Sunday, April 17, 2016

Challenges

Technology has influenced not only how we live our lives, but the opportunities available to so many people. When I was young, I wrote plays on a yellow legal pad. Part of this was because I heard Neil Simon did so, and I thought it made me like him. But the main reason was that I didn't own a typewriter. It is now rare for an American to not have the ability to type, even if it is only in notes on your phone.

There are so many positive qualities and aspects to the technological revolution. Without it, I would not be able to self-publish. Nor would the other millions of people who self-publish. In the myriad of creative jobs in which I once was employed, I was a DJ. At the time, DJ's were generally determined by their access to equipment.  DJ equipment at the time was prohibitively expensive. Now, anyone with two speakers and a Macbook can be a DJ. The same is true for many other types of artists. Anyone can be a DJ. Anyone can mix music in their room. Anyone can take photos that are of decent quality. The technology makes these things easier. So, it isn't only that it takes less capital. It takes less skill.

And, this brings us to self-publishing. There is an extremely low barrier of entry into self-publishing. Traditional publishers still keep the barriers too high in my opinion, but self-publishing is by its nature, too easy. The fact that I have published my own novel says absolutely nothing about its value or quality. This fact brings down the reputation of self-published authors, and makes it harder to get people to read your books. As an unknown author, it is one of the biggest challenges I have ever had. There are pros and cons to this.

The con is, of course, that I must talk every single person into buying and reading the book.  I absolutely must beg, borrow, and steal to get reviews. Reviews matter because people don't know what to read, and with the barrier of entry so low, how could they? The pro is that I must talk every single person into buying and reading the book. It is just another side of the same coin. You determine whether or not a book is good, and that is a wonderful thing. While it is very true that many good, well-written books flounder in the sea of mediocrity that is out there never to see the success they deserve.  It is also true that it is much more difficult for a mediocre book to do well in self-publishing. One can (and sometimes must) buy reviews, and pay for marketing. But, in the end, the word will get out and a poorly written story will not succeed.

I want you to read.  I actually want you to judge my book, my characters, my setting and my narrative style. I believe in the story, and my ability to convey that story in a compelling manner. If the book succeeds, I will know I have done my job.  If it does not, it means very little.  So, if you like a book (especially mine), champion it. Write reviews wherever you can.Tell your friends about it. Take the challenge of promoting the things you like. because for that book, you are the difference between success and failure.

Oh, and lest I forget: Look for Age of Mystics on Kindle and soon in paperback!!


2 comments:

  1. You sound like Stephen King when you write like that :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That is a very kind thing to say. Thanks!!

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