Thursday, October 13, 2011

If only it were that simple

Thought for the day: I don't not know why the word 'procrastinate' starts with the prefix 'pro' which seems to suggest something positive. It should be 'anticrastinate or discrastinate.

Very interesting guest post over at Nicola Morgan's blog - Help I Need a Publisher - about self publishing ( Catherine Ryan Howard makes some good points about promoting your work (stop whining, do you want to sell books or not?) and about the realities of publishing decisions (it might be a great book, but traditional publishing may NOT be able to make money out of it). Promotion is a smart move if you would like to help your books sell. There are no guarantees and as she says you can sit back and do nothing and sell 5000 copies or bust a gut marketing your work and sell 5 copies. But the risk is greater in the not doing. And I get the financial arguments behind the decisions to publish. Whether you agree or disagree with a publisher's decision, they have a bottom line. Get over it.

And a very interesting post by writer pal Maureen Crisp about the possible 'demise'? of blogging ( over on her blog Craic-er. A day doesn't go by without someone sounding the death knell over some aspect of publishing or another. The thing that irks me about the industry people 'lecturing' about blogging is that they can only imagine someone would want to write a blog or read a blog if there's money to be made from it. The numbers they are talking about hurt my head - 15k visitors a month? I guess with a population of 312 million plus people in the US those numbers aren't completely nonsensical and down here in the Antipodes that number might be sensibly revised down somewhat (even though the internet is global and there are technically no borders, of course things will be different here). I don't write my blog to sell my books (although I'm not opposed to anyone buying or reading my books as a result of visiting my blog). I don't read other peoples blogs to find new writers to read (although I have bought and read books because I've read about it on a blog). I write and read blogs to join the shared understanding of what constitutes the book industry round the world. I have learned much from blogs I have followed, I have made writery friends, and I have shared my personal experience and things I have learnt with others through my own blog. Writing is an isolating business, more so than many other endeavours. Blogs have saved my sanity more than once. I think people sometimes find value in the things I have written about here. If agents and some other bloggers can only see the dollar signs, shame on them.

And if you wonder whether there is a conflict here with me agreeing with Ms Howard about the necessities of promoting/marketing on the one hand and pooh-poohing of those hectoring blogsperts on the other, to me there isn't. My primary goal is to write good books for children of all ages. My secondary goal is to keep doing it, which means selling sufficient books. Blogging is about connecting with the community I belong to which happens to be the book community. Is there an overlap? Sure. Am I aware of that overlap? Sure. Do I hope that overlap might have positive spin offs? Sure. Will I keep blogging irrespective of any spin offs? Sure.

1 comment:

Maureen Crisp said...

Catherine Howard's journey is becoming so familiar. A good story that gets positive rejections (where have I heard that before...)

I think the more writers understand the business of writing the more a portfolio of publishing options becomes a sensible way to go.

Some trad books some self pubbed books some limited edition books some Print On Demand books some cool books...posters...caps, coffee mugs
...interactive games...licensing to movies, x box, sims, iphone, apps..
You are the brand.

Ok I put that list in there because all the links on my weekly blog post touch on all of those...LOL You don't have to do all that....

I have made many cool friends from my blog and I learn heaps from reading others blogs...I am in touch with my community...if it sells books great...but as I mentioned on Roni Lorens blog Children's writers aren't blogging to their audience...mostly to their community and why not...this all helps to make us searchable and we get the news faster...heheheh
I completely agree with your final paragraph!
From a writer who blogs.