Welcome to the new “Open Mic” Tuesday!
Today at the mic is Barbara G.Tarn. She’s talking about a subject near and dear to her heart: self-publishing.
I’ve had Tuesday’s reserved for guests for a while but I’m changing the format just a little to make it more like an open mic for one day a week.
It’s open to anyone to talk about anything – as long as it somehow relates back to the writing industry, even if that connection is faint. The speaker at the mic can be a reader, writer, or any of the multitudes of other associated professions between those two ends of the line.
I like conversation and debate. The speaker at the mic may have different opinions than mine or yours. Let’s just be civilized in our discourse.
Welcome to the spotlight, Barb!
Some tips for this brand new world of publishing
by Barbara G.Tarn
In this world of globalization being different sounds more like a bad thing than a good one. So everybody follows the rules of so-called gurus and writers lose their voice trying to please publishers, editors and that mighty thing called The Market. Unless…
Welcome to the 21st century. The gatekeepers are losing power, the readers don’t care who publishes what. They want good books, good stories, and thanks to the digital media, there’s abundance of it. Finally, there’s choice. If you’re sick of LOTR rip-offs, you can find other fantasy sagas. If you love a not-so-prolific author in a niche genre, now you can find hundreds more who might tackle that niche, feeding you the stories you were always looking for.
And that’s the reader’s side of the equation. How about writers? I think it’s a great time for writers, but we all need a few things.
1) A story you really want to tell, something you’re passionate about. If you’re not your first fan, nobody will follow. If you “write for the market”, you will fail.
2) A need to write and keep writing. Write down your story, have a few friends read it (alpha & beta readers), edit it, find a pro-editor for a final check and publish it (or submit it to the marketplace of your choice). Move on to the next story.
3) You probably need a unique voice, which might not be very good at first, but if you keep writing (and I mean writing new stories, not rewrite the same one over and over for years), you’ll find it.
4) Experiment – new stories, new ways of writing, try prose, poetry, screenwriting, just write!
5) You will evolve and that’s the beauty of it! In my teens I was very melodramatic. In my late twenties I discovered comedy, although my sense of humor is probably different from the rest of the world. Now I tend to put a little bit of everything in my stories, from all my past “phases” (the love stories, the sci-fi, the m/m romance, the fantasy, the screenplays – short, long, doesn’t matter, I’d mix genres more often if I hadn’t been scolded for putting time travel in fantasy! It’s still there, but it’s more magical and less technological, haha).
And if you don’t show your work to the world, you will never find those fans and readers you so crave for – otherwise why are you seeking publication? If you’re tired to be rejected by the gatekeepers, just go in by the “self-publishing” door. It’s not as expensive as it used to be and the digital revolution can bring your name around the world in the blink of an eye.
My social life probably resented my love for the written word – I’ve always preferred going home and write than hanging out. I’ll keep writing what I want to read, even if it’s not the hottest genre of the moment (and those market moments are even shorter than what they used to be). I’m a storyteller, and I have plenty of stories I want to share with the world.
So if you like adult unconventional fantasy, please check the world of Silvery Earth. It was created in my tweens, but has evolved much since. There are still no epic battles of good vs evil threatening the destruction of the world, but many interesting characters, usually outsiders or outcast, trying (or not) to fit in.
Readers, give the indie authors a chance. You might discover new voices the gatekeepers (traditional publishers) would have never let through. Writers, take your chances, trust your readers – let them decide if you’re good or not. A reader’s validation is worth more than any advance IMHO.
Happy discoveries in this brand new world of publishing!
Barbara G.Tarn is a writer, sometimes artist, mostly a world-creator and storyteller.
She’s been building her world of Silvery Earth for a number of years – stories, comprise shorts, novels and graphic novels.
Used to multiple projects (a graphic novel is always on the side of the prose) this year she’s publishing under three pen-names (including this) and in two languages.
Comic book, graphic novels, printed stuff: Unicorn Productions on Lulu
E-books: Smashwords author page, Author Central (Amazon) author page, Nook page on Barnes&Nobles, Barbara G.Tarn on Kobo, on XinXii and Unicorn Productions is a registered publisher on DriveThruFiction (novels) and DriveThruComics (graphic novel).
Next week’s speaker is @Lisa_Bouchard, about her early rising schedule and how she does it.
If you’d like a turn at the mic, just send me a query at the addy in my top side-bar.