Cowbird, Jonathan Harris’s storytelling platform, which I have mentioned a couple of times but perhaps not given enough attention to, is undergoing changes, Harris announced yesterday. One of the nicest things Harris provided in an email to users was a link to what he called The Best of Cowbird — … Continue reading
An interesting convergence of three storytelling projects tied to New York City. I’m reminded of the famous closing of the old TV show “Naked City:” There are eight million stories in the Naked City. This has been one of them. Narratively is in the fundraising stage on Kickstarter. Here’s the … Continue reading
But seriously, at least publishers are no longer in control….
Over a span of 19 years — from 1990 to 2009 — I authored eight books that were published by mainstream publishers. Most of my experiences with publishers were wonderful, but my final experience in 2009 was horrendous. My ordeal with the company I have come to refer to as Evil Publishing Company inspired my article on A Storied Career’s parent site, Quintessential Careers, Getting a Book Published — Is It Worth It? I was writing about the tail end of an era in which mainstream publishers were in control of what got published and how books got marketed.
In just the short time since then, the entire publishing scene has flipped. As Debbie Weil (pictured) noted in her #story12 Reinvention Summit presentation, within the last year, much of the stigma of self-publishing has fallen away, and ebooks have taken off, now outselling print books.
After Evil Publishing Company, I was not keen to write a new book anytime soon. I started to get the itch again last year. I had had a long streak of having every book proposal I ever submitted get accepted. And why not? My first book (on cover letters) sold well over 100,000 copies. But one of my previous publishers quickly rejected my latest book idea. As Debbie pointed out, it’s harder than ever to get a book contract and much of an advance in these troubled times for publishers.
So why would anyone want to become a published author these days? How is it a game-changer? Doing so won’t make you rich (probably), but, Debbie says, it will make you credible, give you authority, and make you an established expert.
As I seek to scratch my itch to publish again, I’m mindful of some of the great advice Debbie (see graphic for her company, Voxie Media above) shared in her session. Your book topic can’t just be what you’re passionate about; Debbie says; it has to solve a problem or fill a need for the reader. Even with all the options for self-publishing, Debbie says, it doesn’t matter how easy it is to publish if it’s not worth publishing. Would-be authors need to listen to what people ask.
Some of the approaches to topics that Debbie cited:
- Book of quotes about a topic
- 10 steps to _____.
- “The year I [did something remarkable].” Debbie cited The Happiness Project, but lots of other examples exist — the year I tried to live like Oprah, the year I lived biblically, the year I learned to be a memory champion, the year I cooked all the recipes in Julia Child’s cookbook, and so on. I would love to do one of these but haven’t come up with something remarkable enough yet.
- A business message in novel/novella form. Debbie cited Built to Sell. I’ve written about many others; see this post and this one.
Debbie also talked about short books, as short as 30 pages, for example. They may be tantamount to long magazine articles. She cited, for example, Kindle singles. After all, some books don’t need to be as long as they are. I’m currently reading a novel that could easily be a third as long as it is.
Read more of Debbie’s ideas and suggestions about self-publishing and my own experience with self-publishing in the extended entry. See below some of the resources for self-publishing Debbie cited.
I’ve told you the last Reinvention Summit was amazing. I’ve shared with you this year’s jaw-dropping lineup from the storytelling firmament. I’ve mentioned the deals — that buying a ticket is like getting half price because you actually get two tickets for the price of one. If you have an … Continue reading
Reinvention Summit 2012 starts a week from today! One thing I haven’t touched on in all my promotions of the event is all the amazing, enduring stuff you get to enhance your professional and personal development: Twenty 60-minute sessions with leading storytelling experts – including live, interactive calls, plus Q&A … Continue reading
Periodically I like to do a roundup of storytelling goodies from the generous world of applied storytelling. Fans, students, and practitioners in this field can build a nice little library of white papers, ebooks, tools, checklists, online videos, and much more without spending a dime. It would be fun to … Continue reading
Today begins a rollout of finds that will eventually land on my inside pages (even as I place on inside pages the finds I listed last July). Today’s list belongs to the category Links to Storytelling Platforms, Prompts, and Tools This article, A Plethora of Writing Prompts for Creative Writing … Continue reading
While poking around my iPad, it occurred to me to search Apple’s App Store for apps related to story and storytelling, so I used those two search terms to see what’s out there. This listing isn’t intended to be comprehensive, and I would certainly love to hear of other great … Continue reading
Since the early days of this blog, I’ve been fascinated by the concept of the “business novel” or fable and have blogged about every one I’ve come across. At the end of this entry, I’ve listed all the biz novels (I think) that I’ve ever featured in this space, with … Continue reading
When I first mentioned stories based on Google searches, I didn’t realize that Google had created a mashup application using Google searches and YouTube (which Google owns). One of my Facebook friends turned me on to Google Search Stories Video Creator, described this way: Every search is a quest. Every … Continue reading