I’ve been blogging on-and-off about writing and publishing for a while now, but… as it turns out… I have some new things to say. So, there’ll be a few posts in between my usual craziness that’ll posture and ponder the current sad state of affairs.
And sad it is or can be. Change is uncomfortable in many reaches of this industry, from the newly published to veterans, from those who are still learning and those who teach. There are a million different scenarios depending upon what an author’s goals are and a billion more ways to get readers. BUT (and this is a big “but”) as varied as these situations are, the key difference between those who will make it and those who won’t are the authors who treat writing like a business.
I titled this post “the beast that binds” because, for anyone who wants to treat publishing like a hobby or a career, money is that terrifying creature. Publishing is a term that reflects a business process where an author produces a product with an intent to sell it to as many people as possible. Now, I know some of you may balk at the term “product” because a story is more than that. Sure it is and I’m of the mind that you have to have faith in art as ART in order to create whatever it is you do.
But here’s where I feel the problem lies — when an author stops believing that. How many times have I heard: “Oh, I can write better than ‘X’ who sold a zillion copies of books.” Or, “I can’t write as good as ‘X’ so if I pursue this I’m coming across as a pretentious jerk.” When you create a product to sell, you create YOUR product. You’ll never write just like Steven King because you’re not. Steven. King. Sure, go ahead and write better than [author of choice here]. But isn’t that subjective? Do you have as many rabid fans willing to pay money to buy your books? To fund your career?
It’s not glorious. It’s not pretty. Money is the cold, hard reality that gets in the way of just about anything we want to do. Anything. But here’s where a lot of authors differ. For some, money is everything. For others? Not so much. Those that are have a reputation of being a hack or a charlatan. Those who don’t? Fools. The question of when money factors into any author’s equation is a personal one, but I do know one thing: Yoda was right. Do or do not, there is no try.
Sometimes, that just means you have to keep trying.
- Mood: Pulp-y with a side of OJ
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed: In recovery. (SERIOUSLY.)
Work-Out Minutes Logged Yesterday: Walk.
In My Ears: Screaming dust bunnies
Game Last Played: Battle Nations
Movie Last Viewed: Indiana Jones marathon
Latest Artistic Project: A gold bead. Yep, I made a bead. And chainmaille. And…
Latest Release: “Don’t Ignore Your Dead” included in Don’t Read This Book for the Don’t Rest Your Head RPG