Independent Publishing.

December 9, 2008 at 6:44 pm | Posted in writing | 17 Comments
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Squirrels hoard apparently. We don’t have squirrels, we have possums. Sorry, little in-joke there. Independent publishing, as in independent films and independent music, at some point every writer of anything other than cookbooks will consider it. Especially these days. It’s free. You can get a high quality book out on the market very quickly.

The only problem is that people who were schmoozing their way up the food chain will sneer at you without having read your work or your blog. The first thing they will do, is check your publisher and if it is Lulu, they will ignore you or steal from you. Can you believe there are still people in the world who call it ‘vanity’ publishing? Vanity is holding on to it because it might be worth something someday.

Personally I didn’t want to wait and I don’t care how many copies I sell. Just opening that package and holding in my hands something about which I had fantasised for twenty years was reward enough for me.

I’m hopeless at social networking. The chances of me getting published before the day I told some over-educated young ‘editor’ with an MFA that I know better than they do because I spent twenty years writing it? The limit approaching zero degrees.

That’s cool. Have a simply fantabulous day full of tiny miracles like unexpected fields of tulips bursting into joyous spontaneous splendour. I am off to the post office to check for a package.



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  1. Oh, how I want to edit links into this. Somebody stop me.

  2. Don’t do it Paul. There. Don’t say I didn’t try. What’s this you say about being hopeless at social networking? I think your blog is a convincing resume to the contrary.
    Oh there was me thinking that the minute amount of success I’ve had with the blog was due to the quality of the writing, Brad. Silly me. Of course it’s because I’m such a nice guy. What did you think of the book?

  3. dont throw out the baby with the bathwater, links are cool, hello
    why not use them, what, because of some rule you dont want to break about purism i’m guessing gimme a break. of course as a writer you appreciate a book in your hands – materialized achievement and a viable work with a certain amount of extended permanence. (but it is just one way and not the only way) but yes a very cool way no matter who publishes or sells it
    your success most certainly has nothing to do with your being nice ha ha ha ha
    hahaha, thankyou, Tipota. I was just worried about upsetting people by linking them to certain words like over-educated and vanity… and so forth but I must play nice. How do you spell social netwrokingng again?

  4. Did you have a premonition? My book is out today – yep, even a surprise to me! But more to the point – anyone who publishes is extending a belief and that is as valid if it comes from the author or asking for someone else to find the money in the coffers to take a chance on you. All publishing is a gamble and too many amazing pieces of writing get lost to celebrity tell-alls or cashing in on a current trend because it is deemed that the audience is not there. I didn’t read your book because I like you(!)… I read your book because the writing is cutting through anything else I have read before. As I have told you many, many times before, I am such a stickler for what holds my attention or makes me actually stand there for a too-long while with my mouth open. You and Ebby are two writers who do that for me. Now, I just have to persuade Ebby to get hers all neatly bound and printed and I will have another for my very sparse top shelf. The tulips look lovely today. Yay!
    Yayayay Your book is out! Not independently published, we should point out but properly done. People can check it out on Amazon here. Congratulations!!!!!!!! And it’s fanatastic. The most entertaining and wonderfully written literature of the millenium so far, I would say.

  5. Did you have another premonition? The word-hoarding Squirrel was just posting about publishing today. I don’t believe in psychics, especially all the way in Australia. I don’t think brain waves travel that far.
    Ms Squirrel! I don’t believe in psychics either. But I do believe in synchronicities, especially on the interweb where there is literally no time nor space dividing us. I will go look right away. Are we in complete agreement again?

  6. Hmm. Been thinking about these things myself recently.
    Hi, Lee. well you have my thoughts there. A lot of people will disagree, of course, but for some reason they never disagree with me here, only behind my back. Haha, oh well.

  7. I wonder- aren’t blogs kind of online books?

    Scene change, I notice.

    Over educated and vanity are kind of back handed compliments, I think.
    Yes I think they are, Crushed, online books. I wonder if anyone accused of those two things has ever taken them as compliments but I see your point.

  8. blink blink blink where i am? i love this theme myself and one of my blogs uses it. the text on the post is too tiny tho. when oh when will they give us the tools to change the font size??

    oh, yes i was going to the post office looking for books from a certain vanity press

    and i agree with brad–don’t. do. it.

    as my mother says when she’s not punning, onward and upward.

    are sunonhead and love poems next?
    Haha, “vanity press” Gwendolyn, there it is again. I am going to make ‘independent publishing’ a catchcry and the appropriate term even I go mad trying. Why is literature always years behind the others arts in terms of its connection to the outside world. If you look at the history of art, literature has always lagged decades behind music and painting. Oh well. There is lots of Sunonhead and love poems in the book. But I know what you’re saying. First of all, I have to methodically deal with every objection to my position, just for my own piece of mind and to get them on the permanent record.

  9. Published is published is published. I’ll probably do the same. Something for the generations to come to hold in their hands and through which to converse with me, know me, even if the book is only held in the hands of my not-yet-imagined grandchildren.

    I have little faith in the powers of those who the gods have gifted with the authority to deem something worthy of publication. Though, speaking to those above who have been published through traditional means, I make the exception for you. 🙂
    The main thing is there is no harm in it, Bryan. Many of the great authors in the past self-published to begin their careers. And I’m sure Narnie will take no offence, haha,

  10. Heya Paul. I am reading the Puzzle Box very slowly and deliberately. I don’t know if that’s the way I am supposed to read it, but hell, I am enjoying it immensely that way so that’s the way it’s gonna be ;).
    Well, that is good to hear, Brad. Strangely it does give me some sense of satisfaction when people say nice things about it. Especially people I trust. Haha, it is hot. I am going to be spending a lot of time in the ocean soon. With beer.

  11. as permanent as pixels can be

    they also call it DIY (Do It Yourself presses); there’s a conference and book awards and exhibits and readings and all in LA every year i think

    i hear pixels are vain. and arrogant too.
    You cannot trust the Pixallators, Gwendolyn.

  12. is it a package from me? i hear you. but i’d stop you. it IS the quality, why do you doubt yourself?
    Hmm, sometimes it is normal, I think.

  13. i adore your independence. i really can’t imagine having fallen into your writing another way. you are that internet surprise for a lot of us and we keep coming back for good reason (even if a tad too busy to keep our heads on straight). i like your thought on vanity. very true and very cool,
    You are very cool, too, Mrs Ott and you, like all nurses, work too hard.

  14. Your independence will one day lead a conqueror to your door. The question will then be on you, sir. Do you let the birds remain free, or sell them out to a professional cagemaster, a binder of ideas that might once have known the stars by name.

    And as for editors with MFA, they are all frustrated authors who can’t wait to treat somebody as they have been treated by the older generation’s frustrated authors.

    But I do hope one day that your work does get the recognition that it is deserving of.
    Thanks, Eric. The answer to your question will depend on the price, haha.

  15. No problem, Ahhhhh… the price, that’s always looming there isn’t it? To many places want to publish for contributor copies, in magazines, and some of the book publishers are no better than the pay-per-publish poetry dot com rooks…

    Anyway, even if you have self published work, you can always submit it (to the right publishing house, of course) and not mention anything.

    Editors rarely know anything beyond their own cluttered desk. I know people who have had works published twice and nothing of a legal nature ever came of it. These things happen… and not out of a purposeful greed, all instances I know where because the person (an old prof of mine) likes to send out poems and stories to 20 and 30 places at once. She called it “carpet bombing”. I need to take it up myself…
    You can do that Eric. it’s a lot of work and the pay is terrible unless you get really lucky. So many people are doing it. Independent publishing on LULU is free. You own the whole thing. You don’t have to sell any of it. But you have to make the MSS upload it, kaboom off you go.

  16. Think of a poetry reading. Joe the Poet is there in front of a respectably-sized crowd reading some poems from his latest book, which he is holding in his hands. Looks cool.

    Think of him, instead, in front of the crowd reading poems from a blog holding a notebook computer (or even a Kindle). I wonder if that looks cool.
    Funny you should say that, Philip. I know someone who had one copy printed, just so he could go to poetry readings. Then some people said, cool, I like your stuff can I have a copy. The thing is, in the long run, success will depend on one thing. How good a writer you are. That is why the schmoozers keep putting it down, they don’t want a marketplace where success depends on how good a writer you are, they want one where it depends on how good a social networker you are so they can hang to the little bit of power their schmoozing has got them and so on,

  17. Ha. Writers have an obligation NOT to hoard their stories/art. I say, share it with the world.

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