Howdy, sports fans. Fellow sufferers. Fellow travelers down the yellow brick road of life. How’s it going out there? Feeling okay? Keeping your knees loose, as Jean Shepherd used to say. Who’s Jean Shepherd? you might ask. Well, you can google that and find out for yourself. It might do you some good.
Well, I can hardly believe I’m here. Anyone that knows me, knows that other than writing my fiction on a computer and sending it by email to various and sundry online or print publications, I haven’t had much use for blogs, twitters, social media as such. In fact, I don’t even own a cell phone. I do have a Kindle that I got for Christmas last year, but I can’t say I really like it. I’m one of those people who likes to skip around in a book. Especially if it’s non-fiction. Hard to do on a Kindle. Like if you remember reading something earlier in the book and want to go back to it, it’s easy with a real book. Just flip the pages. But on a Kindle it’s tricky and really too much trouble.
So, given my lack of interest and experience blogging, what am I doing here? I’m here because I think it’s time, as a writer of fiction that seems to be being fairly well received in certain disreputable quarters, that I get myself out of the shadows I’ve been lurking in and find some kind of what these days they’re calling a platform. I’ve been writing science fiction, fantasy, space western and weird western horror stories for several years now. They’ve been published in places like RayGunRevival.com, Spacewesterns.com, The Sword Review (no longer around), Abandoned Towers, TowerofLight.com, and in anthologies from Pill Hill Press and other publishers. You may have read my novel, Jack Brand, which is available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble and the publisher, Pill Hill Press.
I’ll be using this blog to keep everyone informed of what I’m doing, what stories or books are coming out, what I’m working on. Stuff like that.
Now for Today’s Topic.
I’ve long been a writer who believed that the best and only way for a writer to get published is to go the route—that is, submit your work to editors, agents, publishers, whatever and have it published, if accepted, the traditional way. Many of my writer friends have been telling me that that paradigm is becoming extinct. Many writers, new ones and experienced veterans are now self-publishing their work as ebooks. I argued that that was nothing more than a vanity press option. I said you need an editor’s sanction, a publisher’s imprimatur for your work to be seen as worth anything. People who publish their own work are self-pleasuring little dweebs with no talent, I said. You gotta have some authority figure look at your stuff and decide if the world’s ready to see it.
I still think that way. Mostly. But times are changing. There have been some pretty interesting stories about self-published ebooks selling thousands of copies and making their authors hundreds of thousands of dollars. I’m still slightly skeptical, but when a writer with the reputation of Lawrence Block comes out in favor of the idea, I’ve got to wonder if it isn’t time to rethink the whole deal.
Here’s a link to Block’s blog on the subject. You might find it interesting.
Okay, gang. I’ll sign off, for now. In the meantime, keep your knees loose, and your duff close to the ground.