Friday, October 9, 2015

WICKED RUN PRESS and THE MYTH OF SELF-PUBLISHING

Raising two kids rather than one is said to be easier at times, for the two can play with each. Writing two blogs at the same time, however, is not so fun, for they don't play so well. That's why I have shut down the Wicked Run Press blog and will co-opt the material here. Wicked Run Press has five published books, three short stories available on amazon, and IT"S MINE!!! ALLL MINE!!!!

Why does a writer make their own imprint?

Because I firmly believe that THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS SELF-PUBLISHING. We are all just small publishers here, of our own device.

These self-pub vs. traditional-pub wars being fought on the social media channels are nonsense (and they are being fought). It often goes something like this: traditional pub saying that self-publishers just slap together an error-riddled POS with minimal content editing and put it up on amazon soon as the first draft is complete (which is sometimes true) and self-pub folks saying traditional pub writers get taken advantage of because their press has no marketing plan except the author doing all the work, they get crappy percentages, and that their books also contain errors (which is sometimes true.)

The obvious secret about the Emperor who wears no clothes is, (besides his exposed weenie) We are all small publishers and need to act like it. That's the thing. Look at all the small presses out there, and they are often hiring the same editors, cover artists, and exploring the same marketing and advertising venues as a solid self-publisher guy. Small publishers load books up onto KDP same way as anyone. We are all fighting for space with Bookbub, all hiring editors who are mercenaries to the highest bidder, and it's all become a hybrid creation.  WE ARE ALL JUST MONSTROUS INBREDS  BORN OF INCESTUAL LUST. The hills indeed have eyes.
Self-Pub or Traditional Pub? You can't tell, can you.
Of course, some 'self-publishers' certainly do publish wayyyyyy before they should, don't hire the appropriate help, and soon learn their lesson (I did) but I have also seen some traditional publishers make some mistakes that baffle me (put out a paperback but zero kindle version, no advance blurbs or reviews, etc..). 

The best way to become a small-publisher, and take advantage of that 70% royalty rate, is to hire the same folks small-publishers do. Do it. Look at the first page of a book you admire for the contact names, and then reach out to the editor or cover artist and ante up. Get beta readers, revise. Be patient. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Then, when you have your best work, email your manuscript to yourself with a formal submission, query letter and all. Sit back and wait 6-8 weeks. Reread. Then, if the material sucks, return a message to yourself saying, "Thank you very much for your interest, but your project isn't right for us at this time." 

Do these things before publishing that 'POS' on amazon. Then, after you hear folks talk about crappy self-published works, they may turn to you and say, "oh, but we don't mean you, of course." You'll have to work hard to decide if you're flattered or offended. 



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