Publishing a Book
I have to say this up front; it’s been a long time since I actually posted something here other than news concerning my books, and for that, I apologize. Between writing Fallen Hearts, working to get my first three books available on new platforms, book cover revamps, web design updates, and trying to organize book sales on top of working a regular job, let’s just say I’ve had a full plate in recent months! But such is the life of an indie author, and honestly? I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
While I’m on the topic, I will note that I’ve managed to update the layout of my website and, perhaps more importantly to everyone, I’m also progressing through Fallen Hearts pretty well! I won’t say I overshot my estimation on the release date, there’s still a bit left for me to take care of, but I can say releasing it might not be as late into the year as I’d thought. I’d even considered making a boxed set of my first three books available with a longer preview of Fallen Hearts added, but whether I’d be able to pull that off before I actually publish Fallen Hearts is another issue entirely. Still, it’s something worth looking into I think, just not at the expense of slowing my writing progress down. So I’ve got the idea on hold! :)
Now, as for what this post’s all about, I’d been doing a lot of thinking over the past few weeks, and had considered writing something at some point detailing my general thoughts. Sadly, things have been so busy that I never really managed to find a moment, and now that I have, I’m not going to get too in-depth, but my thoughts were centered around the publishing industry and the numerous ways available now for people to actually publish a book.
Those were three words that were nothing more than a dream for me (and several other authors I could probably name) for the better part of my life. “Publish a book”. You’d say them, and then scoff. What were the chances! Fat is what. Very fat chance. I submitted manuscripts in my early twenties, and the rejections were a’flyin’. So I wrote with no real plans to ever become published just because I love to write. If I’m being completely honest as well, the actual process of publishing through a traditional publishing house frightened me. It seemed like authors had very little control over their own creative works–for example, no control over book covers or even their titles–and being the control freak that I am, I just wasn’t exactly digging it.
In any case, I recently read an article that got my thinking processes going again. Some of the things said in it really made me nod in agreement, and in a way, the conclusion I came to was a little depressing. It’s a simple conclusion though, summed up in only a few words.
Publishing a book doesn’t mean what it used to.
Now that’s not to say you’ve achieved absolutely nothing if you publish a book! Not at all. Actually completing a story that you’re proud enough of to share with the masses is a huge accomplishment in itself, and definitely not something to scoff over. Being the advocate of writing that I am, I want authors to have the confidence that their writing is good enough to share, to pursue their craft with enthusiasm, and get their books out there regardless of whether they self-publish or go with a traditional publishing house.
Yet, in recent years, the self-publishing route has developed several new ways for indie authors such as myself to publish a story, and these tools are certainly invaluable for people like me. When I say “people like me”, I mean any indie author in general who’s too stubborn to give someone else control over things such as their titles or book covers and so on. They want creative control, to find editors or agents or whatever other facet of publishing a story they need to get their books out there on their own. So these self publishing platforms are definitely useful!
However, the article I read above made mention of how the book market is now saturated because anyone can publish without putting terribly much thought into the matter, and if you really browse the books on some sites and read their excerpts/blurbs, this becomes painfully clear. Many simply want to take advantage of a system instead of putting much passion into their work. I’m not entirely certain what it means for the indie book market specifically, or how it might shape the paths we take going forward, but it kind of knocks the wind out of your sails. At best, people will see these half-baked stories, scoff, and skip over them.
But at worst, well, one bad apple spoils the bunch. In other words, there may come a time when people hear the word “indie author”, associate it with these poorly worked out stories, and turn their noses up entirely regardless of author or story synopsis.
I’m not sure if this makes me an advocate of quality control or not, but I suppose time will tell all as it so frequently tends to do.
Sadly, I don’t really have much to say in closing. This was just meant to be my basic thought process over the matter, something I thought to share in the case that anyone has a real interest to discuss it. So I hope you guys are having a great weekend so far, and don’t forget to party like it’s Friday because, well … it is! :D