It's 8:00am, and you're sitting in traffic. Again. To make matters worse, the car is overheating. You have the windows down and the fan blowing hot air out at you, but it's not doing any good. The temperature gauge just keeps going up and up. You turn the car off in frustration. It doesn't matter; the traffic is at a standstill, anyway. Going nowhere. If only there weren't so many people all trying to go in the same direction as you... All these people travelling the highway of traditional publishing. The highway to being a published author. Hopefully, a rich and famous one.
You sigh and look wistfully over at the commute lane. You know, the lane that requires at least an agent as a passenger. Or a publisher. Or, even better, both. The cars in the commute lane just keep whizzing past. There goes Samantha Sotto in her Before Ever After VW van, and there goes Michelle Davidson Argyle in her little yellow Monarch beetle. And Michael Offutt is just pulling over into the commute lane with his new publisher. Those writers are getting somewhere, but you... you're stuck here in traffic with all of the other "aspirers." Just sitting in place waiting for some kind of movement.
You take the time to look around. Maybe you can sneak into the commute lane and make some headway, but, no, there's a publication cop just up ahead. You smack on the horn a few times, but it doesn't make you feel better, not really, and no one pays attention. You spy an exit up ahead, but, crap, it's one of those toll roads for a vanity publisher. Off in the distance, you see the self-publishing highway. There are some cars over there; they're moving slowly ahead, but, at least, they're moving. That has to be better than just inching along where you are. Right? Right?
You look for an exit before you realize there are no exits to the highway of self-publishing. That's a road you have to find for yourself. Yeah, there are some paths from some of the more adventurous, even some signs, and, way in the distance, you can see that there are some construction crews (like CreateSpace) working on some entrances to that other highway. But there are no exits from the one you're on. And the publication cops... well, they're waving people back and telling them it's unsafe to go that way. Uncharted. Dangerous.
What do you do? Stay the course? Inch forward? Hope to pick up a hitchhiking agent? There aren't many out there, and they seem to be really picky about what kind of cars they'll get into. And here's your car, overheating. Oh, it looks okay from the outside, but, really, when an agent takes a look in the window, will she really want to get in? You have already been turned down by several. And there's that road off in the distance. The other one. The one the publishers wish you couldn't see. What do you do?
heh heh I feel a "choose your own adventure" calling my name.
A. I stay on the traditional publishing highway and hope for the best.
B. I dodge the publication police and head off road hoping I can find my way onto the self-publishing highway.
C. Well, I don't really have a C, but you should have one, so: I fork over tons of money to get on the vanity publisher toll road and never make any of it back.
Seriously, though, doesn't it feel like this sometimes? Like you're just sitting and nothing is happening. You're trying to move forward, but you're just not getting anywhere. Of course, the first obstacle is getting a manuscript written. You're not even on the highway until you've done that, you're just driving down the service road in envy. It's all hard, though, and the service road isn't a bad place to be. There aren't any fingers being pointed.
Anyway... I chose this particular example, because most people are still looking to traditional publishing. At least, the vast majority of the blogs I see are all talking about how to go the traditional publishing route. That's not me, of course, but it's still most people.
And I can still see onto the traditional publishing highway. I can see how zippy the people in the commute lane are, and, sometimes, it just feels SO slow over here. Almost like I'm having to get out and push my car along. And all I want is for things to just go a little faster. You know, doing that butt thing that kids do when they're trying to get their toy vehicles to move faster, but all they're really doing is causing them to rock back-and-forth.
All of this so I can say how different the experience is with this edition of The House on the Corner as opposed to the first edition (the one with no cover art). The first time through, I sold no copies by hand. It was all online and not many at that, but I didn't push it very hard, because I knew I was working on one with cover art (yea! Rusty Webb). This time, though, I'm having requests for copies from people that know me, and I already sold all of the copies I ordered initially, which surprised me, even though it wasn't very many. I've had to order more, and some of those are spoken for, so I'll probably have to order more, again, before this book signing event at the end of the month. But the e-copies aren't moving at all. That I find really surprising, especially since the previous price of my e-copy was $9.99 (yeah, it was too much, but I didn't know better, yet) as opposed to the current $2.99.
And all I want is for things to just go a little faster. But it takes a lot of work, and that part is slow. And a lot of perseverance, and that part is hard. Harder, even, than writing a book, which is hard enough. And reviews. It takes reviews. So, here I am, mentioning them, again, and saying how I'm going to do a post dedicated to the importance of reviews. And I am! It's coming soon. I promise. As I'm finding out, reviews are the most important thing! Along with how good cover art is the most important thing! And how writing a good book is the most important thing! The problem is that there really aren't any unimportant things. But, you know, since I've written a good book, and I have good (great) cover art, the next thing to deal with is getting some reviews. Then, maybe, things will move faster. Even if just a little.
Oh! and I almost forgot, I've tweaked the Brother's Keeper tab. It no longer contains the first chapter of the book but the prelude instead. No, it's not a prologue. It's more like an extended quotation that would go with the first chapter, but, because it is a little story in and of itself, I'm, for the moment, calling it a prelude.
I've also added a new tab: Tiberius. This has the first little story about Tib and will be the chapter one of this project. There's also a back story piece that I'm preparing as a separate publication as the audience isn't quite the same. Tiberius will be kid accessible (like The House on the Corner), but the short story that sets it up is most definitely not meant for kids. Look for that soon; it's called The Evil That Men Do.