Michelle Knight. Writer, photographer, programmer, truck driver and general, all round nut case. Life is a journey and that's what this blog will probably end up being. Let's see where we go, eh? ;-)
My most sincere apologies to the memory of John Ashley...
In 1995 a novice writer was sent to Coventry for a script that should never be written.
She promptly escaped from an unsecured city to the South East of England.
Today, still un-noticed by anyone, she survives as a writer of fortune.
If you have a manuscript,
If no one else can help,
And if you can find them...
Then maybe you can hire...
The Book team...
Star Wars "A-Team" opening - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWR0_0YaEzI
No joke. Sometimes it does feel like me against the world and the authorities of, "good taste," are coming for me.
But these days, an author has a choice. Self-publish is no longer the stamp of failure on an author considered not good enough to sign to a traditional publisher. Yes, that preconception still exists in some quarters, but it is dying. Now, it is about material, price and publicity.
However, I am with a traditional publisher and there are a few benefits.
If I spot a pirate on the web, I just point the publisher at them. They've got legal resources that I haven't. I can get on with writing.
The book world is a nightmare. When you step out of the comfort of being an author, there are ISBN numbers to deal with for a start. They have access to sales avenues that I wouldn't have on my own, such as the ability to print books and get them in to shops and mail order catalogues. I ain't got that. They have an already existing audience who come to them for other authors, so I'm automatically on the radar of a pre-existing customer base.
The other thing is ... I can talk with them. If I've got an issue, need to run something past them, I can do it; allowing for their busy routine dealing with other authors, of course. You can't get that sort of thing from Amazon.
OK, some things get a little longer, as the income stream has to go through their system as well, which can add extra time before cash lands on my doormat; especially from services like Amazon because according to law the customer has the right to return and thus could un-sell the book, but that's not a big problem at the moment. The publisher also has a PO Box that I can use for official correspondence and services. That means I can use something like Mail Chimp without having to give my personal home address. I can also access other resources of theirs if they offer them (and they have!)
It doesn't excuse me from pressing the flesh. I can't just leave my book with them and do a runner. There is a lot of hard work that has to be put in if I want to actually be a successful writer and earn reasonable money, as opposed to just writing for pleasure and the chance of the small change. They have taken the burden off me in terms of getting cover art organised, (although I'm involved in the process, obviously) and getting the book out there and registered on various services; but it is my work and if I ever get as far as building up a fan base, it is my responsibility to look after them and give them what they want ... me; and that's something that my publisher can never do!
I still speak for me. I am not excused from my responsibilities for what I do and say.
The long story short is that the publisher takes some burdens off my shoulders and brings their experience, advice, existing customer base and sales channels to the table.
What about a publicist and agent? At the moment, for someone of my level, no. I don't think I've got a body of work out there yet that is worthy of having fans. It will take at least the first ARC to be up and running before I can even think of this; and even then, my publisher might have ideas and suggestions on this path. Effectively, the lone book isn't worth pushing forward; I need the story to be there, and that's going to require more of the ARC to be available for people to get stuck in to. Pointless hiring a publicist when there's not that much to publicise! (I hope that book 2 will be out this week, or sometime next week.)
But the long story short is that I get more from being with a publisher than I do from being with Amazon. More opportunities, for a start. However, that's my choice and one that I would repeat if I were offered the same decision again.
At the end of the day ... we're a team.