By Way of Introduction - NA

Discussion in 'The Book Club' started by Number7, Aug 28, 2015.

  1. Number7

    Number7 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Warning: This is not Aviation related

    Having been a writer for most of my life, I never got to enjoy writing fro fun until recently, when I dared to go all the way off the reservation. In the literary field the rules are always enforced with all the zeal of an angry feminist at a pro-life rally.
    Publishers do what they do as a lifestyle business, not a mega-profit business. Publishing isn't like Apple Computers, or Microsoft. If doesn't return billions, no matter how well its executed.
    That said, I've always chafed at the rules, and often proclaimed that the day an author published a totally anonymous work, that refused to follow any of the rules, and produced an interesting, if imperfect work, their work would be embraced by readers like nobodies business.
    Having nothing to lose, and lot of time fool around I wrote a totally unedited, adult-fiction work, and published it for free on a literary website. You do have to have an email address to read beyond the first five chapter, or so, but it is completely free, and there is never any charge, unless you choose purchase their anonymizer.
    http://storiesonline.net/s/76454/second-chance
    SECOND CHANCE has everything but the kitchen sink. Second Chance combines science fiction, drama, romance, sex, airplanes, jets, yachts, boats, houseboats, baseball, business, politics, and time travel, as well as lots of sex, crazy situations, wars, spies, and international intrigue.
    To give you an example; The main character gets hit by tractor trailer and dies on page one.
    DISCLOSURE: If you are one of those folks who cannot deal with an unedited work, do not attempt SECOND CHANCE. It will drive you nuts. Not only did I refuse to acknowledge any of the time tested rules, but I refused to edit it for anything other than gross mistakes. All typos remain just as they hit the page.
    I will confess that it is over two-thousand pages long, and has been downloaded over three point two million times in fourteen months, making it the most downloaded, free book, in history.
    If you wish to read my book, please remember it is not even close to perfect, does not follow the rules, and includes all my typos.
    Hope you try it and send me your thoughts.
    Remember you will need an email address to access all the later chapters.
    http://storiesonline.net/s/76454/second-chance
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  2. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Self aggrandizement at its finest, but I might have a look when I have a moment. Coming from an academic background I always regarded self publishing a little like having a date with your sister. But if it's good you'll have a loyal reader.
     
  3. Number7

    Number7 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I'm not sure about self-aggrandizing, but I am pretty sure it's not all that good, in the editorial sense, which gives me a perverse pleasure.
    Certainly the later chapters are far more lucid, but the middle ones were more fun. Not having to please academics, or editors was a liberating experience. Refusing to edit or allow it to be edited was pure ego on my part. I literally just wanted it that way and couldn't care less about the outfall.
    As for self-publishing, I don't consider a giveaway download to be publishing, any more than I consider the work to be quality. As hard as it might be to understand, I loved turning my back on the rules, to see what I could come up with and what would come of it. Never dreamed it would have a lot of downloads.
     
  4. SCCutler

    SCCutler Administrator Management Council Member

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    I'll look forward to reading it. Takes guts to just drop it out there...
     
  5. Number7

    Number7 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks for the vote of confidence. It was certainly liberating not to follow the hard and fast, old rules. For instance, we are told that an author should never mix multiple genres together. Well, so much for that. Second Chance has everything except pigmy, Buddhist monks, living in sin, in Hollywood.
    The story gets much more interesting about seven chapters in, I am told.
    Hope you enjoy it.
     
  6. steingar

    steingar Touchdown! Greaser!

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    To be honest, read chapters 1-7 last night and wasn't quite hooked. I'll probobly read some more later. I understand what you mean by tossing the rules aside to see what you can do. I'm rather lucky, very little of my work has suffered any kind of editorial meddling. Still, good on you for promoting your work. If you don't, no one will. I've sold books at more than one POA function m
     
  7. iflyvfr

    iflyvfr Cleared for Takeoff

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    I did the 1st 5 chapters and while it was better than expected, the incestuous overtones gave me the heebie-jeebies. I know about suspension of disbelief and all that, but like Steingar, I couldn't get there in those 5 chapters.

    Please take this in the editorial spirit it's intended to be: I'm curious why it's important for you to flaunt the rules of conventional writing to the point you leave in typos intentionally?

    Professionals strive to throw the no-hitter, or break the single-game rushing record, get a triple-double. They don't strive for mediocrity, so what's the attraction? The thrill of thumbing your nose at convention?
     
  8. Number7

    Number7 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That is a good question and deserves a solid answer.
    First, you are offering the exact argument that the publishers use. Turn the question back on the inquiry and make it about why not follow our rules, instead of why, and the argument is half put to bed.
    Presenting an actual case where anyone could see that I refused to follow any rules, yet exceeded everybody's download volume, gives me a leg to stand on. Does a writer comply and hope to move 5000 copies, or go for it all and beat the top number and keep right on going? My argument was solid enough to make their rules look less righteous, IMO.
    Several very prolific authors - having no idea to whom they were writing - lambasted my typos, mistakes, and genre crossing with a self-righteous anger, calling me all kinds of names in email where they identify themselves to make their point. When I wrote back, anonymously, and pointed out the fact that Second Chance was getting an average of 50,000 a week, and their best work didn't exceed 50,000 in one year, the bottom drops out of their argument.
    Most publishers virtually worship the rules for some unknown reason. It's like all sportswriters are required to nearly bow and scrape when they visit Fenway. To me Fenway is old, worn, out, poorly planned, and archaic, but the unwritten rules require one to comply or risk scathing push back.
    Publishers frequently specify everything from length, to where in the chapter set the main event take place, and how many words are required to handle it. The creative process is often stinted by rules that leave out good stories and communication skills. Editors become so bound by rules they routinely toss aside exceptional commercial works because the rules were not religiously obeyed, yet buy books that have very little chance of breaking out because the work is rather thin.
    Having lived and died by those rules for my entire professional life, and because I like to teach at seminars for unpublished author want-a-bees, I have long looked forward to chucking it all and seeing what the literary world looks like without the limitations placed on writers by publishers who lack great talent.
    Three million two hundred thousand download later, for a very poorly finished novel proves a fetching story will bring rewards and it gives me something to point at for the next 20 years at writer conferences.
     
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2015
  9. Number7

    Number7 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    More to the point, the author opportunity has never been less dynamic that now, in the thirty something years I've been in publishing.many talented writers have to go find their own audience because publishers simply will not anymore.
    It is my conviction that unpublished writers who really have talent and desire to match, have to be prepared to go it alone, develop their own readership loyalty, and be their own publicists more than ever in my lifetime.
    I hope you were not offended by the long, drawn out response. :)
     
  10. iflyvfr

    iflyvfr Cleared for Takeoff

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    I had a hard time following you on the first couple paragraphs, but your last two make a lot of sense. I am not a writer and from the sounds of it, authors today are being fed a formula to which they must adhere - likely in order to sell lots of copy.

    I like to believe that truly good works will sell themselves, but I'm sure I am being naive.

    I tried to write a fiction book once, long ago, and found it incredibly difficult. Most people have no idea how difficult it is to get something simple like a conversation between 2-3 people authentic and believable -- to avoid the words getting in the way as it were.