The Black Hole of Publishing -or- An Author’s Progress Report
Scientists tell us the nearest black hole is at the center of the Milky Way, though from personal observation I know them to be wrong. Here on planet Earth one exists; it hovers throughout the publishing industry, sucking all creativity, business sense and light out of the literary universe.
As stated in a previous blog, having failed to find any signs of intelligent life in the publishing world, I opted to go the independent publishing route. Yet information as to how to go about this seemingly was also absorbed into the black hole. If you want to test my hypothesis, try to find book sales info as to anything on the best seller list. So for what it is worth, here are some of my experiences, so that those coming after me can benefit from any success I may have—or learn from my mistakes.
Step one was of course writing the book. I have written several, so the first task was deciding which one to put forth. I chose Knight to King 4: The Fischer-Kasparov Match, because I like the story, I like chess, I would like to replicate in some small way the excitement that existed at the time of the Fischer-Spassky match, and given the demographics if I wait much longer, no one will be around who knows of Bobby Fischer. Moreover I am convinced that if trad publishing ever had an original thought about marketing, it died of loneliness. Chess fan sites offer a niche to marketing efforts.
Next step was to simultaneously pursue several courses. Selecting an editor, an artist for the cover design, a conversion service to transfer my Word document to e-book and digital formats, and a distributor (Amazon) came next. At the same time I developed a mailing list (mostly of fellow chess enthusiasts), designed an author website, and began blogging. Nothing of galactic significance (in keeping with the scientific theme of this blog’s introduction), but common/business sense steps that timidly go where traditional publishing houses seemingly fail to go.
Then it was on to publication and the rest, as they say, is history.