Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Misadventures and Advice in the Publishing World

I was told recently that I should write a blog going over some of my own publishing follies and offer up some advice to aspiring writers…

…well, here the fuck I am.

It isn’t until you create something and try to market it that you realize just how difficult it is to get your shit out there and make something off of it.

What’s that? Create something for the sake of profit instead of just letting the creative juices flow for the sake of creativity? I’m selling out?

You’re fucking right I’m selling out, and I’ll tell all y’all why: because when you’ve been pounding the pavement for so damn long to get your work and name out there and get some kind, ANY KIND, of recognition; you really stop giving a shit about creative credibility after a while. Case in point, I’ve been an aspiring comic book writer/artist since I was 16 fucking years old. Here we are now, eleven years later, and what’s changed? That’s right, I’m still an aspiring writer, though at this point the medium I want to dabble in has expanded to just about anything I can get myself into.

Getting published is a crapshoot to say it lightly…but to put it bluntly; it’s a fucking crapshoot with AIDS. You can shop around your work as much as you can, but no matter what you’ll get the door shut in your face more often than not. Nobody gives a shit about your idea or a story you wrote, no matter how good you think it may be, and no matter how good it may in fact be after all. You know why most publishers don’t give a shit? Because they get bombarded with material from every other douche bag that fancies themselves a writer. Most of these types of people can be found in Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, or any other chain store that offers free Wi-Fi and the chance to let others see you with a laptop in front of you trying to look busy and interesting.

Since nobody gives a shit about you and your work and whatever you can compose with a pen and paper, what the fuck do you do? Well, truth be told there isn’t a whole lot you can do. You can either keep shopping your work around; hoping against hope that it piques the interest of someone, or you can go another route and just publish it yourself. That option is far from being cheap, but more often than not, if your work really is good that damn good, someone will notice it. It happens to comic book writers all the time. So many independent writers and artists alike have crafted independent comics that would catch the attention of big name companies Marvel and DC. In the literary world, it doesn’t happen as much in today’s day and age, but it does occur.

Anyway, back on point. I’ve shopped around something for so damned long that it’s starting to seem like the most fruitless endeavor in the history of ever (and no, I’m not talking about my cock being shopped around either, hardy fucking har). I wrote a short story in college as a joke more than anything, and called it “Hillbilly Holocaust” (and yes, I copyrighted the title). It’s a story that features inbred hillbillies, zombies, and a bit of the old ultraviolent revenge type of thing. After getting a surprising response from various students and faculty on campus, I decided to take it more serious and streamline it a bit, taking out the comedic elements and making it more straight-forward horror and suspense…which led to me getting an even bigger and better response from people. Since then, I’ve re-worked it (yet again) with the intention of making it into a full-blown graphic novel…something I’ve dreamed of doing for so fucking long. So I shopped it around to smaller-market comic publishers like Dark Horse, Image, Avatar Press, and a few other indie labels I’ve never heard of…

…and subsequently had the door slammed on my face in the process.

It really is a hard industry to really break through into. While Image and Dark Horse showed a surprising amount of interest, it just isn’t something they believe would work right now. Maybe they’re right…but I’m going to prove to them that they’re not right about it at all. So, I’ve decided to publish the short-story version of “Hillbilly Holocaust” to Amazon’s Kindle. I learned from a friend (and fellow aspiring author) that Amazon offers the chance to publish your work to their electronic reading device.

Hey, it’s something.

It’s also something I recommend any aspiring writer to do just to get a start. After that…well, it’s really just a matter of selling yourself. You really have to flat-out whore yourself out to get anywhere, and even when you do, you’re still not guaranteed to get anywhere. No matter what though, and this is something I learned after quite some time, don’t give up. No matter how shitty the situation seems and no matter how much someone tells you how shit your ambition and/or work is, give them the finger and keep your head up (and possibly fuck their girlfriend/wife just to get your point across) and don’t give up on what you want to do.

That’s really all the advice I can offer up for the time being…

…and oh yeah, go download “Hillbilly Holocaust” from Amazon. Even if you don’t have a Kindle, you can download it straight to your computer and read it from there. And it’ll only cost you 3 American dollars, so what the fuck is your excuse?

What’s my excuse for making a shameless plug? Well, I’m a whore…and I often act as such, that’s why.

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