Monday, June 22, 2009

Posting Your Novel Online...

From Alan Rifkin for LA WEEKLY:

So I ended a kind of dysfunctional, common-law marriage to an agent who’d spent five years not committing to my book. The agent had said, “The problem seems to be that I can’t decide ultimately if this is a great novel or just a novel with great writing in it.” He said everything but No. On the day I broke it off, he wrote that I was more than justified, for he still couldn’t commit to the novel — but that he wasn’t absolutely sure, and, “I might even be talked out of this position.” It freed me. I finally got the joke.

Then came the cosmic avalanche. Out of nowhere, I met Jerry Burgan, co-founder of We Five, the electro-folk ’60s band that recorded my all-time favorite song (“You Were On My Mind”), and we began collaborating on Burgan’s memoir. When I told him I was going to post my full novel online, he offered me an original song to accompany it. I heroically resisted tainting my literary work with a stunt like that.

Except that it just made so much sense. The novel is, after all, about a country rocker.

3 comments:

Eric Cattani said...

This is the future for most authors. Agents and publishers will continue to draw back their clientele and let the most topical current events determine what few titles they’ll put to print. Genre authors will need to embrace the mentality and spirit of independent filmmakers when marketing their own works. They'll have to find ways to garner exposure through an interactive online presence. Authors like J.C. Hutchins and Scott Sigler have tapped into their own niche markets, but have only scratched the surface of its full potential. Once authors understand that the traditional publisher is no different than
Sony Music, they’ll see the open field of opportunity that lies before them. It will be the ones who do more than write who succeed in the future world of books.

S. Harlan Cone said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
S. Harlan Cone said...

I don't understand the problem some authors have with self publishing. I've seen some of them justify the gatekeeper structure because it keeps the mess out or whatever, but its really about financing.

It's damned expensive to self publish. It's a risk. But that means a precious few control the flow of content. Used to be that you needed people with money to make your work shiny, but its getting easier via the Lulu's and such. But most businesses are about creating a product, presenting it to the public and if its good it might succeed. If it sucks, it might also succeed because there's no accounting for taste. But that's business and it's also art. So I don't see the problem if the world has come up with ways to do it yourself.

Whether you're an author or a pie maker, if you want to do it professionally you want to make money - you are no different from one another. Get off your high horse.

Make it. Do your best. See what happens. Life is full of these risks. You learn that with entrepreneur parents.