I love to write. You may have noticed. In my perfect world, I would generate significant income through my word-crafting alone. I am definitely prolific enough. I like to think that I have some amount of talent and skill, but it’s a long and often luck-riddled process. There are ways to tweak probability, of course. You can joining critique groups, going to workshops, studying more, listening to mentors. I do as much of this as I can. (Spoiler: some of these supports are free, and some are bloody expensive.) I’m still trying, though, every day.
Of course, you know about my Patreon. I’m sticking with it for now, until I can figure out a way to host subscriptions on my own. Honestly, I’d have to have enough subscriptions to defer the cost (they’re expensive). I’m not willing to “pass on the cost” to my subscribers. I don’t have that many, so the opportunity cost isn’t worth it just yet. If I got more subscribers (HINT HINT HINT), then I might be enticed to move it over here to Normality Factor. I could add so much more value content then.
Then there’s the traditional approach, as previously touched on. You submit work to magazines and hope they like you enough to pay you for your trouble. While a nice little bit here and there, getting into magazines is not actually the goal. The goal is to get enough publishing credits that you look attractive to agents for when you’re trying to get a novel published. (This is actively going on with “Middle of Nowhere”.) This is also the step that probably benefits the most immediately from the workshops and such.
The problem with this traditional approach is that, even if your work is solid and amazing and wonderful, the submission process is just like dating. You could be the most perfect writer out there, but if there isn’t that chemistry, that zing, you’re not going to get a second date. Good luck trying to find out what (if anything) was wrong in the first place.
This brings us to a uniquely Two-Thousand-Teens option, the crowdfunding campaign. I’m personally a fan of Kickstarter because I like that if people aren’t interested, no one’s on the hook for anything. But, if enough people are interested, I can totally send them out awesome and amazing things. I also like the idea that I can crowdfund one book – an anthology, let’s say – and still pursue other traditional avenues of publication. Having a successfully crowdfunded book is much more credible that being self-published.
See, that’s the default that people go to when they suggest options against the Traditional Publication Route. Self-publishing is easy – which is why everyone does it. That means that the quality is hit or miss, the writing may or may not be readable. Oh yeah, did you want help with marketing or distribution past your on-demand guys? Because that’s not happening. It’s all on you to make it or break it, but the buying market is so jaded with so many bad books that rising to the top is really hard. People have to be willing to take a chance on your book. If they’ve been accosted and beaten bloody by the previous ten, all the pretty covers in the world aren’t going to make them want to take a chance with their money or their time with the eleventh.
To put it in different terms, self-publishing often means that the writer is not accountable to anyone else for the quality of their writing. They might’ve paid good money for a cover to entice you, but whatever’s between the pages could be literately horrific. The unsuspecting reader would never know until it’s too late and their money has flown the coop.
At the beginning of the year, I said I wanted to write 1000 words a day and also journal. I promptly fucked off both of those goals because life. However, I believe that I’ve made up for it in the last couple of months, at least a little. I write, on the average, about 8000 new words every week for Patreon and the #TuTwiTa. I also write at least another 7000 to 10,000 words on other stories each week. And I’m constantly editing and re-reading and submitting.
So, these are my goals. I still collect more rejection letters than anything else, but I like to think that I’m getting better every day. You guys could totally help out, though, by commenting and sharing my stuff. <3