Publishing… 2

I feel like I have looked at thousands of websites to do with publishing and self-publishing. They all seem to have pretty much the same information and very similar expectations. Some of the self-publishing sites seem to hark back to the old “vanity press”, who would publish anything for a fee. Some seem to be more aware that not everyone has any money to put up front.

The thing is that the profit margins on most publishing are pretty slim, and getting slimmer. Conventional publishers are still trying to find that next international best seller. They don’t seem to remember that a surprisingly large proportion of publishing houses started because someone believed in an author that none of the existing publishing houses would take a chance on.

The years when a new creative talent would be encouraged and nurtured are long gone, not just in publishing but also in music, and, I suspect, in all the other creative arts. All these “creative” industries are no longer in touch with creativity, they are focused on the bottom line (money).

My bottom line is, I don’t have any money, I have very little time, and I don’t want to be a media superstar. I just want the chance to have my voice heard by a few more people than I can reach from my front room.

Just Another Pebble On The Beach

Ok, I’ll admit it. I’m a bit at a loss. I’ve written lots of words. I think it’s coming together quite well. I’ve asked one or two people to give it a read and tell me if it makes sense. What do I do next?

I’m not going to approach an agent or publisher, as far as I can tell they all want me to 1. evaluate the competition (what competition? I’m not taking part in a race); 2. write an evaluation of my own book, an overview, a blurb, a biography… it goes on; 3. tell them what it’s genre/category (and dewy decimal number, not really) should be; 4. create a web presence with a following of thousands (sure, I have nothing else to do and a budget of millions… not.).

I’m not sure what they’re offering me in return, but as far as I can tell the only thing they’ve got, that I might want access to, is a distribution network. Like I said, I’ll pass. I’ll go for what used to be called the “vanity press”, it’s now more flatteringly called “self publishing”.

I have to say I find the whole idea intimidating, but I didn’t write all those words just to leave them on my computer. I admit I wrote them for me. I wrote them because I wanted to get straight in my mind about what I dislike about the world the way it is, and how I feel we could make it better.

I’d love to change the world. I don’t expect to. I’d be chuffed to blazes if I helped one person feel better about themself. Even more thrilled if one person started to explore permaculture because of me.

We are all small pieces of a large jigsaw. We can maybe cause a small change in the jigsaw pieces that touch ours. In other words, we can only influence as far as the reach of our arm. I’d love to create a small ripple, to add to the ripples created by the people I admire. So that between all of us, in our own unique ways, we can cause a tidal wave to change the way society is.

So, one more book to read that challenges the status quo, one more contribution to a possible alternative culture. Just another pebble on the beach.