The Good Old Days, No more

What happened to the good old days when all you had to do was write a novel?  As if that weren’t enough.  These days, if you want your story to reach the public, you need be a web expert, a marketing expert and a publishing expert.

I have been trying to complete the second draft of my Civil War novel, but I keep getting sidetracked by all these articles about how I have to have a web presence, network hither and yon, be prepared to promote myself on Facebook, Twitter, various writers’ communities, etc., etc.  Then I must decide whether to go for a paper publisher, ebook publisher, or self-publish.  Then there are three different ways I might self-publish, depending.

“The Writer” magazine’s January issue contains an article about whether publishers should pay authors for promoting their own books.  We are expected to do our own promoting, you see.  Instead of them.  Only the cost comes out of our own pockets.

Then there is this blog.  It was originally going to be about writing.  Perhaps I should get back to that and worry about publishing when the writing is done.  First things first.

For those of you ready to publish, the newsy sites are on the sidebar.  Right now, I have to clear my head for writing.

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The Author – An Anachronism?

A web friend of mine recently published her first book – an eBook.  She is thrilled.  I would be, too.  She also has a very fun blog that interviews her characters.  This is not only clever, but shows she is aware of one of the most current methods of marketing her book.

One of the recent articles on Digital Book World is by Don Linn, former owner/CEO of Consortium Book Sales & Distribution, entitled, “Caught in the Middle, Publishing’s Other Customers.”

The cost of hardcover books is going down.  Sounds like a good deal, doesn’t it.  It is for the reader, which I suspect applies to most of us.  He notes that authors like Stephen King will not suffer.  They and those like them can self-publish and will still sell the same number of books they always have.  Even us newbies may do all right, as long as we do not seek to make a living from our writing.  I add, as long as we are willing and able to do all of our own marketing, delivery, follow-up etc., etc.

What about “those who fall between these two groups. They are the people who write for a living and who bring us the workhorse books in their categories (from literary fiction to genre fiction to all manner of non-fiction). Their advances have historically been relatively low and their sales relatively modest. They write for major publishers and independents. They write books that backlist and, in a small but very important number, they write really important books that either break out commercially, or say something significant that might not otherwise get said.”

Yet another consideration in this age of transitions.  Will the future look back on us and declare we produced nothing new, nothing of worth?  For the lack of funds, art suffered?  No more authors, only people who “write on the side.”

You may want to check out his article.  More food for thought.