Saturday, September 14, 2013

Day 251 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author, Dane F. Baylis





Yeah, I get it! It's a brave new world, Dad. That one goes straight in the 'No Kidding' column.
I am a realist. I started in all of this when it was still typewriters and carbon copies. The technology and environment have both evolved around me. Some of it, like the Internet, email, and file transfers, I kept up with. Some of it, like spread sheets, track changes, and the changing landscape of the publishing industry, I had a familiarity with. Not a working familiarity, but enough of one to know what you were kind'a supposed to be able to do.
Now I'm finding myself in one of those periods where my learning curve feels like it may have flat-lined and been placed on life support. I am having to do all kinds of things with Microsoft Word I formerly found esoteric. After all, I only had to type something out, save it, print it, stuff it in an envelope, and send it on its merry way.
Keeping track of what went where was a matter of a bundle of little slips of paper, clipped or stapled to a manuscript in a file folder. Now I have a spread sheet that notes what went to where when and how long it should take to hear back. Not to mention the handy files in one of three email programs that tells me whether what I sent actually got there.
I am still battling with headers, footers, and page numbers, but I seem to be pushing the enemy into submission. Then there's the peculiarities of formatting, and the fact that not all publishers want to see your work in the latest version of word but, because their systems are a bit behind, insist that your submission match their capability. How one way is that! Just kidding, don't want to piss off any potential partners in my literary fantasies right from the get go. Then there are the various submission programs themselves, and the fact that some outlets want this method, and only this method used, while others insist you attach the work to your emailed cover letter, or those who want it copied into the body of the email. Not to mention the ones that flat refuse to even look at emails with attachments. PERIOD!
The Editor-in-Wife responds graciously to my cries of pain and consternation. She reminds me constantly that she has worked with Word for decades and I'm being a little ego maniacal to think I'm going to get it all when she doesn't. I am at her mercy and don't dare piss her off either, or I'll be looking for someone who accepts submissions written on foolscap, in crayon, and hand delivered in the middle of the night!
Last but not least are all the changes to the publishing industry. Sorry, I'm still not convinced that self-publishing doesn't equate as vanity publishing. Come on, it's semantics and we all know it. The difference is, instead of paying a vanity publisher we're now expected to pay 'Book Shepherds'. Six of one, a half a dozen of the other. That the major houses have found this as a way of getting the wheat to winnow itself is just business and something else I'll adapt to.
Finally, there's the concept pf alternative income streams. It used to be hardcover/softcover, now it encompasses Ebooks, Audio books, Cd's, On-line streaming and I'm sure any number of other things I haven't yet heard of or begun to grasp. All of this would seem to require the legal understanding of a Supreme Court Justice, but, hey, somebodies got to keep all those damned lawyers employed.
My point? There's too damned much to try and think about it as a whole. If you're going to maintain your sanity, you have to break it into bite sized pieces. Then there's the need for outside help. The Editor-in-Wife is an indispensable member of my writing team, but I have finally come to the point where I have to consider what I can afford to hire out. That will, inevitably, lead to my next grand assault on all the rest of the shit I don't know! For now, I'll just keep going at it one word at a time. It's worked as the basis for everything else so far.

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