I did an interview today on The Readdicts to help get the word out about my crowdfunding campaign to publish the novel Identity Theft. I ended up talking quite a bit about the business of publishing and why, I think, we’ve reached a tipping point where it makes more sense for career-minded writers to publish themselves, at least for certain kinds of books.
After 15 books or so with traditional publishers, going it alone does make me a bit nervous. But the slow pace of the traditional publishing world started to get to me. I have been extremely prolific since Angel came out, but you’d never know it based on what has been published. Publishers are overwhelmed with submissions, each book takes months to make, and there is no way to make that beast turn quickly. Your momentum as an artist is always being stalled and your career momentum– your ability to make a living, gets stalled too. So I would like to be able to share what I make on my own time table. Musicians discovered years ago that they were better off putting out their own music than trying to get the big labels to do it. Even big stars have their own labels now. There are some projects that I wouldn’t want to do on my own, and I’m sure I’ll keep working with traditional publishers. But for something like this, I’m going to take my destiny into my own hands.
If you support the notion that people in the arts deserve to be paid for their work, I would like to invite you to be a job creator by placing an advance order for Identity Theft. A lot of people besides the author go into making a professional quality book. You need a talented editor, cover designer, and layout person. These are all artists in their own rights. One of the consequences of the big publishing houses consolidating and more and more books being self-published is that the market for behind-the-scenes book creators is increasingly made up of self-published authors who are, themselves, operating on a shoestring. This drives the price for their work down and makes it harder for them to make a living.
The literary crowdfunding site Pubslush has a two tiered system. You select a minimum and an upper level goal. (I don’t call it a maximum because it can be surpassed if there is sufficient enthusiasm.) Identity Theft has hit its minimum goal. This is exciting because it means the book will be made, but it means it can only be made on a shoestring. Predictably some of the urgency of the campaign faded when it hit this milestone. For the book to be made to the standard I would like, and for everyone involved to be compensated as the professionals they are, we need to hit that upper goal. There are only five days left.
There is a very simple way for you to become a job creator. All you have to do is go to Pubslush and order a book. The funding levels on the project correspond to the price of a book, you can order an ebook for $10 or a print book for $15. As soon as it is finished you will be one of the first on your block to have one. You will also know that in this simple way you have acted as a patron of the arts.