Once again my computer betrayed me and wiped out three paragraphs in this article, instantly saving the changes so that I had to start over with nothing but the title and a lower case letter “u”. Soon the danged machine will probably explode scattering my words all around the bedroom and getting random punctuation in my chicken soup.
I was trying to write a post about the difficulties of becoming an “author” when my computer decided to ironically make it harder. And this goofy notion that I know anything at all about the topic came about because of a random WordPress comment that appeared on one of my old posts. I was told by the commentator that I had several posts that were good enough to go viral, and that if I wanted to make that happen and improve my “brand”, then all I had to do was Google “Jemensso’s tricks”.
Challenge accepted. I know how to Google stuff. I learned by being a tinfoil-hat-wearing conspiracy nutcase. (Did you know that you can not only find numerous well-argued sources that indicate we never actually went to the moon, and only faked the moon landings in Hollywood, but also visual confirmation that we actually did land with high resolution photos of the various landing sites taken from space telescopes this month? And those photos even show the tracks where the moon buggies traveled through the sands of the moon.) So, I first discovered that my blog is not the only blog that got this message. I found a plethora of them, some in the exact same words. And then I located this informative page HERE.
It would seem to indicate that any benefits you can get will cost you at least some money. And that is the biggest irony of being a writer who foolishly imagines that he can become something called an “author”. You end up having to pay money instead of earning it. Each of my two published novels were done with different publishers. The first was a squirrelly print-on-demand company that doesn’t charge you to print your novel. They don’t employ any editors or marketers either. It is a good way to get student work into book form, and parents will gleefully shell out the money for a copy of their darlings’ writing in book form, but it is no way to get a novel published. I could have sent them a 200 page manuscript of monkey-typing, and they would have put it in book form.
The second book, Catch a Falling Star, was done with I-Universe, a publisher that is now a branch of Penguin Books. But it is basically an Indie publisher. I had to invest my own money in the creation of the book. I had to pay the editors, proofreaders, and marketers that I got to work with. I ended up with a product that made me proud, but that I really couldn’t sell. I am still more than $6,500 short of recouping my investment. I do not recommend that path, unless, like me, you really crave the experience of working with competent, professional editors. It was worth it to me to do it once.
But now I am out of money and out of options. I led with a banner that shows I have four complete and unpublished manuscripts that I want to do something with. I am busy with three more that are past the 15,000-word threshold… where you have to consider the work for completion because it is, at that point, almost half done. Where will I go with them? What will I do with them? The answers will, I hope, eventually appear here in this goofy blog. And I am sure they will probably surprise us both.