17 January 2013
Absent the Machine
In the time it took me to write my first novel, enter it into a writing contest or two, and then decide to do what most people do with their first novel (stick it in a drawer and leave it there), the publishing industry began its metamorphosis from a top-down monolith where a new author had as much hope of being published as he did of being struck by lightning (note: I have not actually done any research into that comparison, but it feels right) into a much more egalitarian world where anyone with a computer and the ability to type (the ability to type being optional) could publish their novel. And so I dusted off that first novel (and a few other things I've written over the years), and filled with hope and excitement chose the latter path. I am an Independent Author; I have no editing/marketing corporate entity making you want my book. You have me. and I need you.
You could say the spirit of the entrepreneur is in my blood, but that's a story for another time. You could also say that I have a history of going at things the hard way. And that I have no patience for game-playing bullshit as regards long-established corporate institutions. Squirt the essence of these sentences onto an artist's palette, smear them around and then scrape the resulting purply-umber onto the base medium of your choice (I recommend paper or canvas, though I suppose a wall or amenable person would be just as acceptable) and you get, well, me. Me that writes.
Absent the machine, the publishing monolith that was and is, I have started my journey -- my quest -- through the perilous realm of the Independents; and like every good adventurer knows you won't get far with out a few friends helping you out. Aha! You cry. Here's where he's going to ask me to plunk down my hard earned cash to read his stuff! I've agonized over this. I've re-written this essay and this paragraph many times. Yes, my goal is to leave behind the office life and make my income from my words, but also my words aren't Tupperware. I'd rather follow the drug dealer model than the Tupperware model anyway.
So here is my simple plea to you. Buy one of my books, whichever one you choose. I’ve written something for everyone: young adult, science fiction, poetry. If you like it, tell a friend and ask him or her to buy one of my books. If someone mentions he’s looking for something to read, point him in the direction of my books. They’re reasonably priced and you will be doing your part to support the arts while helping a friend achieve his dream.
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