Still offline, so leaving you with some writers on writing, words of wisdom, whatever you want to call them! Have a great weekend!
It always amuses me when the status quo preaches about how the gatekeepers of New York, in their valiant efforts to curtail the so-called Tsunami of Crap, boast how they’re responsible for safeguarding literature and culture and are solely responsible for bringing books to the masses.
The opposite is the truth. The Big 5 are censors. For decades, their paper book distribution oligopoly limited what was available to readers. Their “curation”, which they’ve touted as a feature, has actually been a gigantic bug. A censorship bug, which prevented readers from deciding for themselves what’s worthy and what isn’t.
It’s so liberating, so intoxicating, to be able to write the kind of book I want to, without being subjected to the whims of the gatekeepers. Imagine if the Internet only allowed certain websites to be published based on what a select handful of people deemed appropriate. We’d have a far smaller, much less interesting World Wide Web.
Yet, even with the number of websites surpassing 1 billion, we can all still find worthy URLs that interest us.
Self-publishing doesn’t lead to a Tsunami of Crap. It leads to freedom, more choices, better prices, and the opportunity for more writers and readers to indulge in their whims and passions.
It takes a certain personality type to persevere through the solitude and negative feedback. I often say I’m a writing junkie, but more accurately, I’m a storytelling junkie. I consume and create story in equal measures. Take my stories away, I’ll wither and die.
Most people have a real life that writing gets in the way of. I have a writing life that real events interrupt. Most writers who have committed a novel or two find the writing life not to their taste.
Solitude and making things up is not for everyone.
Nor should it be.
And here’s the best news of all: I don’t have to be a bestseller to make comfortable money. In the past, if I had wanted to stay home and write books full-time, I had to hope I could sell my books to thousands of people. Now, I can make good money selling to hundreds. And hundreds of people is do-able. It might take some time to get there—I put my first story up on Amazon in 2009, so I’m into year 5 here—but it can be done.
We will never stop taking risks.
And we keep writing and putting up new work. And that’s the most important of everything.
We do our best to keep up with everything new coming into publishing, but we don’t chase every fad. And we don’t write to market. We write what we love.
And it seems to work just fine in the long run.
We have fun. We make a lot of money. That’s also fun.
And we do our best to help others find their own road, even if it is different from what we are doing. Every writer is different. And thankfully these days, there is no one path.
– Dean Wesley Smith
You don’t have to be perfect. Just perfect for yourself. You can achieve this personal perfection by having your own yardstick of what success means to you. But the important thing is that the yardstick have notches that take into account successes that are big as well as small. Think that writer who sold several thousand copies on Kindle is successful? Great. But if your own pdf has been downloaded 67 times, that is no small feat either. Imagine, at least 67 people in the world have thought your words worth paying their hard-earned cash for. And at least 67 people in the world have benefited in some way from your creation. To me, that sounds good.
Technique alone is never enough. You have to have passion. Technique alone is just an embroidered potholder.
– Raymond Chandler