Northern Haunts has officially been released. Buy a copy at Amazon or Shroud's website as the profits go to the American Cancer Society. I'm pleased that my work could be part of this project.
I have a jumbled stew in my brain right now, so have patience. Yesterday's NY Times article about the state of self-publishing only served to stir the pot. Thankfully, I don't use this many overdone metaphors in my own stories. (usually)
One other integral part of my brain stew is a Brian Keene interview in the latest issue of Cemetery Dance. Jeremy D. Brooks addressed part of the interview on his blog. The bit that stuck with me (other than the evil of Wal-Mart) was that Keene discussed spending his advance for a book on promoting that book. Mid-listers (and I'm paraphrasing here) receive little or no cash or support for book promotion, so it is all up to the writer.
I'm a terrible salesman. I hate promoting anything (except reading and writing); that's why I became a public school teacher. The students are a captive audience and I really believe in my product.
Look, I love writing. I do. I've talked about the therapeutic qualities of sitting down in front of my computer and hammering out a story. I just don't know if I have the marathon legs to keep running the hamster wheel if/when I have a book published. (fingers crossed here that a book of mine ever would be published)
The benefit, it seems, to receiving a book deal from a major house is that one would have the advance money to spend on promotion. This won't be the case with self-publishing or smaller presses.
Aimee (my wife) is a guidance counselor at a local high school (not the one where I work, thank God; that would be too weird). She had a student come in to her office who was interested in becoming a writer. I remember being starry-eyed, thinking: gee, once I get that book dealtm, I'll be set for life. Wow, was I ever naive.
The kids at school are definitely creating and consuming in a different way than I do. I don't think they feel the same about self-publishing. Maybe I should take a poll, but I can tell the times are a'changing. I'll always be a digital immigrant. They are the natives, and the future.
I'm not sure what to make of all this...stuff. Just my thoughts at the moment. Nobody ever said it would be easy, and the illusion that it is easy for guys like Keene, writers who have "made it", is only now beginning to crumble. Bye bye, illusion.
Writing is hard work, folks, for the published and the unpublished. It seems the game board is only becoming more slippery, at least in my mind.