the state of things


Wild, Windy, Grey Morning

by Douglas Lindsay - 10:44 on 09 November 2010

Today's Twitter novel - Wild wind, heavy rain, a sea-battered shore. The shop was quiet. Igor swept, Barney stood at the window. Melancholy sat heavily upon them. - is a reasonable reflection of the mood in these parts. And when I say 'these parts', obviously I mean inside my head. Not that I have the seas to look at, nor is there a little hunchbacked fellow sweeping up in the same room. Although, naturally, I wish there was.


(I ought to point out that the Twitter novel does not always reflect the days events. For example, yesterday I pretty much didn't chop Simon Cowell's head off.)

Work on 21 Years On The Back of Dixie Klondyke's Spanish Guitar is done, more or less. Ebook uploaded to Kindle, pdf and cover (and cheque) dispatched to the printers. What does that leave? The other half of the equation. The marketing. The letting people know it's out there. The trying to get reviews part, the selling, the nagging, the phoning people up and pretending to be someone else, the bullshit and the lying, the outrageous fibbing and the extraordinary displays of disingenuousness.

Obviously setting up the Kindle account and talking to the printers etc, that's all part of the publishing process. But that's the easy part. Those parts are all easily worked out, there isn't too much dealing with other people involved, and when you do, you're speaking to a printer to whom you're giving money, so it's a fairly straightforward process. Once you try to get someone else to give you money, then you're into a whole new personality type-requirement.

My abilities in the world of the writer/publisher lie as follows:

Sitting writing a book in silence, not having to engage the outside world. 10/10

(That's not to imply that the books are that good, just that I'm quite happy to sit and write and not talk to anyone.)

Engaging professionals in the industry to get the cover designed and the book printed and displayed online etc. 6/10

Being an out-going marketing guru, able to sell sand to the Middle East and ice to the Swedes: -3,000,000,000,000,000,000/10

That last statistic, the minus three squazillion out of ten marketing ineptitude, is pretty much the only thing standing between me and Dan Brown-esque book sales.

Comment from Markus at 11:29 on 11 November 2010.
Happy to hear about the perfect Christmas present I am going to make myself (since nobody else is willing to give books as presents to an ex-bookseller). I'm talking about the printed version of course since the brief moment where I thought about buying the kindle quickly vanished after I bought a video camera. Camera for kindle does sound odd but isn't if you consider how many cool things can be done with a video camera (at the moment I'm working on a commercial for a special sort of (fictitious) snack consisting basically of some very specialized sort of southern German cheese wrapped in chocolate!) and how sad I would be if I would find my bookshelves not continuously growing over the years.
It's gonna be like with mp3-downloading instead of buying the CD in a shop. In the beginning you might still bother to print out the cover and booklet but eventually the music you purchased at 2/3 of the price of the real CD ends up on one of your harddisks or on a CD without anything written on it because you can't find the funny pen you usually use for writing on CDs. In the end you complete forget you ever bought the music until you stumble upon it by accident while browsing your harddisk or CDs for porn.

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