Propitious Timing (Good Advice from Others on Self-Pubbing)

(I so do not know how to pronounce that word–the side effects of learning your vocabulary from reading.  That’s why I like to spend time in foreign countries.  No one can tell I can’t pronounce things.)

Anyway.  Chuck Wendig has a great post up that is timely given my recent thoughts.

Here it is: 25 Steps To Becoming A Self-Published Author

Worth reading the whole thing if this is something you’ve considered.  (He also had one on trade publishing a few days ago.)

A few quotes to whet your appetite:

“Other authors have made a different choice and that does not make them wrong. It does not make them better or worse. Their choices do not invalidate yours. This is not a contest over who got it right or whose bitterness is the strongest. This is about doing what’s right for you and your story.”

“Eschew perfection. Perfection is a meaningless and impossible ideal. It’s a bullseye the size of a fly’s eye. Do not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”

“Free is a promotional effort in which you offer a sample taste of your literary heroin in order to secure the addictive loyalty of new readers. Free is temporary. Do not price free in the long-term. If your book is always free, I assume that’s its value: worth zero.”

“Diversity creates competition. Competition is good. Support competition.”

And while I’m sharing links, let me share a few more I’ve piled up recently.

Dean Wesley Smith on The New World of Publishing: The Money is All in the Numbers

“To make a living at indie publishing, you must have a decent number of books and stories for sale.”

The rest of the post discusses this point and gives some good tips and pointers.  A lot of it fed into my short story publishing plan.

Here’s another quote:

“Slow sales and slow growth are what matters now.”

(I certainly hope that’s true, because otherwise my little non-fiction foray is a bit screwed.)

Another article.  This one from August Wainwright by way of CJ Lyons

Why Slow is Good

“So here’s a real path to success:  Write. Edit. Re-Write. Re-Edit. (Do this a few more times). Get a great cover. Write a great blurb. Publish. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.  Notice the three repeats there at the end. That is the key.”

And one final post from Kristine Kathryn Rusch: The Business Rusch: A Career Versus Publication

She makes some excellent points about approaching this writing thing in order to see your name in print vs. approaching it as a career and business.  And, no, being trade published isn’t the defining factor.

It’s a long post but definitely worth the read for anyone who wants to make a living from writing.  A quote:

“A writing career is not a sprint. It’s not a marathon. It’s not even an ultra marathon. It’s a way of life.”

(I have to confess, I rarely read her blog because of the whole paragraph she adds at the end about wanting to make money off of the blog.  My theory is if you want to make money off of something, you don’t offer it for free.  But that’s me.  And she really does have good stuff to say on there.  It just puts me off the way that last paragraph is phrased.  And probably why I’ve bought books from other bloggers I follow (like Scalzi and Hines), but never really felt inclined to buy any of her books.)

(There really is something to be said for building goodwill.  It’s why companies can carry a million dollar asset on their books that’s essentially nothing more than how people think of their brand.  I think Seth Godin’s blog is probably the perfect example of that opposite approach to what she does.)

So, anyway.  Some good advice there on self-publishing and writing for a career not just the name recognition.  Personally, I think the best model will be a hybrid model a la Chuck Wendig.  Some self-pub, some trade.  But I don’t have the level of control over the trade publishing as I do over the self-publishing.  So…

About M. H. Lee

M.H. Lee is a speculative fiction writer currently residing in Colorado whose stories are sometimes dark, sometimes funny, sometimes darkly funny, but hopefully always thought-provoking and entertaining.
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