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.
I totally don’t blame Scalzi for being sick of the arguments for self/digital publishing. I self/digital publish and I’m sick of the evangelizing, too. (Because most of the arguments are just shitty logic.)
There’s another side of the Electronic Publishing BINGO card: Printgasm BINGO, for those who believe that reading ebooks is just one step away from civilization sliding back into the primordial ooze.
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…