Publishing — Birthday, Book Release, Self-Publishing Adventure Part 4

Stuart JaffeStuart Jaffe
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Any of you who have been reading this blog during the last few weeks knows that today is a big day for me (thank to Faith for letting me use her normal post spot this week).  For one, it’s my birthday.  Not just any birthday, either.  This is one of the big ones.  Four-Oh.  Yup, I’m hitting 40 today and while I can’t afford a Porshe for a proper mid-life crisis (well, I’m really not a car guy, anyway, so that would be wasted on me), I figured I should do something to re-affirm that I still have life left in me.  Which, as I’m a writer, quite naturally means publishing something.  Since I also had planned to release 10 Bits of My Brain around this same time, the two seemed to call out for each other.

Which brings us to the other big part of today.  Yes, my short-story collection, 10 Bits of My Brain is now officially released and available as an ebook for the Kindle or Nook.  It has a wonderfully entertaining introduction by our own David B. Coe, seven previously published stories, and three all-new tales — and each story is concluded with a short thought or memory of writing or selling the piece.

This has been a fascinating experience so far — one that has been both frustrating and exhilarating at times.  It has also brought with it a lot of emotion.  Not just in myself but in the various talks I’ve had with different people.  Many authors feel strongly for or against the whole ebook thing, worrying about how they’ll be seen in the writing community and whether this new form of self-publishing is akin to the old, dirty word form “self-published.”

But here’s the thing — I did it, and I’m still the same guy.  My writing is no better or worse for having self-published.  Because the real secret truth in publishing right now is that nothing has really changed as dramatically as we all seem to think.  Don’t get me wrong.  Change is afoot and the publishing world is reacting to it.  But it all makes me think of any Democrat vs Republican story coming out of Washington.  If you just listen to the politicians and those reporting the news, you’d think every American was ready to burn down his neighbor’s house over some minor issue.  Of course, that’s not the case.  While there are people who are very passionate and some who are very partisan, the majority of Americans run along the middle of the spectrum and understand the idea of compromise.  So it is with publishing.

There are some who say you must go the traditional route to be considered a writer — anything less is worthless.  There are some who think there is an ebook “revolution” happening that will topple the big publishers forever.  But these are the extremes, and the extremes rarely, if ever, occur.  People tend to push the other way when things go too far in one direction.  Besides, the truth is that most writers simply want some validation, some money, and above all some readers.  It will take awhile for the dust to settle with ebooks, but when it does, I think the typical writer’s career will include a little of everything — some ebooks, some small press, and for some, the big press.  All are valid, if done right.  All can bite you hard, if done wrong.  So, here’s to hoping we do it right.

In the case of today’s release, I’ll get an answer quickly through direct feedback in terms of sales and reviews.  And that, of course, is dependent on you all.  So, if you want to give me a 40th birthday present, you know what to do (here are some links to make it easy — Kindle, Nook)!  And after you’ve read the book, leaving a review is much appreciated.  But even more than that, if you really want to help me — tell a friend or two about the book.  Because whether your self-pubbed, small press pubbed, or big press pubbed, word-of-mouth is still the #1 way of getting books sold.  And that goes for all of us.  Telling your friends about the great works of David, Faith, Misty, AJ, and Edmund makes a huge difference — especially if you want us to keep writing for you.  After all, the writer-reader relationship is symbiotic.  We need each other!  (told ya things hadn’t changed that much)

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22 comments to Publishing — Birthday, Book Release, Self-Publishing Adventure Part 4

  • mudepoz

    Happy Birthday! Great cover, though I’m generally reluctant to let my students view things I may see as future exam answers. Honestly, do you think I should accept witches as the answer for a gyri?
    Okay, now that I have it, will you sign it? No, I’m NOT sending my library to you to get it signed.
    That’s really my only gripe with e media, my lab books went that way a while ago. As to self publishing, if you can get people to realize it’s out there, what is the issue? I think that there is a certain negative mindset due to the bad taste of vanity press. Obviously they are not always the same. The investment, for one.

    Goodreads has made its own inroads in the way people read. As an aside, I discovered that what I don’t review is as crucial as what I do. Sometimes I forget to review something on my To Read list. Or, I can’t think of anything to say, but leave it up. Didn’t realize that some people actually notice such things. I won’t review anything less than 5 stars, it’s not worth my time.

    It’s telling, when an author friends me, then sends lists of To Read lists, yet never reviews them. Ah…the publicity trap.

    Good Luck! (Something ELSE in my To Read box!)

  • Happy birthday, Stuart! And happy book release day! I’m looking forward to reading your stories.

  • Congrats Stuart! Happy birthday and release day!!

  • Happy Birthday, Stuart! And congrats! I read the first three stories last night and this morning – great stuff. The World Through Patrick is amazing, a really beautiful, moving story. Best of luck on your self-pub adventure!

  • mud — Thank you. Um…Maybe I should have included a note on the cover that some labels may not apply to all brains. :) As for the signing, thing … it is a drawback. Perhaps the days of autograph books will come back. Enjoy the book!

    Misty and Kalayna — Thank you and thank you.

    John — I’m thrilled that you’re enjoying my work so much. Thanks for your support!

  • I blogged recently on my own site about self-pub (mostly my views, hesitation, and general waffling) after reading a heartening blog from Robin Sullivan: ( http://publishingperspectives.com/2011/06/self-published-ebook-authors-earn-living/ ).

    Happy 40th! I reached the top of that hill about 3 months ago. Evidently my mid-life crisis moment was to drop the money to drive a few states over and hang out with a bunch of other writers for a weekend. ;) Bout all I can afford, alas.

    Kinda in a tight spot at the moment, but as soon as I get the extra cash I’ll be sure to pick the book up, but for now I’ll spread the word. :)

    Congrats on getting it out!

  • Happy 40th BD Stuart! It’s a great year and I loved mine. I’ll post a link on my FBs today.

  • Happy 40th book day release party birth!

  • Happy birthday, my friend, and congrats on the release of 10 Bits. Hope it’s a huge success.

  • [...] buy the book in Kindle format or Nook format, and you can read more about it from the man himself here.  I hope you’ll check it out. Posted by davidbcoe Filed in friendship, Magical Words, [...]

  • Razziecat

    Congratulations on the release! I’ll have to snap it up for my Kindle.

    And Happy Birthday! If you think this one was big, just wait until the next milestone…;)

  • Thanks to all of you for the birthday wishes and the book release wishes! And thanks to all of you that are tweeting, FBing, linking, etc, to help get the word out. It’s not even noon yet and y’all are rocking!

  • Happy Birthday, Stuart. And best of luck with the collection. I’m sure it’s terrific.

  • Stuart> Happy Birthday! Congrats! (On both the birthday and the book). Is there a way I can get the book w/o a kindle or nook? I have neither and have neither the money nor current inclination to buy one–I do have a kindle app on my phone, so I could do it that way. Is there a way to download it on my computer? (She asks because she is woefully ignorant of this whole ebook and ereader thing!)

  • Julia

    Pea Faerie, you can download a free version of the Kindle reader for PC, from Amazon’s site. I did this fairly recently, and it was quite easy. I’d recommend downloading the reader before you purchase the book, so that it automatically goes to your new Kindle reader.

    Stuart, happy birthday and happy book release day!

  • Happy Birth Day Stuart, and huge congrats on your book release.

  • AJ — Thanks and best wishes to your Macbeth release!

    pea — What Julia said. :) Also, if you’d rather, the book is available at Smashwords.com where you can download it as a PDF or TXT or other format. Not as nice to look at, IMO, but certainly serviceable. And thanks for the happy wishes and (in advance) for getting the book.

    Julia and widdershins — Thanks to you both. Enjoy the book!

  • Odd. I posted about an hour ago but it hasn’t shown up …

    Happy birthday and happy book day!

  • Ah, success!

    What I was going to say before – I don’t want to get into the self-publishing argument, but I do think that what you all had to say at “The Future of the Printed Word” panel at ConCarolinas, about having an editor, made a lot of sense. Based on everything, I don’t doubt the quality of your work. :)

    Thanks for mentioning Smashwords, Stuart. Alas, there is no Crackberry Kindle App yet available in Canada, but with Smashwords, I can get something for my phone.

  • Happy book/birthday and congrats on both, as well. My next stop is the Kindle store since I’ll need reading material tomorrow (while I sit in the OR waiting room – again). After John’s post, I’m looking forward to losing myself in a better place.
    BTW, Forty is easy! :o)

  • Laura — Thanks. And yes, just because you self-publish doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have editors. Editors are a key element to the success of any book. Enjoy the read.

    Lyn — Thanks for the support. I hope my little book helps you through a long day.

  • Happy Birthday, Stuart, and congrats on your book release day.

    Cheers,
    NGD