Sunday, 26 June 2011

Writing Novels and Things #3: Self-Publishing

Publishing is probably not something I should be thinking about right now. I should probably be thinking about all the work I have to do in order to get this novel in any kind of good condition. I should be thinking of ways to make my first chapter more dynamic than just an argument about a pen. In summary: I Should Be Writing.

But, well the media is conspiring against me, you see. The Guardian has only gone and released two interesting articles this week, both on Self-Publishing:

How self-publishing came of age
Self-publishing stars

These, coupled with the poisoning effects of listening to successful self-pubbers on the I Should Be Writing (link above) and Writing Excuses podcasts, have made me start thinking (and getting excited) about it. Self-Publishing, not It.

There are all these websites, notably Amazon's CreateSpace, that are designed to help you Self-Publish, and the success stories are very compelling. Authors who do it this way tend to sell the books cheaper, say a couple of pounds, but then get all the profits for keepsies, bar the Amazon royalty. In this crazy Kindle world, people will happily download a cheap book with a nice cover, regardless of who's written it. Loads of people! And you do need loads. People are making money because people are buying their books in bulk. You're probably not going to make much money if only your friends and family buy your books... which actually goes without saying, and has done throughout time. But you do need to get half the internet to buy your book, is what I'm saying.
Schlock Mercenary: The Tub of Happiness
Which is still all based on the supposition that you want to be successful which of course I definitely do not. Nuh uh. No way. Not me.

Honestly! I like having a job. The attraction to self-publishing is slightly different for me.

My boyfriend is in a band. He gets to make music (beautiful music, I think) and he gets to get up on stage, all with his friends. When they've done a gig, or release something, they get to work together to achieve... together. It must be so nice to have projects with your friends. I mostly work alone. I write alone, obviously. I sometimes go for a whole day without interacting with anyone but my significant other. I'm not lonely, I do definitely have friends, and nice ones, but it would be cool to have a project with them, you know? A reason to band together, for a greater purpose than just, you know, hanging out. And that purpose, my friends, is making money art.

I have a friend who's an illustrator, one who's a graphic designer, and another who's a copyeditor/proofreader (but doesn't have a website yet). I haven't posited this idea to any of them, by the way, so please don't tell them I said this was happening, but I just imagine us all getting together to make this book, with the cover, interiors and content all amazing and... it fills me with warm feelings.

Of course, having said all that, I do already make books for a living, so it could turn into a bit of a busman's holiday. And I do sometimes fantasise about being an editor's favourite writer (I pretty much keep a league table of my authors - and yes, I have relegated). I think, in truth, I want to be published 'traditionally', at least at first. For the validation and stuff.

Cut to me totally self-publishing my first book, fnar fnar!

No comments:

Post a Comment