Friday, January 27, 2012

On Writing and Art in General

I follow a fair amount of writer's blogs. Blogs by writers. People who write books/novels. I've noticed a few posts here and there about the "industry" and "market" and how its killer and all this and that. It got me thinking about writing. What it means to me. The ART of writing. Because it is an art. Just as much as painting, music, or photography.

The thing that bothered me the most about these posts that I read is that this so called "market" seems to sort of kill the art of it. All these rules and guidelines and corporate bullpoo. Art shouldn't have restrictions. It shouldn't have "genres". (the only genres there should be is "I like it" and "I don't like it" and leave it at that.) Publishers want it done their way and their way only. To me that isn't art. That is taking someones creation, their dream and distorting it into something unrecognizable. Which destroys the entire purpose of it in the first place.

And also the writer gets huge chunks taken out of any profit they might make. That doesn't seem right to me at all. I don't believe publishers do enough to merit what they take. If you haven't picked up on it yet I'm a "self-publish-market-generally-do-it-yourself" kind of guy. If I can't do it on my own steam then why am I doing it. If I just ship it off for some stranger to "polish" up and pick apart am I really doing it for the reasons I set out to? Yes self-publishing and self-marketing and self-editing (and any other self done aspect) means that you may have to stay up late. Or spend a couple more hours online spreading the word. Networking. Getting your name out there. But I know that anybody would rather have the feeling of having done it all yourself in the end (well maybe not the greedy ones out there). Me? I'd rather work hard and sell only 10 copies. Then basically give away my work to some publisher and sell more.

And with ereaders becoming more and more popular. And sites like Smashwords (not to mention Amazon and Barnes and Noble and more I'm sure) that make it very, very easy to publish an ebook self-publishing is so much easier than it ever has been. Yes I know that I talked about getting a chuck of your money taken and I know Smashwords does take a very small portion of each book sale but all you have to do is upload it and they get it all set up with a multitude of sites. Or I'm sure that it is just as easy to make your ebook yourself (in any format) and host it on your own site. Something that I am going to look into at some point.

Well, I'm going to leave it at that. I'm sure it's confusing enough and I probably contradicted myself more than once but that's natural when your me!

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