straighten some issues.  In addition, my uncertainty about looking for an agent and going indie has cleared up.  I find that the wait helped me understand indie publishing  a bit better, and although not my intention at the beginning (I was thinking about going the traditional route), now I feel that the right path for me is indie publishing.  This path seems to agree much more with my personality, work ethics, and working style.

One thing worries me; there seems to be a self-publishing frenzy going on now, and tons of poor quality work out in print.  In addition, there is the conflict with pricing issues between Amazon and publishing houses, authors and publishing houses, and everyone and their neighbors … It is obvious that this frenzy will subside eventually, and hopefully, the writers looking for a quick buck will dwindle as well, and just as with an ice age, that the writing environment clears up.  These things concern me now and weigh heavy on my decision to self-publish.  Added to issues of a pending move out-of-state, financial, and lifestyle changes, the best path is to wait and keep writing the third novel.

A friend told me that I was risking missing the boat by waiting but I disagree.  I don’t think anybody’s boat goes missing just because one decides to wait until the time that it feels right (and that is a personal issue and different for everyone).  However, I happen to agree with chasing opportunity when it knocks and if you feel ready for the chase.  Many times, “just jump now” works; other times, you may find that the abyss could have been avoided if you just waited until your foot was touching ground.

How do you feel about the self-publishing frenzy going on now or about self-publishing in general?  Feel free to share your experience in the comment section.

To Self Publish or Not – That is the Question

An on-demand book printer at the Internet Arch...

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve been working on my novels, perfecting them as much as I can, and getting ready for publishing – maybe next year.  However, the issue of going the traditional route or self publishing has been on my thoughts especially because self publishing is not the taboo it used to be, and more reputable authors are self publishing.  At the same time, there is a lot of crap out and the stigma may hold true these days, so that is my dilemma.

I have read much on the various routes that I can take – publish on demand (POD), going with a small but long-time established publisher, taking the traditional route and pray for an agent … Although this will not happen now, I worry about the decision – simply, because this is not one to take lightly or to rush.  Once you self-publish your name is out there, therefore, you want to present to the readers your best work at the time.  In addition, English is not my mother tongue, so I have to make sure that there are no linguistic errors besides the usual grammatical, style, punctuation … and so on.  That is why I am not rushing and that is why I see it as a huge responsibility – as if I have been entrusted something to deliver to the world.

In preparation for the big day – the day I decide which route to take – I’ve been following author Cliff Burns’ blog – Beautiful Desolation (a pro at it) and I ‘ve been reading lots on the topic.  One interesting series is the How to Get Published Series that As the Pages Turn is doing.  A few authors get to tell their story on how they got published, some of the challenges they met, and other interesting issues.  I like to read Claire Cook’s blog, who is a best-selling author and have gone through the traditional method of publishing.  Her blog is full of insight and great topics of interest to aspiring writers.  Check out her section dedicated to Aspiring Writers and watch her videos.

Thanks to the development of the internet, there is a lot on the topic that I can research before deciding on which road to take; however, there are tons of scams out there and that is something to be mindful of to avoid making the mistakes that many people in the rush of publishing their books have made.

Wether it is self-publishing or traditional publishing, both require a lot of focus and work.  There are advantages and disadvantages for both, and many will be of a personal matter (financial, likes and dislikes, freedom …)  which is different for every person.  In addition, there is the move to another state, the restoration of a dilapidated farmhouse that will become my permanent home, and many other issues that are pushing the decision to publish further away.  It will be in due time.  I am a firm believer of the adage “things always work for the best.”