There are hundreds, if not thousands, of blogs on fiction writing, how to write a query letter, how to promote your writing, blah blah blah. Seriously, blah. Blah. Blah. I find it all very annoying.
In an earlier blog I made the analogy that we, self-publishing geniuses, are like a bunch of athletes running blindfolded in an octathalon. It is a new world for authors. And like so many early explorers we make mistakes, often very costly mistakes. E-publishing opened another portal to this new world and that has absolutely leveled the playing field for authors. Authors who had previously rejected time and time and time again by publishers are now finding themselves darlings of the self-publishing world and able to actually make a living doing what they love, writing. The idea you must have an agent and a publisher or even that there are now gatekeepers in publishing is no more.
However, with the good comes the bad. You, self-publishing genius, are now not just an author, you are a small business owner. And you have products on your shelves you must move. I find all that very annoying too, so back to my point which is, where do you start with the business and marketing side?
There is an early explorer to all that annoyance whom I believe we can all learn from. His name is J A Konrath. He writes fiction but that’s not the point. He wrote “The Newbies Guide to Publishing” and this other thing called “Be The Monkey”. Both pieces I would recommend new self-publishers (S-P’s) to read. I am not in the business of promoting another person’s promotional work because there are a lot of promotional tools out there to help a fledgling S-P’s like Dear Author, Goodreads, etc. But in his effort to be self-less to help others and document the business side of S-P’ing he has cornered the market in self-promoting. He put himself out there warts and all. (And if you don’t get that joke it’s because you haven’t read “Be the Monkey”. Read it now though.) Clever, clever monkey this Mr. Konrath and I give his efforts two opposable thumbs up. In all that sludge out there on “how to fill in the blank” I think he is your first stop in this octathalon.
But all this gushing over Clever Mr. Konrath is not going to stop me in making fun. I can’t help it, it’s like a sickness with me. Of course on my initial read of “Be the Monkey” I missed the bigger premise of the piece, of course. And my first thought while I read it was, ‘Wow, what a couple of assholes’. All that bragging and shit – ‘just two fella’s sittin’ around bullshittin’ about the biz’. That is so not how my conversation with J A Konrath would go.