Wild Moon Swings

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Tramping Through the eCrap

Okay, so I haven't been posting here because I was seriously considering removing this blog, but since I plan to keep it up a little longer I may as well use it for what it was originally intended for - a place for me to rant.

So, I've been looking for an epublisher to give my novels a try. I've emailed seven. All of them responded to me in less than a day. These were the ones I shortlisted from the GIANT list of epublishers I got (also please note that I decided not to send my books to companies that publish erotica as their main product). One of them I wasted a lot of time with and they eventually said 'no' because they weren't ready to publish new original fiction (business trouble). Two said 'no' without having seen the manuscript, three said 'yes' in a way that seemed so eager that I wonder how their business is doing (their sites looked pretty dead) and the last one, I'm waiting for another email from - they seem not as pathetic as some I've seen.

So, while investigating this epublishing company, I found a forum where people were complaining about them. I read with interest. And some of the things said really bugged me - not because I love the publishing group - I don't really know them yet, but the mentality of a lot of authors just crawls under my skin and makes me mental.

For starters, one of the complaints was that when she (the writer) called the publishing company, she got someone's house. How is this weird? How many people work from home these days? People work inside restaurants, in cabs, while keeping one eye on their kid. I thought the only taboo left was talking on your cell phone while you were peeing.

The next complaint I read about was about how the author had to pay an artist for cover art that they decided not to use. I felt like screeching. The artist made the art - so pay them. You know why Mozart was poor all his life? Because he kept doing work and getting stiffed on the bill. No wonder creative people are poor if this is how they're treated. One would think a struggling author would sympathize.

Another complaint was with the editing staff, and I desperately wish they would have described their complaint in better detail. I couldn't tell if the complaint was legitimate because the woman kept describing 'hysterical' emails and phone calls. She also referred to her manuscript as 'her baby'. To me, this kind of emotional response is typical of someone who isn't really a seasoned author, but some idiot who has actually managed to string something plausible together.

Long ago, when I was just beginning to write - I remember people telling me that something or other didn't fit and so I should cut it or replace it with something else. It felt like cutting my arm off to remove it. So, now that I've written 15 books, I'm a lot better at seeing the big picture and seeing what fits, what doesn't, and why. I have removed whole chapters and replaced them with work that was just as good in itself, but a thousand times better - BECAUSE IT FIT. Of course the author's judgment isn't always admired by a critical audience.

So, an author could have a good solid row with an editor and I'm really not saying that that woman's complaints weren't justified - but panicking and throwing a huge fit? Who would want to work with an author like that? PULL IT TOGETHER.

As for me - epublishing doesn't pay much. Really - it doesn't. I find it hyper annoying when people expect to publish a book and have it make a million bucks. It's not going to happen. I've been tossing this idea in my head for awhile. Tell me what you think?

Should I?

A) Publish my books with an epublisher and make probably less than $50 a year on a novel and get the measly fan mail that apparently comes.

B) Publish for free online and get the hordes of wonderful loving fans that I've accumulated in the past?

It's a hard toss up.

Here's my point. Out of all the epublishers I deemed acceptable, I only really found four that I wanted to work with. If you want to get your stuff epublished, then don't you have to bite the bullet and take someone? There are probably going to be problems and miscommunications all over the place no matter who you take. For instance, I just wasted a year with an epublisher. Am I mad? No way. Why? Because I don't expect to be an over-night success.