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Can’t Please Everyone…

Scan of book of english adaptions of the fairy...

Scan of book of English adaptions of the fairy tales of India. If the image is not immediately familiar, cousin, you need to read more. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I can’t please everyone. Nor do I have much desire to make an attempt to do so. It’s too exhausting. And I think my art and sanity would suffer if I tried.

Story too short? It is after all a SHORT story that has a beginning, middle and end. So, um? I can’t help that Amazon includes the front matter, as well as all the extra back matter that I included with the short story in its page count. Yes its part of a series. No, I’m not going to summarize every other book in it (that would be tedious and a waste of space)  – If you care, you are going to just need to pay attention… Is that arrogant on my part? Well I don’t think so. Expecting a full summary of what came before, attached to every short story, or book I put out just is not double. You say, yes it is. It’s not, as it would take up time and space and oh yes story preview space on Amazon.

I try not to overload my books with copyright front matter and a list of other things I’ve written – If you do so, there is no way to get a good preview on Amazon (There should be a way for an author to set the amount that can be read for free themselves…) and I know before I get a book, I do try to read the first few pages, or even chapters if they are available. Though I have a suspicion that not everyone who buys ebooks on Amazon does so…

Nor do I think they much bother with blurbs either…

In a NONE related matter.  I keep running across this notion (asserted by those who probably don’t write)  on reviews (not mine) on Amazon, that indie authors need to get (hire) ‘professional’ editors… ect. In theory, that is a heart warming, wonderful idea, one which I and probably many other indie authors would be in full support of, where it an ideal world. But reality being what it is, I doubt that will ever come to pass %80 (probably more in actual fact) of the time.

Why? Well the thing that needs to be remembered about the current (evolving) liberalized (small ‘l’. Meaning more FREE and OPEN.)  landscape of publishing is that at its heart, it’s really a ramshackle, seat of your pants ragtag affair. That’s actually part of its appeal.  Authors who do all the hard work of writing, and self-editing are not going out and spending cash to have everything they write ‘professionally edited’ because the cost return of doing so would in the grander scheme, make the whole ‘indie authorship’ notion a complete waste of time. No really, these writers probably hate typos just as much as you, and feel really bad when they look back and see them in work they’ve published.  Though, when it comes to plotting, I tend to come down on the side of authors choice there. These authors are both their own brand and more often than not,  because of economics their own production team. Need I even mention Amanda Hocking?

The thing of it is, it’s mostly, easy enough to pick out an indie book. So, you have a warning of what you are choosing to buy into, when you hit the purchase button.

What struck me as I’ve perused the Kindle Store is, there are many books which at first blush looked to be ‘indie’ yet are in fact being published by ‘professional authors’ that really have low par production values. I get these mainstream guys want to experiment and stuff, but you’d think they would have connections and more importantly means to turn out sharper product. That’s not a slam. But I am not sure if they are just playing at turning out what they think ‘indie books’ should look like, or they can’t figure out the whole idea of a pagebreak.

Cyber Monday Ebook Sales!

Black Monday may be gone, but Cyber Monday is just around the corner! Check out some great ebook deals – for less than the price of a sandwich you can feed your imagination!
Be sure to check out the link, lots of great books to read!

Hey, Lets Get Us Some New Gatekeepers…

St. Louis GateKeepers

St. Louis GateKeepers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am going to refrain from linking to it, or naming it, as I am pretty sure, it’s a bad idea.

I just ran across a link to a website on Facebook, in my newsfeed, which claims to ‘endorse, and vet Indie books’. Look I know on paper, that might seem like a very good idea, but it’s not – for all sorts of reasons. To begin with, a monster like that, is sure to become entrenched within the independent book community, even come to demand of itself to be seen as the beginning and end of what is considered ‘the standard’ for what should be allowed to be published. Secondly, I think the presumption does a disservice to would be writers, or up and coming authors, end up boxing them out, just in the same manner Big Six NY publishers have done.

Its easy enough to see such a group begin to demand that sites like Smashwords, Lulu… or Amazon insist that their published works begin to carry their vetting sites mark of approval. Actually, I don’t think Mark Coker at Smashwords would ever allow such a thing to take place, Amazon however – they already have lots of power, and seem to sway toward being control freaks.

Trust me, if these  ‘standards’ existed before, there never would be any rising indie authors. Most, if not all would fall short and be discouraged. The beauty, the power of indie authorship, is in its Wild West nature.

No one vets, or seems to seek to vet, indie music, movies, or painters – those artists are allowed to put forward their work with no (or very little) feeling of guilt for doing so, sometimes even praise for daring to do it provides their work more value. But a book! how dare a writer dare to walk about beyond the gatekeepers. Even among our own, we keep pushing the impulse to regulate, as if a bad book someway kills us all. Trust me, it won’t. There’s no reason the same sort of openness among graphic artists, and indie bands should not me allowed to go forward among indie authors. Well, unless we foolishly begin to regulate ourselves – as if what we turn out has an impact on the health and safety of our fellow human beings. Bad writing, or novels won’t scar anyone, sometimes even ‘classics’ emerge from out of total cheese.

I just see the seed being planted, to replace the old system, with exactly what the new one came along to rip down. And it makes no sense to me whatsoever.

Author MetaCultures?

March 28, 2012 4 comments

The Werewolf of Fever Swamp (TV special)

The Werewolf of Fever Swamp (TV special) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Right, OK. My writing journey began in the public sense on Myspace. This was the time before ebooks began their ascent and was where aspiring, Indie Authors went to get their stuff out there. It still is, but I think it has become secondary to both CreateSpace, and ebooks in general.

Now I would blog on Myspace, share my writing, and thoughts on almost any subject which attracted a good amount of attention, met some cool people, and had my share of internet heartache.

Now putting “author” or “writer” along with on my Myspace profile attracted all sorts of people. For both  good and ill. Among them I came across a certain notorious… horror author/publisher, who  I’m pretty sure many of us have encountered at one point or another. My only reason for even bringing him up is as a lead in to an observation I have made regarding online writing, and author metacultures.

Via my encounter with the notorious horror writer I observed what I guess I’ll term the Chicago horror-Gothic authors. This metaculure seems to be made largely of authors who publish through small publishers dedicated to horror and Gothic genres.  They also seem, how shall I put it? Well, they hold themselves in rather high regard…

Anyhow, I made the observation there seem to be at least two (and there may be others) parallel author cultures going, on, setting aside those who are part of the NY Publishing Establishment. You seem to have this small time press culture which as far as I can tell is mainly focused on horror and Gothic genres. Much of it seems to have an epicenter in Illinois.

And then there are those of us who mainly e-publish via Amazon Kindle and Smashwords.

Am I crazy? Is this just a figment of my own mind and there really is no demarcation going on?

I Went To Read A Paperback And…

March 27, 2012 4 comments
A stack of generic mass-market paperback books.

A stack of generic mass-market paperback books. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I went to read a paperback last night and after reading ebooks lately it felt really awkward and clumsy.  Has anyone else had that experience? The whole feel of it just was off, and not enjoyable. I’d guess this is the exact inverse of what those addicted to paper books assume will be their experience reading on an ereader.

Smashwords, Read An Ebook Week!

All my books are listed as “Free” for Smashword’s read an ebook week. Just use the coupon code at each ebook link when you checkout to get your free ebook. Have fun, and good reading!

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Falco Invictus: On the Forge of War