Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4
Eight years ago. EIGHT. 8!!!
I wrote this: The Perfect Bookstore.
Six years ago, I wrote the followup: The Perfect Bookstore
Today, my good friend Nate Hoffelder, digital maven and my occasional partner in crime, pointed me to this:
Paris’s first on-demand-only bookshop.
- The concept itself
- The coffee shop
- Its location near a college
Meriot said he needs to sell about 15 books daily to break even.
That’s a margin even I didn’t foresee.
So most of us DIYers out here are trying to brand ourselves. We spend our time on Twitter and Facebook and message boards and whatnot trying to build an audience and a fanbase.
Then the midlist authors come along and digitize their backlists, and everybody’s happy because they already have a brand and they’re simply supplying a product that people want. Yay.
And then there are the midlist and higher-up authors who self-publish new stuff. That’s kind of an interesting experiment. I like watching it all play out even though, well, their brand trumps my brand and I have to work harder at establishing my brand.
Thus, it should make me happy when a very well-established author self-publishes something new and it’s crap. But it doesn’t make me happy. It makes me sad.
See, one big slip, and the reader suddenly suspects that you’re not a very good writer and that your editors made you who you are, and…you’re going to throw away years of investment in your brand and your work product just because you want to cash in on a 99c romance novella heatwave or make money off your under-the-bed manuscripts?
You insult your readers. You insult your former editors. You make a mockery of your previous publishers. And you embarrass the hell out of yourself. Do you really not know how bad you look, or do you not care?
If your intent is to destroy the brand you worked for all these years because you just have to put up that novella right now because can’t wait because you’ll miss the self-publishing train if you don’t, then you are succeeding.
And you deserve it.
P.S. If you insist on going without an editor, learn how to fucking write. If you can’t do it after all these years and titles, you’re a fraud.
Get a professional editor.
I don’t care how good your beta readers and critique partners are.
I don’t care if you’re a traditionally published midlist author going out on your own.
Get a professional editor.
You want to self-publish? Put in the time and the effort and the money, just like a big publisher would. This is a business and you are creating a product to sell to people. Give them a good product.
That product begins with a professional editor.
“Self-publishing is the kiss of death. (And you’ll go to hell, too. God HATES self-publishers.)”
So come see me at the Writer’s Digest conference, on the Do-It-Yourself Publishing panel, which is chock-full of super-awesome self-publishing types who are also going to hell.
When: January 22, 2011, 10:30 – 11:45 a.m.
Where: Sheraton Hotel & Towers, NYC
(Conference runs January 21 through 23.)
And who cares if I go to hell? I hear it has snowed…
Mormon publishing is a small world, but since I only hover on the outskirts of the community as a fiction writer who is Mormon and not as a writer of Mormon fiction (albeit I have Mormon characters), I don’t have much invested in the state of the Mormon art.
Currently I’m involved in a discussion on the Association for Mormon Letters blog that led to these comments:
Author Annette Lyon said:
Angela also hit it right on the head when she said that it’s a bit tricky naming names and titles when you’re one of the LDS writers yourself. It was a different story before I was part of that group. It’s easy to praise, but this is a tiny sandbox. An offhanded remark can make an enemy, so imagine if I were to give an honest review of that other book. Yeah. Let’s just say I don’t dare.
Author Lisa Torcasso Downing said:
Like Angela, I’m hesitant to criticize other writers–and their publishers–because a) who am I to talk? and b) I need those publishers.
There was a level of pathos there that I don’t feel that deeply with unpublished writers of work aimed for the national market, and not a niche one, and such a niche one. Actually, it was the “I need those publishers” that made me hurt.
I can understand Annette’s position, as she’s established and seems to do very well within the niche. But this is what I want to say to Lisa et al: You do not need those publishers.
Look around. eBooks, podcasts, print-on-demand, serial fiction blogs. The landscape is changing drastically and at breathtaking speed.
My question is: Could you do worse on your own? Really?
Just think about it. Please.