The world of publishing is changing day by day. Even though we have yet to reach the point when it will be completely passé and an act of sheer hubris to have a book in print on paper from trees there are still some incredible developments in how we think about being writers. While the majority of people are still buying their books at Amazon (though this now includes e-books) and Barnes and Nobles many writers are experimenting with self-publishing, small houses, and e-books. I'm fairly new to thinking about the world of publishing in any but the conventional sense. The author in my family went the route of all traditional writers - getting the agent, getting the book deal with the traditional publishers, book rights, movie deals, and so forth. That is until the misfortunes of the publishing world started to catch up with them and their last book remained under the bed for years. At some point they seized the opportunity to publish and promote on their own, which then led to a brand new agent and a brand new book deal, movie rights, and the whole circus show started up again. Once again this author, who just wants to write, not being a publisher and marketer, is caught up in the turgid state of the current publishing climate with all the hurdles and handicaps that entails. Of course the check is bigger when it comes, if it comes.
I have always been humble in their face of their success and chilled by their obstacles. I had decided to take up the option of self-publishing in the event I ever finish my book. In the mean time, for the last ten years or more, I have been writing my collaborative fiction with a group of fun writers online at my community site. You know the links if you have been reading this blog at all. My thought this morning was to realize that in my own fashion I have very much been a published author for the last ten years - even if my writing has not appeared in any kind of traditional format. Right now I'm reposting (with small edits) a number of my stories at my fiction blog, publishing them in a new location, as it were, and hoping for a wider audience, but the fact is that I have been publishing them online for years, and have been fortunate to have a small but very loyal following. I don't have royalty checks but I have always considered my writing to be part of what I do to make my collaborative fiction and role play community an attractive place for writers and readers to participate in.
It's a fun and invigorating realization - removing some of my self-esteem issues. That I prefer, for the larger part, to write collaboratively should not be something to hide or denigrate. It's a powerful new form of literary expression and I'm very proud to be part of the early history of such storytelling. Vive le Internet!