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Take Part or Be Taken Apart April 16, 2011

Posted by bobv451 in conventions, e-books, inventions, iPad, iPhone, movies & TV, sci-fi, Star Trek, VIPub, web & computers.
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The opportunity to be a part of a significant change in publishing is within each of our grasps. I am not unduly surprised after listening to a lot of writers that they want to be “taken care of,” as Kris Rusch puts it in a recent blog. Let the legacy publishers do it all I just want to write. Or so goes the way of thinking.

Would that it be that way (again). Perhaps it once was but not in the past 50 or so years. Business might have gotten in the way of nurturing an author, “bringing them along,” turning out books intended to last a lifetime and longer. You may argue among yourselves if this was ever a goal for publishers.

Making money is good. Publishers want to make money. But they shouldn’t do it by robbing the writer. VIPub lets anyone be everything from the ground floor up, and admittedly this can be intimidating. Somehow, making money off your own work is anathema in some circles. I want to make money off my words. Lots of money. At least more than I am now. And it seems that giving the legacy publishers 90% isn’t the best way to approach it anymore.

It used to be the only game in town, but then at one point there were maybe a 100 publishers who might look at your work. The Big 6 is it now, with lots of niche publishers (whose number is growing to take up the slack). A lot more if you count authors working to write, publish, market and sell their own work.

A recent “discovery” of mine was how simple it is for an author to accept credit cards for a sale. Not talking PayPal, but a company that provides for free a tiny gadget that will plug into your smartphone or iPaddy and accept credit cards if you can get a wifi or 3G connection. Movable stores. Great for cons. Another piece of the foundation of an author becoming independent of both publishers and bookstores.

I admit I wish all I had to do was write, but during my sordid past I’ve been involved in running a good-sized business and know the basics (I was also terrible at the PR and ate valium by the handful–it saved my life when the business was sold and I had to do something else. Like write.) Authors who don’t learn business, learn what it takes to be independent will be taken apart by those who do.

That leaves more space for me, but I am not a zero-sum thinker. The more the merrier. Get on with being a part of the VIPub writing revolution or be a footnote in history (if you’re lucky).

Tip of the hat to Chuck for this one posted on FB. Brent Spiner is doing visually what seems to be a good idea to do written–serial fiction. Give this a look (and especially episode 2–the plot is both funny and promises to give Dr Horrible a run for his money as a fan favorite).

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