Hit & Run Posting

A couple of quick hits here just to make sure the blog still has a pulse, and to encourage other writers. Here are two more recent signs that the “establishment” media is coming around to a grudging acceptance of the Brave New World of indie publishing.

Yesterday, NPR interviewed Mark Coker of Smashwords in a pretty much snark-free manner, but stand by for the obligatory follow-up with a big cheese at Hatchette publishing is supposed to happen today.

And today, the New York Times reports that Apple will begin highlighting indie “Breakout Books” on iTunes, which gives me one more thing to browbeat you guys about. Get out there and rate that sucker!

That is all. Carry on.


Tipping Point

2012 may be known as the year Indie publishing broke down the final barriers to general acceptance. This may be one of the biggest roadblocks to fall:

NY Times Critic Selects Self-Published Book Among This Year’s Top 10

A lot of writers have been of the opinion that a big-shot reviewer’s stamp of approval is the brass ring we needed someone to grab. I hope that’s the case, because there aren’t that many left. Consider what’s happened just in the past twelve months:

Literary merits aside (gaah!), there’s no denying that 50 Shades of S&M Grey pretty much owned the best-seller lists this year. A more worthy (IMO) example is Hugh Howey’s Wool, which didn’t do so badly itself after being published pretty much on a lark as I understand it. It’s very good – surprisingly good – in that I knew it was getting great reviews and selling well, but I was surprised at how emotionally powerful it was. Turns out he made the right move, as the movie rights have been picked up by Ridley Scott.

Personally, 2013 is going to be a big year for yours truly. Look for the Perigee sequel this spring, and a novella that connects the two books by next Christmas.

There – committed to them in public! Suppose that means I’d better get on with finishing them…

Oh Goody

This explains a lot. Namely, why the voices in my head won’t shut up until I write their incessant babbling down on paper:

When the researchers looked specifically at authors, they found that they are overrepresented among people with schizophrenia, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety syndrome, and substance abuse problems. Authors were also almost twice as likely to commit suicide as the general population.

Well, yeah. Spend years inventing a whole world inside your head, getting it into a readable form, and polishing it until every syllable flows across the pages like a rushing stream. Then you sweat blood whittling all that down into a three-sentence blurb and shotgun it out to agents and publishers, only to have them reject it. Sometimes rudely.

So you revise, edit, and do it all over again. Generally with better results, but still nothing that ends up with a publishing deal. Wash, rinse, repeat. Thank God for the rise of indie publishing, because a couple years of that query/reject/repeat cycle left me in a pretty sorry mental state.

At least now I have some control over the process and am making halfway decent money from my work. It’s still a hard slog, though. So if I don’t post anything for a while, it might be a good idea to send someone over to check on me.