My way or the highway! You’ve most likely heard that expression, but hopefully you will see that my way is the highway. Have you ever learned from someone else’s mistake? I have, and I’ve also learned from my own. I’m writing this to help at least one person not make the same mistake I did publishing my first novel.
As I write this I think of Route 66; a great road for a scenic drive, but not the one to take to get where you’re going in an expeditious manner. Super highways were built to provide a more direct route. Publishing is experiencing the same scenario – ‘traditional publishing’ versus ‘independent publishing,’ or self publishing. Continue reading “My Way Or the Highway!”
Recently, I got very down. This happens. I get depressed sometimes when we run out of milk. This time, however, I got depressed because writing began to seem futile.
Let me clarify…writing is like breathing…sharing it seemed futile. But something happened. Something that needs to happen for all of us. A lot of people bitch-slapped me verbally…some threatened actual physical harm.
I got to thinking about all that is involved in being an Indie writer. I won’t lie. Part of me yearns for the days when I had a regular paycheck and good insurance and my friend Pat liked my stories a lot. I hate promoting. But promotion has an interesting fallout effect. It works – we hope, but more importantly, it builds community.
A writer buddy of mine was recently lamenting the fact that people won’t shell out 99 cents for his book. Mine are 3.99. If everyone I know (and the people I have come into contact with online) would buy my books, my wife wouldn’t check the bank account with shaking fingers every night.
See, here’s what got me thinking. Yesterday, at about dinner time, a young man showed up at my door and launched into his spiel. When he got to the ‘before you say no’ part, I smiled and said, ‘I’m not going to say no…we’re pretty broke, but can I donate $5?” I’m not trying to brag. My 5 crumpled up one dollar bills aren’t going to change his life or break us. And I have sold stuff door to door and it is hell. So, I empathized. But it got me wondering.
I’ve bought peanut brittle to send peoples’ kids on a class trip (I LOATHE peanut brittle). I tip 20%. If you’ve ever been a waiter you don’t tip %15. I’ve bought Girl Scout cookies…sometimes from people my own age who were selling them for their Girl Scouts.
I’ve bought water for homeless people. I’ve given countless bills and handfuls of coins to buskers and various street performers. But people get downright offended about spending money on BOOKS? Something that is tangible…that they can keep…that took a lot of time and energy to write?
OK, some books suck. Mine don’t. Neither does the book written by the fellow I mentioned who priced his wonderful book at 99 cents (ahem…Antrobus).
Now, here’s the part where I sound like a whiny bitch, but bear with me. I know you have bought Girl Scout cookies and chocolate bars and blah, blah, blah.
Who is in your crew? Who’s in your corner? I’m about to share with you one of the most important things I have ever learned about writing. You need a gang. You need a crew. You need people you can bounce ideas off of. You need people you can vent to. You need to have a group of people who’ve got your six. Why? There are lots of reasons, but the biggest one is that riffing with creative people makes you more creative.