Search This Blog

4.12.2011

Inventory = Longevity

Thanks to those who drop by the blog for stepping up and requesting copies of my forthcoming collection, These Strange Worlds! The response was overwhelming and immediate, and I'm looking forward to getting copies into the mail (and dropping some by the college)...

This post is very interesting. Bob Mayer, a writer whose work has appeared on numerous bestsellers lists, turned down a lucrative publishing offer to publish Duty, Honor, Country: West Point to Shiloh, as an e-book.

Here's my favorite portion of the post: Two weeks ago at the Whidbey Island Writers Conference I suddenly realized something: as quickly as a writer can publish their book, is also as quickly as they can quit. It seems many think this is an easy path to great sales and wealth and fortune—a yellow brick road. But success will go to those who first and always, have a well-written book with a great story. Then there is the need for persistence and consistency. While the digital age has made all this possible, I think it has the potential to make quitting much easier since we live in a time of instant gratification. Writers are checking their Kindle numbers daily and bemoaning lack of sales within a week of upload. I think one trait those of us coming from traditional publishing have had is knowing it’s the long haul that counts. Also, in digital, it’s not the spike for the bestseller list, but the long tail of sales that is the key.


Publishing is changing quickly, but writers still need to focus on the long haul.
I think it's important to try to find those niche markets (often cultivated by submitting to anthologies, zines, magazines--the traditional avenues). They still need to, as the great Todd Shaw once said, get in where they fit in. It's important to both remain dedicated to writing good stories while also learning about promotion, emerging publication platforms and design (among other things). Mayer's post, like the ones that have preceded it on Joe's blog, is just filled with food for thought. Kudos to some of these writers for doing for themselves what wasn't necessarily done well for them in prior relationships with the publishing industry...

No comments: