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Thinking in new ways


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#1 mwsinclair

mwsinclair

    Elephant with a trunk full of novels

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  • Publishing Experience:Journalist covering U.S. nonprofits, foundations, and life in general. President and Chief Elephant Officer of Elephant's Bookshelf Press, LLC. Since establishing the company in 2012, we have published ten books, including short stories by several AQC writers and debut novels by AQC authors A.T. O'Connor (aka Cat Woods), "ScubaSteve" Carman, and R.S. Mellette. Heading into 2016, we're aiming to publish at least two books, including the second Mellette novel and an anthology. In 2015, I saw a few memoir/nonfiction pieces published in Red Fez. I expect to do more of that in 2016 and beyond, while also looking to add freelance editing and writing clients.

Posted 08 March 2012 - 10:52 AM

I was reading a piece from FastCompany and thought it might offer a good opportunity to tweak the folks here. Like many writers, I've started to embrace the idea of self-publishing and electronic publishing. I tweet, I Facebook, I blog, I code HTML, blah, blah, blah.

Are you a traditionalist or one of the Gen-Fluxers that this article describes? How will this affect what you write and how you write?

You don't have to be a nonfiction writer to answer this question. But I also think that one way we as writers need to change how we think is that we're not just fiction writers. We need to master skills of all sorts....

#2 Peter Burton

Peter Burton

    Court Jester and Wanna Be Author

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Posted 08 March 2012 - 12:24 PM

At the moment, i would say I'm a hybrid with heavy Gen-Flux leanings.

Our industry has always been a tough nut to crack, more so in recent years. Even traditional publishing is no guarantee of success, more so with rapidly shrinking advances, and royalties. More, and more often the burden of making a book sell is falling on the shoulders of the artist, anyway. So, in the long run, what's the difference?

Now, being that I'm something of an idiot -- meaning I'm one of those types who hasn't the good sense to know when I'm licked -- while I would still love to be traditionally published, I'm also not one to pass on any opportunity that may pay off for me.

Still, this does not mean that self-publishing, or epublishing is any easier to "make it" in than traditional publishing. One thing I noted about 99.99% of the major epublishing success stories going around the web; if you look closely, the person was either a traditionally published author before, or they had some extra cash to pump into advertising, marketing, editing, etc.

(Please don't take this next bit as whining... I hate whiners, which is why I've not spoken of it before, and will not speak of it again here,)

In my own case, this is an impossibility. If it wasn't for the income tax refund, I wouldn't even be online right now, much less contemplating attempting to get an book, or two, to sell. Between becoming recently disabled, and fighting with Social Security over that, as well as the medical bills pouring in, I'm lucky if we literally have two pennies to rub together at the end of the month.

As you can imagine, this leave zero dollars for professional editing, or anything else that has to do with launching a successful epublishing campaign. Facbook, Twiter, blogging, etc, alone won't do the job, as every aspiring writer out there is pretty much doing the same thing. So, you're still lost in a sea of a million voices screaming for attention, aka, The biggest hurdle of self/epublishing.

What all this means to me, is I have to get really creative and come up with ideas for marketing that I hope no one else has tried before, can be done for free or next to nothing, and pray they work.

Since the biggest stone in my shoe is not having the ability to have anything I write professionally edited, I have to rely on beta reads, and as much care as I can take with any MS I want to try. In short; I have to rely on my talent, (assuming I really have any), as a storyteller, and plain old fashioned blind luck.

But, one never knows. As the article pointed out, predicting the next trend in anything, including reader's taste, is an exercise in futility. The only thing we can count on is it WILL change, and often. So I doubt switching genres for the sake of trying to capture public interest may not be that hot an idea.

Therefore, it seems to be a slight advantage for any author planing on a serious attempt at "making it" in epublishing to learn as much as they can about marketing, editing, promotion, and selling, (both book and self).

In truth, I do believe the days when a writer could just sit back and write are quickly coming to a close, if they are not dead already. So, perhaps, I'm more Gen-Flux than even I realize.

(Wow! Went off on a tangent there, didn't I? Considered deleting all that, and going about my business, as usual. But, Nah. Why miss an opportunity to stick my foot firmly in my mouth? :wink: :laugh: )

"But that's OK. There's treasure children always seek to find.

And just like us, you must have had, a Once Upon A Time."

~Elton John





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