Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Publishing in Today's World.

What do I know?  I know more than a thousand times, someone, somewhere, and in some pretty darn disparate places, has chanced upon or been led to my blog.  I wish I knew if they read it, but the stats only show visitors, and it seems, mostly, they are reluctant to comment.  (Seriously, despite my threats, I will not come after you.)   But, I was thinking about electronic publishing versus the usual query route.  Which I am spending a lot of time doing lately.  Thinking about it and querying.  (C'mon, Dit, just do it.  What do you have to lose?  The people that you write about can't sue you if you have nothing for them to take.  Right?)  And, what I was thinking, and I feel they are thoughts worth considering,is,  if someone commits to downloading your work off Amazon or Borders, or Avon, or Carina, then chances are they will  follow through and read it and maybe comment, and maybe review and maybe spread word of mouth.  I mean, we already know even negative reviews rustle up a spike of interest.

And the querying thing, how they go on and on about how you have to have that hook in your query, a single sentence that is supposed to sell them on your work.  How are they ever going to now how charmingly facetious and whimsical are my darling characters?  How quaintly singular is my style?  How my very naughty creations manage to waltz around the most major moral inconsistencies.  And still be loved and forgiven. 

Michael Connelly is getting so much flak for going along with the price guideline stuff. (Industry standard?)  I wonder if he will fold.  I wonder if he, personally, has anything to say about it or any influence on the outcome.  The industry guideline has already been shown to be way too full of holes and ways to get around it or over it.  You read about Amanda Hocking and you cannot help but be swayed and tempted.  Sure, she signed a contract, but she already made her nut and she was probably happy to hand off just a little of the responsibility.  I don't care about the financial or legal ramifications, so I think I'm going to go back and reread that long, long, article on how to load your work on Kindle and think a little bit more about whether or not it is too complicated.  And whether my Word software can do doc. or only docx. The querying thing is just damn dispiriting.  Especially when you pick up a book that someone already got money for, and it is the same genre as your's and your's is cuter and deeper and naughtier.  Shucks.  I guess if you are not your own best fan, then you shouldn't even be  trying.   Frankly, cover art is my biggest concern.


  1. I'm here, I'm reading you! Came over via your comment on Betsy's blog.

    I felt an implied question in your post: how is the current querying and publishing process affecting the books we get to read?

    I know, I know! We're getting a lot of high-concept stuff with mediocre writing. I'm picking up books that have great hooks and concepts, but the writing is just blaaaaaaaand. Sentence-by-committee-stuff. "My heart was racing." "She examined the object." "I knew I had to do something."

    Now, if only one of us writing geniuses (genii?) would write something full of filthy-mouthed snarky-but-delightful people living in a high-concept universe. Or even a medium-concept universe.

  2. My characters, most of them, have filthy mouths, but they live in the not so rarified world that I live in, except for an occasional Oscar winner or assassin. For the most part, I find them delightful. I cannot let go of them. No hooks, no high concept, no illuminating truths, just fucking and an occasional Celtic fairy.


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