Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day 312 of the 365 Days of Blogging

The author/publisher,
Dane F. Baylis



One of those great things you can count on is, if you take the leap everyone else spends their time dreaming about, the rest of the world will think you owe it all to them somehow. I just added the new title to my name (Publisher) and brought out the first chapbook of my own work and suddenly people are lining up for a piece of the action. Part of this, of course, is my own damned fault. I should have learned a long time ago that, if I wanted to maintain control of the things I have shepherded into this world, I should never mention, even in passing, "Hey, what do you think about the possibilities of....." (You fill in the blank, I'm gun-shy at this point.)
For example, let's take the young writer who wants to be published. This person doesn't want to go the route of the myriad journals out there, mostly because of the possibility of rejection. Instead, since I've demonstrated I had the where-with-all to accomplish this feat for myself, I should be able to provide the same service for that person's work. The answer to that is, (the envelope please), NO!
Why? I've heard enough of the work produced by this budding laureate to know already that I wouldn't associate my name with something lacking in craft, voice, or polish. This isn't an isolated incident. I have been asked a number of times to read other people's work in the hope that I might provide a glowing review. Not an edit, or suggested changes, or even a general opinion. The things I am pointed toward are already self-published. Out of some fifty pieces so far, I have offered reviews on three. The others would not have liked what I honestly had to say about their ugly children. As the saying goes, "I calls them like I sees them!" Warts and all.
Look, I have some pretty high standards and I've paid heavy dues to gain them. What makes anyone imagine I'd be willing to turn my back on that struggle for recognition? You want to publish a book? Maybe you should see if anyone wants to publish one of your individual pieces first. Either that or get ready, because I have a very unforgiving red pencil. By the time you get done rethinking, rewriting, and relearning what you thought was a finished product, both of us will be considerably older!
The second instance is a case of throwing an idea out and finding it hi-jacked, altered, and presented in such a way that the recipients of the proposal no doubt have the impression that I'm just dying to throw money at the thing. Really? Unless you've run your thoughts reference my original idea past me, why would you think you have my tacit agreement to put my name on your brainchild? Face it, I work 40 + hours a week at a fairly demanding day-job. My writing time is something I guard rather jealously. Don't you think you might want to get my buy-in BEFORE you peddle my services?
If you really like an idea I've mentioned, why not check with me and see if I'm ready to move on it? Why assume that something mentioned in passing is a done deal? I have a thousand ideas a day - Most of which wander off on their own and are never heard from again. If I really want to see something come to fruition, I'll let you know. Otherwise, keep an eye on the idea in its vagrant ramblings. Bring it up to me later. If I still think it's all that spiffy, we can talk. Okay?

Let's all acknowledge the fact that there's the art of art and there's the business of art. If you violate the basics of either, you lose me right away. Don't expect that my sweat equity exists to grease the cogs of the recognition machine for you. If you just have to have your name out there right now, hire a publicist. Otherwise, you have two choices: Hone your craft and pay YOUR dues. OR - Figure out the self-publishing thing yourself and settle for the idea that what you've unleashed on the world may not be anywhere near as good as you think it is.

If you're going to stick out your tongue at a gorilla, don't stand too close to the cage!

Just another hint from your Uncle Dane.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------, 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