I feel….well, I feel like I have a connection with you, Constant e-Reader. And so I just wanted to let you know that I had a productive day today.
I am back on Twitter and establishing some good correspondence with other writers, and I spent a great deal of time researching the realities of publishing.
My press, Ravenwater, is working hard to get the word out about our first release, I’m Still Trying To Figure It All Out Myself… by Larry Cohen. We are developing a digital copy of his book, which will be available for the iPad, Kindle, Nook, Sony Reader, and all other portable reading devices. We’re working hard to get his book distributed nationally through Ingram and Baker & Taylor.
The truth is, it’s just damn hard to get your book picked up and circulating beyond your circle of friends, colleagues, and close community members.
Yet, I wonder, is that bad?
The small press and self-publishing boom has afforded writers opportunities to see their stories in print when, in all likelihood, they would be thrown into the slush pile of those larger publishing houses. It’s not a reflection on the quality of writing. It’s just that national agents and publishers are looking for that one book that fits all of their needs–primarily financial ones–that they are willing to take a risk on. SO many variables to consider: history (and future) of writer, predicted appeal for the story in a year’s time (following predicted trends), multimedia spinoffs (to bring in additional income), and international appeal.
Most of us wouldn’t score too well with those variables. And, even if we did, it’s still a crap shoot about whether you will be the “chosen one” that the publisher wants to take the chance on.
This is why I believe in the small presses. We need to be realistic about our publishing successes. But it does mean that we are published, and we have shared our words with the people in our community (and perhaps a little beyond).
I’m skeptical of any other definitions of success. To me, this is about as good as it gets.
So go ahead and write that story. Chances are good there’s a small press out there that’s wanting to help you share your words. . . .