11
Jul 09

Why My Next Book May Very Likely Not Be Self-Published

I’m an indie author. Or self-published author … or whatever it is you call someone who wrote a book and decided to publish it through channels other than the traditional ones. At least, that is, as far as my debut novel, The Trouble With Being God, goes.

As you probably know, I’m working on my next book – albeit a bit slowly (we just had our second son, so I am obliged to take a break). This second book is definitely superior to my first – and is a rather marked departure from the contents of my first (there are no murders – so far). But the biggest difference with the new book is that I am probably not going to publish it myself.

Obviously I don’t have anything against indie publishing. After all, I’ve been waving the indie flag for quite a while now. But the thing is, indie publishing has a specific purpose and that purpose was to let books like The Trouble With Being God exist. It wasn’t a regular book – and I definitely took some big risks in the way I wrote it. I never expected it to be a huge success (and so far it hasn’t been) but the goal with that book was to write the story I wanted to tell – even though it wasn’t likely to be a hit with any sort of mainstream audience (in fact, I expected the ending to probably piss a lot of people off. It did – and for those of you who felt cheated, I’m sorry). Still, indie publishing is made for that kind of thing – trying something new to put it out there when traditional channels just aren’t ready to take that kind of financial risk. Continue reading →


16
Mar 09

Really New Think for Old Publishers

Yesterday afternoon here at South by Southwest (SXSW) I had the chance to sit in on a panel featuring Clay Shirky (author of Here Comes Everybody) and several key members of the traditional book publishing world, including representatives of Penguin and Bloomsbury, titled New Think for Old Publishers.  Unfortunately this panel had very little think involved, as the first half of the panel basically consisted of introductions, descriptions of favorite books recently read and attempts to reinforce the importance of the beaurocratic system traditional publishers work in (and why this model is essential for book readers).  It wasn’t until the second half of the single hour allotted for the conversation that the audience was told the publishers weren’t here with “new think” but instead wanted to get ideas from the audience.  What ensued was quite a show of vitriol from the audience.

Rather than get into the details of the audience discussion (you can get the gist from the Twitter discourse or  can get the overview from MediaLoper), I want to discuss a bit the bigger point the publishing industry doesn’t seem to be getting – they no longer hold the keys to the kingdom. Continue reading →


30
Dec 08

Why I Don’t Like Reading Books

As a person who loves reading and has bought and read literally thousands of books, I never thought I’d say it, but I don’t like reading books anymore. It’s not that I don’t enjoy reading stories, or novels, nonfiction, etc. – it’s that I don’t like reading books.  That’s right, the ink-on-paper all bound in one big lump of dead tree things.  I can’t stand them.

Ever since getting my Kindle I’ve become more and more accustomed to reading on its e-ink display. For a while it was all I read on (other than the computer, but I refuse to read full-length novels on a computer screen). Sure, at first it took a bit of getting used to: holding a hunk of plastic and not having the feel of paper beneath my fingers, but when I started reading a new book (who shall remain nameless), it simply was not available for Kindle – so I had to read it in dead-tree form.  I hated it.

Continue reading →