As a writer, I’m often asked to address groups. It always puzzles me, why anyone would believe that because you write, you can also talk. The two are totally different abilities. In fact, if a writer is deep into a project, friends and family will readily report that spoken communication is well nigh impossible.
Now add in self publishing. The writer, a self admitted right brain creature, is expected to navigate complex left brain functions in order to get his book up on Amazon. Sweating and swearing, often resorting to outside help from someone with a techie bent, he finally manages. There are critical comments about the formatting, but it’s a miracle the book is actually up.
But is he done? Ohhh, no. Now he finds out that he has to advertise the damned thing by tweeting, blogging, doing virtual book tours, keeping up a clever Facebook presence. And if he’s asked, giving a talk to the local book club. (See writing and talking above.)
There are enormous advantages to self publishing, and I’m grateful. But there are moments when the old system has a nostalgic appeal. It used to go like this, back in the dark ages before Amazon stepped in and made it possible to actually make a living as a writer.
The antiquated system in a nutshell:
Write the book.
Send it to an editor by special delivery at the Post Office.
After a time (like four to six months) do the inevitable revisions.
After a time (six to eight months) get the first portion of the advance
Write a short forward from the author.
Rant about the terrible cover the publisher has slapped on the book.
Write another book while waiting for the second portion of the advance.
See if it’s possible to extend one’s line of credit with the bank.