Day 3

Today is day three of my latest bout of unemployment.

Honestly, I thought I’d have more to blog about.  I figured while I was off I could take a few minutes each day and simply blog about things going on.  Of course, I had little to nothing going on before I was out of work, so now that I am out of work, I have even less to write about, if you can believe that.

I’ve had some great – and I mean great – feedback on my blog lately about writing.  Those discussions were informative and enlightening in ways I didn’t think it would be.  I got input on both sides of all my arguments, and I’d like to thank you all for being willing to voice your opinions on the publishing industry and what it’s like, it’s so-called “rules” and the hurdles facing new authors, and the pass granted to established authors.  I learned a lot from all of you, including how to view those double-standards as a good thing.  Being a better writer is never a bad thing, ever.

But I’m without much else to say on that topic.

My buddy KnytStalker sent me some information from another writer.  He’s written an online serial novel called “The Hole” and is current working on a second one.  He decided to publish his draft – and had the guts to charge for it – through a Kindle-only format.  He says he’s sold about a copy a day so far, and with Amazon’s pricing structure, he’s made a little dough on it.  He hopes to have it in print sometime, but that’s another issue for a blog post all it’s own.

My thought now is, is that something you writers would think about doing?  Would you take some stuff you wrote – short stories, say, which are harder to market to traditional publishers – and make them available to Kindle readers via Amazon’s format and self-publish outlet?  A collection of them, maybe?  Do you think this helps or hurts establish an author in the mainstream?

There are two schools of thought on this: Some say self-publishing isn’t a problem, doesn’t detract from an author’s ability to market separate works to a mainstream publisher, and so is no big deal.  Others say once you’ve gotten your name on a self-published book, you’re looked down upon and traditional publishers may be less willing to look at your work … especially if your self-published effort is a grammatical and editing disaster.

What do you all think?  Readers, would you buy a self-published collection of short stories, or even a self-published eBook, from your favorite online novelist?  Writers, are you hesitant to go that route for any reason?  Is so, why, and if not, why not?

Sound off, y’all!  I’m looking forward to this one!

God bless.

All original content copyright DarcKnyt, 2008


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7 thoughts on “Day 3

  1. I’ve actually read The Hole. Not bad. It’s kinda hard to say how to handle that. Do you get the exposure to make it big? Probably not. Will you make a little cash on the side? Yeah. But the real question is what happens when you want to take that story to a publisher. How long is the Kindle contract for?

    I can almost guarantee it doesn’t matter how long the contract’s for. If you’ve published it somewhere else, no traditional house wants it. There’s danger in blogging it. Some are going to see that as “published”, even though I see that as ridiculous. They might take another piece from you and if it sells THEN they’ll think about it, but until and unless, you’re all done with that particular one. I assume the information about the contract can be found on Amazon’s site somewhere, but I haven’t checked it out. For me, this would strictly be something to do with stuff I’m not going to try and publish traditionally.

  2. You can set up and stop selling Kindle books you self publish pretty much any time.

    Oh, well that’s something, then. But traditional publishers are still going to see this as a “published” piece.

  3. And yes, if I had a kindle, I’d buy a “finished” version from authors I like.

    Finished, or draft? (Guy I’m talking about is publishing his draft.) Either way, do you feel you’re representative of readers as a whole? Good to know, thanks Bryce. 🙂

  4. There are two things about self-publishing that might be problems if you decide to take it to a publisher later. First is the editing and polishing. If you are willing to self-publish and want to be taken seriously now and later, did you go the extra mile and work with an editor or critique group to get the manuscript as perfect as it can be? I’ve seen self-published stuff that badly needed editing and proofing and everything in between. Second are you prepared to be brushed off as yesterday’s news because a previously published book is not the fresh product most publisher’s are looking for.

    Exactly; whatever you publish yourself is finished. That’s it. It would, as I said in another comment, take a miracle for you to be able to get them to re-print something already published. If you sell them a NEW product and it launches like a rocket, they MIGHT consider publishing some of your earlier work, MAYBE. Otherwise, the print it sees in vanity press is all it’s gonna get. And I know what you mean; I’ve been on sites with “published” authors who didn’t know how to show-not-tell, had prose so purple it made the violets jealous, had no idea that you don’t lie on the period key to make an ellipsis, and had worse grammar and spelling skills than my 7-year-old son. And they were “published”. Self-published. Can you imagine what their book looked like? Yikes. Best of luck, Mr. Published Author. Really. And thanks for furthering the stigma against self-publishing.

    I have decided for myself that I don’t want to self-publish. If I am good enough, I will be able to show someone my stuff and get them to publish me. And if I am not, then it won’t happen. Finding the right niche for my work is part of my job as a writer. Self-publishing is something that anyone can do regardless of talent and it makes the genre suspect despite the fact there are the occasional gems found.

    Yeah, it’s not going to be my choice either. I might play with this Kindle idea for some stuff I won’t be seeking publication for — short stories, novellas, yadda yadda — but I’m not decided yet. It’s not a cred, and it won’t really help me. (If I thought I could sell enough to make a living, I’d be all over it.) The other thing is, I might use a pseudonym to avoid issues later. And if I’m not good enough for the industry to publish, then publishing myself isn’t really the answer to that, so why bother? My friends and family can read it online or I can send them a copy. Why should they have to pay for a “book”? That’s just my opinion though.

  5. I really hate reading books on the computer, so I have about ten e-books that I’ve never read. If I had a Kindle, now, that might change my hatred of electronic books. A Kindle or some other comparable book-like reader. I’ll never self-publish for the reasons you listed, but I’m absolutely certain when my books are picked up by a big pub, I’ll insist on electronic availability in every format, and I’ll do it myself if I have to.

    I think I might like those e-Readers too. Problem with them is the cost, plain and simple. Amazon’s almost always sold out of the Kindle, so you know the price on that pup’s going up soon. Supply and demand, baby. And I think you’d miss a pretty big audience — and therefore monetary opportunity — if you DIDN’T jump onboard the eBook thing … in as many formats as possible. So I’m with you. But publishing myself? No. I’m actually TOO vain for vanity press. 🙂

  6. I was just here trying to catch up on your life a little and saw this post. I had no idea you were out of a job, Knyt. I’m praying for the Lord’s provision for you.

    Oh, thank you so much, Casey! We need all the help we can get. 🙂

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