Thursday, June 16, 2011

Tulkinghorn favorite forsakes the printed word

I've hesitated to express my admiration of Minister Faust's superhero parody From the Notebooks of Dr. Brain: partially because the parody may not be as clever as I (a casual and lapsed fan) think it is and partially because it contains a great deal of black power/hip-hop stuff, which may not, to understate the matter, appeal to all. ("Minister" is definitely not the writer's first name...) Think a young, less crazy Ishmael Reed.

At any rate, Faust is publishing his third novel independently on Kindle alone, and discusses it here with Jeff Vandermeer, who's a fan.

The difference between self-published and indie is that the former is anyone who just wants a physical copy of a book he’s written, and will put in minimal effort with minimal comprehension of book design, cover art, content editing, proofreading, distribution, or promotion. An indie writer wants not just control over those things, but probably wants to learn how to execute as many of them as possible and as well as possible. Using a combination of e-publication and print-on-demand, I can deliver to vast numbers of people, so long as they find out about my books in the first place. Amazon Kindle and other distribution sites tilt the balance in favour of readers. Meanwhile, using the tools and skills I do have under my control, I can promote my book, and on my estore and Amazon’s and the others, I have unlimited shelf-space with my covers always facing out, and unlimited shelf-life. I can also set the prices myself.

So what do I get for going indie? Artistic and business self-determination and the chance to earn a living for writing my own fiction.


David Chute said...

Sounds good. Do-able, even.

Christian Lindke said...

And the added job of Marketing Director! Woot! I've always wanted to beg other people to buy my stuff!

Easy to say when you have a Brand already established through the hard work of other marketers.

I admire those who have the time, and tenacity, to market themselves to success. But this is not an endeavor for everyone and there are some real benefits to traditional publishing.

Tulkinghorn said...

Depending on how well your publisher's marketing director did, you might welcome the chance to try it yourself.

David Chute said...

Most writers have to market their own books as it is and get to keep very little of the money. Companies that buy books and then fail to support them is the number one complaint of people one knows who have been published.