1. Welcome to the Fantasy Writing Forums. Register Now to join us.

Don't Publish That Book!

Discussion in 'Publishing' started by Steerpike, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    11,360
    3,793
    413
    Article from Forbes: Don't Publish That Book! - Forbes

    What can I say about it? The author is right. The plethora of bad self-published offerings bears her out.
     
    MariMidnight, Devor and BWFoster78 like this.
  2. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    4,369
    948
    113
    I agree completely.

    Thanks for posting this.
     
  3. Aosto

    Aosto Sage

    222
    15
    18
    Although I do plan to self publish my first novel. I plan to heavily edit and have it edited before hand
    I have several beta readings will to rip it apart. Some for grmatical and formating, others for story consistency and readability.
    I agree that one should not rush to publish. At the same time I think k it wise to publish your first after heavy editing. Regardless of how well you think the story is. If you don't put your name out there, if you think "it's not good enough" then it will never be.
     
  4. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    4,369
    948
    113
    You will continue to improve your writing your entire life (assuming that you keep with it). At any point you publish, you'll always be able to have done better if you had waited. It is important to pull the trigger when it's ready. I think the point is to attain a certain level of professional quality. It's pretty easy to find friends proficient enough to edit it for grammar and to proof read it.

    It's also important, however, to have someone evaluate it and tell you if it's good enough from a story standpoint. If you don't have a friend in the publishing industry who can do this for you, pay the couple of hundred dollars for a manuscript evaluation.
     
  5. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

    2,888
    496
    83
    There's one thing I object to in this article. What's wrong with black velvet cloaks?
     
  6. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    8,006
    3,740
    313
    It's cliche garb for an opulent vampire.
     
  7. Mindfire

    Mindfire Istar

    2,888
    496
    83
    But what if it's just being worn by ordinary, non-vampire aristocracy? The villain in my book is an albino count who wears richly dyed purple velvet as a sign of affluence and patriotism (purple is their national color).
     
  8. Caged Maiden

    Caged Maiden Staff Article Team

    3,599
    1,520
    163
    Oh man, you guys this article is bang on!

    When I look back at the dresses I made when I was 18... I cringe. Oh how far I've come in ... several years HAHA!

    Art is a development, of not only your skill, but your personalization of your work, whether it is sewing, writing, painting, whatever. It takes time to find your personal style, and too often I look at my writing and know it's still falling flat on its face, but some parts are getting really good. I take that as a sign there is hppe for me yet.

    We all have a road we're traveling, and for some it's just full of helpful people, with empty pickup truck beds, but for me, it is a sort of twisty, disorienting road, and I'm meandering, loving the scenery. It's going to take me a while before I'm ready to get to the end, but I'm loving the road!

    I don't want to live with the regret of stamping my name on something that I don't think is the best I can do, so for me, time isn't a concern. But then, I'm not an impatient youth, I'm an experienced woman who has seen the results of rushing in the past.

    Thanks for posting this Steerpike. It was fun to read, and encouraging to be reminded that everyone started somewhere.
     
  9. So what? I hate these articles, they are utterly pointless. They only serve to salvage the original author's rapidly diminishing feeling of superiority in the face of a wave of people writing things who DON'T ACTUALLY CARE WHAT HE OR SHE THINKS.

    So you have to ask yourself, why do you care what other people are doing? Write your own stories and focus on them. Stop trying to shame everyone else out of the way so you get a better playing field. That's not how it works, and it's TOO LATE.

    The floodgates have opened, the barbarians are flooding the city walls, and at this point everyone just has to deal with it. For every good story there will be five hundred misspelled "epics" that are thinly-veiled BDSM fanfic adaptations of cross-dressing vampires fighting dragon hookers while being pursued by a grizzled faerie cop.[1] And then following that up will be 1000 variations of someone desperately trying to tell their life story, which might actually be sad and moving and heart rending if it wasn't so badly written it feels more like a mashup of an essay on what they did last summer and a stereotypical 13-year old girls Double Secret Journal of Really Important Thoughts, decorated with sparkles and pictures of unicorns.[2]

    There's no getting over it or past it, and people can complain on Forbes all they like but the can is open, the worms are out, you might as well go fishing.

    -----
    [1] Note to self: write this.
    [2] Note to self: give this one a pass.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2012
    Kit and Aosto like this.
  10. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    4,369
    948
    113
    Yeah, there's no reason to go on the internet and complain about what other people are doing.

    Wait, didn't you just... :)
     
  11. Yes I did! I'll grant you the point and acknowledge the irony, but my point still stands.
     
  12. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    4,369
    948
    113
    Sorry. Couldn't resist, though I probably could have tried harder :)

    Anyway, I can sort of see the author's point.

    There seems to be two types of people who self publish: those who honor the development of writing craft and those who rush to get something out there.

    In any human endeavor, those who work hard and struggle to accomplish goals look down with derision and anger at those who seek to take shortcuts. The same is true in writing. I want to make sure that my work is a good as it can be before I release it, and, if an editor tells me it's not ready, I'll wait until it is.

    I get your point about tilting at windmills, though. There's nothing that I, or the author of the piece, can do about it.

    I think, however, there is value in putting it out there that an author harms both themself and other authors by publishing prematurely.
     
  13. Yeah, I don't come from there.

    There's a very famous photo of a hand-written poster hanging in (I think) Malcom McLaren's SEX shop in the 70s, during the birth of the punk rock movement. The poster has three chords scrawled out in very badly done tablature, and under it are the words NOW START A BAND.

    Punk rock in the 70s had some absolute crap. And it birthed some of the greatest music I've ever heard. And it all came from the same place--a raw, undisciplined energy that flipped the "v" to all the labels who were acting as gatekeepers for proper, sellable music.

    There are people who hate punk rock and say it's all crap. And they can think what they like, but it was raw and vulgar and brilliant and even the people who came after who weren't punk were still defining themselves by what punk did (by explicitly NOT doing that). And I see absolutely no difference between that and this. Yes, parents, we HAVE come for your children, and there's nothing you can do about it.
     
  14. BWFoster78

    BWFoster78 Myth Weaver

    4,369
    948
    113
    Different strokes for different folks.

    There are a lot of struggles at play here:

    Art vs commerce
    Following rules vs going with the flow
    Just do it vs planning

    I don't see that either of us would be able to move the other's viewpoint an iota.
     
  15. No, but we'll never stop trying. ;-)
     
  16. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    8,006
    3,740
    313
    Chris, I don't understand the point you are trying to respond to. Most self-published work needs more work, and marketing online takes a tremendous amount of time - especially the way most go about it. The same is - has always been - just as true in music, punk rock or otherwise. Success doesn't happen just because you're crazy and different. You still need to take the extra time to do things well. It takes a ton of work.

    Like it or not, skipping traditional "gatekeepers" means that you are publishing from their slushpile, or at least seen as doing so. That's a huge image deficit that you need to jump past.
     
  17. Well it wouldn't be the first time that people were unable to understand my rants. But my guess is you didn't hear the dogwhistle that went off about those great hordes unwashed writers and how they should go away and make more room for the Serious Authors Who Are Serious About Authoring.

    The image deficit I have with readers is legit and something I need to fix. My image deficit with the Serious Authors Who Are Serious About Authoring means jack all to me, other than the fact that they keep bringing it up, and people I like keep bringing it up in turn.
     
  18. The Dark One

    The Dark One Auror

    1,042
    459
    83
    Couldn't agree more Christopher. (And I think your punk analogy is bang on.)

    No doubt what we will eventually see is someone finding a way to really make a lot of money out of the new publishing paradigm like...erm...amazon?

    Seriously, I suspect there must be a way for self-published writers to find some sort of decent forum/audience outside the traditional publishing route. Malcolm McLaren could have done it on his ear.
     
  19. Steerpike

    Steerpike Felis amatus Moderator

    11,360
    3,793
    413
    Let me just say:

     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 10, 2017
  20. Devor

    Devor Fiery Keeper of the Hat Moderator

    8,006
    3,740
    313
    While you have a point, I don't agree that the article was an example of that. Despite the title, the first line of the article says that self-published stories are just published too soon.
     
Loading...

Share This Page