Saturday, May 21, 2011

An Unestablished Author Wishes She Could "Write Like Its 1999."


I’ve been thinking more about the Katherine Kristine Rusch article on ‘Writing like it's 1999’ and checking out online royalties.   I’m feeling a little less scared.  On one hand, if I work hard at my day job and scrounge for extra work, I can probably save up enough money to hire a professional editor for my book, after I’m done the current draft.  E-books are popular, a lot of YA readers like electronic formats.   So, in that sense, maybe I can make it in the brave new world of publishing without the gatekeepers.

On the other hand, there’s the whole “marketing” thing.  I’d also have to come up with money to hire a marketer, because I HATE promoting myself.  I’ll happily tell people how great things and people I like are, but me?  That feels like LYING. After all, I’m no Naomi Novik! There are so many better writers out there---why (even post editing) should anyone read me in a world that contains Neil Gaiman and John Scalzi?   On the other hand, that’s a problem with traditional publishing too, I guess.   So I’ll have to nail down the answer to that question before I query agents, if I go the traditional route.

There’s also the problem of developing an audience.  Sure, Scalzi can gain readership by sheer force of his personality – he’s awesome!  Me, I’m a little more quirky, a little less likable, and unlikely to ‘win’ at the social networking game—I don’t want a network full of ‘friends’ I don’t know, and I really, really hate approaching strangers---even online.

So, it seems like e-publishing without a major house to back me up would be crazy—I don’t have a built-in audience like Rusch does, and, without a traditional publisher, I don’t have a way to gain a built-in audience.  So, maybe that’s where we’re headed—traditional publishing for people who seek to build an audience, and self-publishing for those who’ve already earned one?

That means, per Rusch, that new authors are going to get screwed---unless we can find a way to create and audience.  But building an audience means building a great online persona—and unless you like persona building in the first place, I’m not sure how you’d do it.

Any thoughts?

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Rapture and Reconciliation




This morning, the hilarious Simcha Fischer decided to take on the Rapture —I mean, it’s supposed to be Saturday and all.   In the comments, a few people have wondered whether they should hit confession tomorrow, just in case.

I think the answer is a definite maybe.

You should NOT go to confession because Armageddon might start Saturday.   On the other hand, if you’re worried, maybe you should go—because your own personal judgment might well be Saturday.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the end-times hoopla, but remember: somebody’s time on Earth ends every moment of every day.  There’s no need for weird biblical number games.  We’re all going to die, and a lot of us are going to die when we don’t expect it.

My mother was perfectly healthy until she died in her sleep at 48.  None of us expected it.   We really don’t know the day or the hour.

So, should you go to confession today or tomorrow?  Maybe.  If you got hit by a bus 15 minutes from now, would you regret not having gone to confession first?  On the other hand, if there were no predictions of Armageddon, would you be confident waiting until Saturday at 4:30?   

The end of the world is at hand-- but it’s always at hand.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Two Months?!?!?

Has it really been nearly two months since I last posted?  Wow! I thought spring was insanely busy this year!

So, quick updates:

1. Suvudu is about to announce winners for its writing contest.   I haven't heard from them, so I'm assuming I didn't win.  Also, I haven't heard from Highlights, so it's safe to say I didn't win that one, either!

2. We do year-round schooling, so we've just started in on second grade and kindergarten!  I ordered some new books for the 2nd grader-- we're using textbooks for history and science this year.  That way, I can still supplement with related literature and books, but I'm spared the effort of coming up with an outline.

3. I'm planning a St. Jude's Walkathon for Sunday, June 5th.   We'll have to see how that turns out-- I'm afraid I'm neither pretty enough or popular enough to hold a good fundraiser.

4. I'll try to blog more.  Work is going well, but it's time consuming, and the rewrite of doom is taking a fair bit of energy!