Less Than Random Thoughts From a Science Fiction Author and Generally Good Guy [ Fawkes ]

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Change We Must

  I firmly believe we must change with the times.  Well, change or become obsolete, right?  If you think you're in a good spot and refuse to budge, something either bad or awful will happen sooner than later.  Some people love change and seek it out like a new lover.  Others - functional Luddites - refuse change for any number of reasons.  Just ask an Amish farmer or Rush Limbaugh if you wish to see a vision into an unreasonably unchanging mind.  Me, I neither lead nor defy change, I sort of stay in the middle of the pack.  Hence, as an author wishing to be read, I have necessarily changed my direction.  There's Darwinism even in the in the publishing game, don't you know.

  Actually, the changes in publishing, as we all know, are radical to say the least.  Fifteen years ago, I like so many aspiring writers polished-up my query letters to publishing houses and tried to construct the dreaded three-page synopsis of the products of our cerebral loins.  It was grim, I'm here to tell you!  I'd send-out queries to scores of publishers and considered myself blessed if I got a rejection.  You see, most of the time I heard nothing back, so no way, Jose was a kindness.  I would scan "less-traditional" publishing sources and scheme to see if I dare pitch myself and a gay, Native American living in Kentucky after serving in the military on a Tuesday - you know one of the "specialty publishers."  Never any luck there - boy howdy!

   I embrace indie publishing as it has evolved.  But, as publishing evolves, I must try not to be a loser in the selection process.  Nowadays, Big Internet (as opposed to the past Big Publishing) industry is forcing authors to chose sides, like a kick-ball game.  If you want the power of being available on, say, Kindle Unlimited, you must pledge sole allegiance to Amazon and not publish on any of the other myriad of options.  Those other myriad of option-outlets are similarly aiming to heard us cats into their corrals and, more importantly, away from their competition's.  I recently unpublished from Smashwords and their numerous links to Kobo, Barnes and Noble, and many others in favor of being present on Kindle Unlimited.

  So, as in Indiana Jones and The Holy Grail, have I chosen wisely, or have I chosen a fast track to self-ruination?  Who knows?  My plan is to ride this horse a ways down the road and see what happens.  I can always change horses, if one looks to be a safer bet - I hope.  It is ironic that no options (past rigid publishing houses) melted before virtually unlimited choice, and now virtually unlimited choice is melting away due to Big Internet's lust for absolute dominance.  I'm a very small leaf trusting my fate to a plunge over Niagara Falls, it would seem.

  Oh, well, at least I'm in some game, right?


  Stay tuned and we'll see.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Wither the Bell Wethers Are?

  Who writes like that - the title I mean?  Sheesh, Craig, get over yourself already!  Why not just say, "I'm looking for something hard to find and it is not easy, clear where it lies, or how to obtain it."  Well, it's five words versus twenty-one, my title is sexy if you think about it, and it's my blog so I can be fuffy if I so choose!
  I am sticking my tongue out now at myself.
  My point?  As an indie author, like so many of my ilk, I continue to struggle with getting my work noticed = selling some product.  Fortunately, unlike many of my compadres, I don't need the money which would come from increased sales, so that pressure is eliminated.  I am not going to say I am, thus, selling books altruistically, because I don't even know what that means.  But, I make a creative product which I believe contains great value and I wish for others to benefit from it.
  Why did you just say that?  It really deflates my hot air balloon.  Oh, you knew it would, that if you said I want to sell lots of books because of my vanity, it would get under my skin?  Hey, remember, I carry a pick axe, so don't get too cocky.
  Well, I guess there is vanity involved, competitiveness, that type of thing.  And who - besides Bill Gates - does not need a bit more scratch?  Okay, let's move on from motivations for increased sales and move onto the conundrum.  Yeah, riddles without answers are cooler than base-human emotions.  I like cool things.  You like cool things.  We were made for each other.  We're cool!
  The issue is, I submit, that it is hard to get noticed.  If I have a talent and a view point, I'd like it heard.  But, there is no express line for meritorious authors in the supermarket of life.  I've tried paid ads on Goodreads, on selected popular blogs (comics for example), and e-distribution sites like Book Bag.  I am not significantly convinced these exposures resulted in many sales.  I looked into Book Bud, a popular website for promoting books, but they want $300 - 500 to post you book and they don't even say for how long they will list the "ad."  Like anything else, if you knew it worked you'd do it, but $500 is an expensive lesson in I guess that was a dumb idea.
  I even had the cajones to mail unsolicited paperbacks to top reviewers (NY Times, etc.) on the off chance one might give it a go, but nada.  Not even hate-mail by way of reaction.  I actually imagine there is a hefty fee required for top-reviewers to review one's book, so at least I got of cynical chuckle out of a couple of them, right?  So, I keep writing and publishing and hope for acknowledgement.  I guess my bottom-line here is that it ain't easy.  But, then again, if it were easy, anyone could do it, right?  And I'm not just anyone - I'm me!
  Wow, the post started lame and ends lame.  I need a drink.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Oh Yeah

Here's Time Divings bitchin' cover - thanks to Starla Hutchton!

Darn It All, I'm Back!

  Okay, I'm back!   Where have I been?  Ah... glad you asked, ah... busy?  Ah... well, aliens abducted me.  Yes, that's it!  ALIENS ABDUCTED ME AND FOR OVER A YEAR I WAS ON THE ALTERNATE LIST FOR PROBING!  Mmmm... well, maybe I was just preoccupied and yes, busy.  It is hard to work a day job, write, promote, and post to blogs, along with like breathing and blowing a kiss to the wife.  I may have had things to say, but defered them.  Nice euphemism, eh?
  So, what to say?  I have published Time Diving and - trust me for why would I lie - it is great.  Check out the Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/Time-Diving-ebook/dp/B00FICFNPM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380457069&sr=1-1&keywords=time+diving

  I am currently doing a much needed re-edit of The InnerGlow Effect, and hope to re-publish in the next month.  I am 70,000 words into The Corporate Virus, my new opus.  I explore in fiction why the actual world seems to be homoginizing itself and rules crop-up where no rules are needed.  You know, life - my boss, your boss, your job, my job, at the dry cleaners - everywhere.  I abandon my website, so I no longer have an easy outlet for my short stories.  They are buggers, you know.  Be thay cleaver, stunning, and trend-setting, they are hard to distribute.  So, I am entering competitions and may bundle-publish them myself.  We shall see.
  I have too mnay great ideas circling to land in my head.  There's a non-fiction medical book, a ghost story, an epic fantasy, and who knows what else/  Ah, someday!  So, I promise to be "present" if you promise to check-in from time to time.  Deal?