Friday, September 13, 2013

Day 250 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis






I am going to assume that if you're reading a blog written by someone dealing pretty much all the time with the art, craft, and business of writing, then you either are a writer, are thinking of assuming that burdensome mantel, or are just fucking lost. (Oooooh, I used that word! Get over it.) With the explosion in self-publication, a lot of people are jumping into the pool. I can tell because the water's getting more yellow by the moment. What I'm not seeing a lot of is carefully thought out approaches to flaunting your literary ego in cyber-space.
We all like to see ourselves becoming the next J.K. Rowling in our given style, subject, genre...whatever. Let's not forget that her first two books in the Potter series were self-published, and going nowhere. That is, until the pre-teen daughter of a publisher, one in a long line of publishers, pitched an absolute hissy-fit over Dad-ums decision to reject the books, yet again. Thinking there just might be something in the level of tantrum driven spite he was being subjected to, he took a chance. That's called serendipity kids, and it is a rare and wondrous thing.
So, are you the next J.K.? Seriously? If you're writing the next Potter series as we speak, and know it is probably going to be even better, I can only point out that particular horse is out of the stable already. What do I mean? Trying to out trend the trend setter is pretty much an assured formula for failure.
Well, what about the NEW ADULT trend? Isn't that supposed to be out selling everything out there? Okay, get a grip. If you haven't already done it, download the latest edition of Kawasaki and Welch's, 'APE, HOW TO PUBLISH A BOOK'. Turn to the section entitled, 'The Myth of the Dominance of Ebooks.' and read it. Go ahead, we'll wait. Just kidding, I haven't got that kind of time. Read it on your own, and take it seriously.
The other thing you need to be really aware of is this, if you publish an Ebook it had better be a god-damned barn burner in the sales department if you even want to  get a look from the traditional publishing world. I'm talking 15,000 copies in the first year! No, I don't pull these numbers out of the air. There are fewer traditional houses, fewer editors, and fewer agents. There are a hell of a lot more...uh...authors. (You have no idea how hard it is to say that word in this context.)  
Look, everybody but you is in this strictly for the dough. They want to see that you have legs. Have you won contests? Have you been published by the likes of GLIMMER TRAIN, TIN HOUSE, or McSWEENEY'S? Have you mustered the kind of following that will justify them dumping a ton of money on your doorstep? No? Oh well!
Last but not least, please, learn to spell! Learn to not trust spell check blindly. Learn about grammar. Read Strunk and White AND The Chicago Manual of Style. Learn to read quality literature like a writer. It will take a lot of the pure enjoyment out of it, but it will teach you how to analyze what makes good writing just that, GOOD WRITING. Invest the time to learn the art and craft!
Oh yeah, somewhere along the line you'll also come to the conclusion that there are some people out there - editors, cover designers, interior designers, copywriters - who you will want to get to know. In the knowing, you will also want to convince them to take your hard earned cash and turn that pile of dreck between two covers into a book. But, if you don't educate yourself as to what is and isn't well crafted, you just may throw good money after bad. (Yeah, I know that was a cliche. Sometimes you do it on purpose.)
Just some helpful hints from your Uncle Dane.
Dane F. Baylis
Against the wall
On the sidewalk
Before the sun rises
Or the world wakes.
Gray almost men
To be called
Worth just a day’s wages.
Begging purpose,
This salvaged human
Of forgotten uses.
Unlabeled tin can lives
Filled with
Empty time.
Odd bits and pieces
Robbed of
Never holding
Together again
Melancholy dawns,
Or memories,
To rust-------------And sighs.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------, love, write.
Want to follow or subscribe to this blog? There are gadgets for that on the right side of the
page. You can leave comments in the form below. I can be reached directly at . You can also find links to some of the sites I visit from time to time on the right. I'm also looking for submissions to the Your Work/Your Love page. Authors retain all rights.
Dane F. Baylis

No comments:

Post a Comment