After 13 years in publishing and running my own publishing house, I’m amazed that many people still have misconceptions of what goes on behind the books. One person actually thought publishing wasn’t fully digitalized. I tried to explain to it that it was, but he wouldn’t listen. Reading is the one form of entertainment which has never required any sort of technology for the reader to enjoy it. They just pick up the printed document and start reading.
So simple that it’s easy to miss ebooks. It also doesn’t help that the traditional publishers overprice them. It’s be honest. Only a self published writer can afford to sell an ebook for $0.99 or even just give it away for free. Traditional publishers have more expenses, but they may not want to pay people decent wages either.
That brings up another problem: that of promoting books. I can honestly say after trying to promote other people’s books that publishers cannot do it well or even at all. I’ve seen what many publishers do with social media and well, the writers themselves share more important things. The writers are much more interesting than any traditional publisher can be. That and many readers never see the publisher of a book. They see the book and the writer. They want to know the writer not the publisher.
No, the traditional publisher will not promote you. You will have to do that all by yourself. They insist you have your own website and a following or they will not publish your books.
What makes things worse is when other people think they can tell me how to run my own publishing house. Frankly I think they are spoiled brats who are used to getting their way in everything. Don’t tell me how to run my publishing house until you’ve either run your own for several years or you have been through the pangs of self publishing for several years. Otherwise, your demands are meaningless.
After completing 13 volumes of the monthly magazine, I’ve decided I’ve done enough. No more publishing books and no more magazine either. I’m not getting anymore benefit from the work and there aren’t enough people are interested in supporting it. I’ve done a lot with this publishing house, but publishing is still in turmoil. The traditional publishers don’t want to admit, but it’s true. Things will have to change or else we will lose more books, magazines, and newspapers. It’s mainly the cost of printing and distribution. Not many can afford it.
The sad reality is that many readers expect it and when they can’t find something in print, they don’t always look for alternative stores or formats. Reading is the one form of entertainment which has never required any technology for the reader to enjoy. There are many people who prefer paper over reading a computer screen. Those people deserve to get their favorite authors.
They may not realize what’s happening behind the scenes. All they see is the finished product. But some of us are perfectly aware of all the creativity, polishing, and packaging which goes into any book or magazine or newspaper. There is a wide variety of writing out there and it doesn’t matter if it’s published by the traditional publishers or by the writers themselves. Some of it is really good and some of it’s really bad.
I just hope something can be changed with printing and distribution to allow readers to find what they like to read. I am willing to be a part of that change. I know it will be rough, but it must be done or else we will lose more culture items.
I’m excited that libraries can order any ebook we have available. It’s thanks to Smashwords and their distribution channels. Libraries have a few options and the books are theirs forever once they purchase them.
When you can’t afford books and still want to read…the best place is to go to your local library and request a copy, if they don’t already have it. That’s still money towards your favorite writers. Or you can try before you buy a copy of your own.
Honestly, I don’t like many of Amazon’s policies in regard to selling books. I get the impression that Amazon wants complete control over publishing. Amazon wants to be the only book seller. Amazon’s Kindle doesn’t work with epub files, which is what I create for all my ebooks. Most other ebook reader apps do handle epub files. Why have a special file format and ignore other ereader apps? Amazon goes as far as attacking publishers. I can’t agree with that attitude. I find that I can’t trust Amazon and I’d rather not deal with Amazon directly anymore.
I find myself liking Smashwords more and more. Smashwords doesn’t take the same attitude. They prefer to work with writers, publishers and libraries. That attitude can make all the difference in the world and save me lots of time and work.
I’d prefer to deal with one store/distributor. That way I just upload the books once and they end up on several stores. I know it’s not all at once, but that’s okay. It’s even better when I have to update the books for whatever the reason. Again, I just have to upload once and all the stores will get the update.
If I keep working directly with Amazon, I will have to upload each file twice. I’d rather pass. Besides I have one ebook that I think should be free, my promo book, and Amazon will not allow it, unless I only offer the book through Amazon. The reason I keep it free is so that I can build a reader/fan base. In the age of digital publishing, one free ebook can help greatly with promotion of an unknown writer.
So, I’m in the middle of taking books down from Amazon. I’m trying to see if they notice. They probably won’t. But the customers might. If Amazon wants to sell my books, then they will have ask Smashwords for them.
Printing has been a problem from day one. It hasn’t gotten any better in eleven years and it probably never will. After the last book order, which was not been processed, but was cancelled due to the hassle to both the bookstore and the publishing house, I do not want to do any more book orders. I have to hand bind them, which makes it difficult to print lots of copies.
In short this means that the paperback books will be even harder to get. I cannot do wholesale orders without an online store. I cannot outsource the printing due to the expense. I’m sorry, but I cannot expand the printing. With publishing being fully digital now and many readers reading ebooks, I don’t see why I need to.
So no more online store and no more credit card processing. I do apologize for the inconvenience, but I don’t see why I have to run my publishing house like everyone else does. I’m not like others and I don’t agree with the standard publishing practices. (Like ripping off the writers.) I doubt many people understand how expensive it can be to run a publishing house the way the big five do.
I do like that I can print the paperbacks on recycled paper and with an almost guarantee they will be signed by the writer. That wouldn’t be possible if the books are outsourced.
I will still offer the monthly magazine and accept submissions for it. I’m currently using Smashwords to distribute it. Be sure to check out the free issue. The others are US$4.99 each. I will also continue to work on my books. I could easily write a hundred if I have the time.
Now if I could just figure out what to do with the social media marketing, things would be much better…
When I first started this blog, I received a few comments that were actual responses to what I had written. Over time, more comments came in, but they were nothing relevant at all. They were not responses to what I had written. Sadly, they became hundreds everyday and were nothing but spam.
I had to disable comments for the whole site. It was just taking up too much of my time everyday to scan the comments for anything that was a response and not spam. Ever since I disabled the comments, many people are signing up for accounts. They probably think if they become subscribers that they will be able to make their spam comments.
Nope, sorry, won’t happen. If you have a legitimate response to anything I write, then feel free to send me a message. I’ll read it.
The Moon monthly magazine is now available directly from Smashwords. Check out the free issue and if you like it, then buy the rest. I’ll make sure all of volume 12 is available soon. If you want the rest of the back issues, then send me a message and I’ll get the rest out when I can.
I don’t know who started the bad attitude that creative work should be free, but it’s mean especially when it’s the only work you have left to do.
If you believe you should get creative work for free, then you are setting yourself up for some pretty bad karma. You’re probably miserable with your life and job. You’re definitely overpaid for whatever it is you do for work.
I don’t care how horrible your life is, that is no excuse to treat creative individuals with disdain and insist they don’t deserve basic things like health care and food. We all have the power to change our lives, but if you insist on your own misery, then keep it to yourself.
Creative work is not easy. If you think so, then why aren’t you trying it for a living?
Yes, many people who do creative work do other things to help earn money. Again that isn’t easy to do both. I’ve done it and now no one will hire me even though I have plenty of skills and abilities. (In my case, I was trying to work a regular job when I was too ill to do so and couldn’t get the medical care I needed. I also kept picking bosses who were very insecure and had no qualms about finding any reason to get rid of someone who could do the job better than they could. I also have a tendency to instinctually stand up to bullies. Hence why I’m deemed a bad employee.)
If you really think it’s so easy, then you should try working a regular job and doing creative work at the same time and let me know how it goes for you.
All you naysayers wouldn’t last five minutes and you’ll crawl back to your lousy jobs and lousy lives and won’t be content until you punish the rest of us who aren’t like you.
What is normal? It’s average. It’s typical. It’s usual. It’s mediocre. It’s boring when you like to push yourself to improve and learn and grow. So why be normal when you can be brilliant? Good question. I suppose people like to be considered normal because it will mean they will fit in and be like everyone else. They probably also think they aren’t abnormal or mentally ill. Those are not opposites of normal. Different or unusual would be an opposite of normal. Normal does not mean you’re not mentally ill. In fact, if most people in society have some sort of mental illness, then being normal could very mean you’re mentally ill. However, mentally ill and normal aren’t always one in the same.
I don’t want to be like everyone else. I want to be me. I know I’m not normal, but I am not abnormal or subnormal.
Funny how many people don’t understand what normal really means. If you like to be considered normal because you think it’s better to blend in, then be normal. I cannot fit in and I don’t care about being normal. I also don’t want to be unhealthy. Too many people in my society are unhealthy, which has become a sad norm.
Why be normal especially when it means your health could be in danger?
Many people think work is a drudgery. It doesn’t have to be. Many also think work isn’t work unless you are hired by someone else. So, they don’t count self employment. That’s a very narrow definition and it’s rude to insist that people who are self employed don’t work. They just play all day. Not true. As a self employed person, I work and my work is actually documented on the internet. Of course what’s on the internet is just the tip of the iceberg.
Still many people tell me I don’t work and think I should just be a homemaker. Wow. It just amazes me how many prejudices don’t ever go away. I’m not even very girly and yet people think I wear makeup and I don’t! I don’t necessarily have regular work hours or steady office hours, but that doesn’t mean I have lots of time to slack off and go eat out. Or even just to spend lots of time with other people.
I wish people were more open minded and checked facts before making judgements. Perhaps that is asking too much. I’ve had to say no to more people simply because they don’t take my work seriously. Creative pursuits for them are mere hobbies. I doubt they can understand that many of us choose creative pursuits for work because it’s like breathing for us.
I wish they could understand that what they are really asking is for us to commit a form of suicide and be something we’re not. I don’t think they have any right to treat anyone that way. I don’t tell other people how to live, but they think they can tell me and force me to live and be what they want.