Tuesday, August 30, 2011
News for Newbies . . . & Everyone Else, Too
Much of a newbie's problem today is too many choices. It used to be that you studied writing for years then petitioned a publisher to put it in print. The work was on you to write, not sell. Then when the paradigm shift occurred, and authors began assuming the responsibility of selling, it only made sense that they began assuming they could publish as well. After all, when publishers shirked their duties as PR folks, and authors picked up the torch successfully, why wouldn't they think they could self-publish as well? Enter the self-publishing entities in their various forms and you have a brand new world, and a back-room battle between self-pubbing and traditional.
Today writers have so many options to publish. That's a good thing and bad thing.
Good = The diligent and/or talented writer can hustle and make a living faster.
Bad = A writer can too easily and too quickly publish, often prematurely. They crash and burn fast.
But, I've decided that a newbie can do whatever he/she sets his/her mind to do. If you decide to Twitter or blog your book, go for it. Ebook? Go for it. Heck, mail it on weekly postcards, if you want. Just whatever you do as a writer, be prepared to invest heavily into it - personally, financially, creatively. Your project and writing endeavors must be foremost on your mind and seriously attended.
Do not be half-assed in your pursuit of a writing career. I can honestly say that is a rule that must be obeyed. The others are up for grabs.
If you adopt that stance, then write, publish and market in whatever capacity suits your fancy. Because if you become successful at it, how can anybody complain? The measure of a writer these days is in sales, readership or awards. It's that simple. Not the agent, contract, publisher or online editorial conglomerate. Not whether you've written one week or twenty years. Not whether you have an MFA or a GED. Now whether you write literary fiction, erotica or young adult.
When you boil it down, it's all about the words you put in the hands of others and how you make them stick. If you do that well, then you've succeeded. Period.