Weather Report, March 6

Image result for Book publishers + photos

(Image from Goodreader.com).

OUR CURRENTLY FEATURED BOOKS, “UNDER JULIA,” BY LAUREN SCHARHAG, “A HEAD IN THE GAME,” BY JACK STRANDBURG AND “< PERIODIC EARTH >”, BY DONNA FLEISCHER, CAN BE FOUND BY SCROLLING DOWN BELOW THIS POST OR BY CLICKING THE AUTHOR’S NAME ON OUR AUTHOR’S PAGE.

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Is it better to self-publish your book or cast your lot with a publisher?

Once upon a time, that question had an easy answer: If you  were a “serious” writer, you found a publisher. Otherwise, you’d be written off as a novice, lumped in with family cookbooks, dubious memoirs and other products of “vanity” presses.

Fast forward to 2017. Technology has overtaken the book business, to the point where it’s now possible to self-publish something that looks good and doesn’t drain your life savings.

Of course, it’s a bit early to write off traditional publishers as dinosaurs. When you think about it, every publishing option presents a tradeoff of some kind.

Working with a publisher is a bit like living in a condo. Much of the upkeep is done for you, which is nice, but there is also a certain absence of freedom. Of course, in a best-case scenario — one in which the publisher works hard to promote your book –comfort tends to trump freedom.

Self publishing, on the other hand, is more like buying a “fixer upper.” What you wind up with depends on how much effort you’re willing to put into it.

Which brings us to Ronald Turvil, whose “The After Death Afterlife of Ronald Foster” was featured on Snowflakes in a Blizzard back in January. Now, he’s come out with “The Devil’s Charity,” and if it seems to have a lot in common with his previous novel, that’s no accident — it’s the same book.

And yes, you may have heard me invoke one of my few Snowflakes rules — one book per author per year.  But I’m using Turvil’s “new” work as an example of the flexibility available to those who self publish. In some cases, it provides the author with a do-over, or what’s known to golfers as a “mulligan.”

Say you decide that you hate the cover. Or maybe you realize that your first chapter really should have been Chapter Four. A publisher who is paying the bill for cranking out physical copies of your book is probably not going to change anything that important in mid-stream.

Yet because he self published, Turvil had that option. So he redid the book somewhat, changed the cover, and started over. He even shaved off his beard for the author photo.

I’m going to bend the “one book a year” rule and put up a post of “The Devil’s Charity” this week, just so you can look up Turvil’s previous post and compare.

Our other featured work this week is a contrast between gritty (Jessica Evans’ “Hippie Mafia” and fanciful (Timmy Reed’s “Miraculous Fauna”), plus the First Tuesday Replay.

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UPCOMING ON SNOWFLAKES IN A BLIZZARD, MARCH 7-13.

“MAGNIFICENT FAUNA,” BY TIMMY REED

Miraculous Fauna tells the hagiographic road-trip story of a pair of fictional mother-daughter saints, one a foster child and teenage mother and the other a miraculously animated stillborn child, as they make their way back and forth across the American landscape and the landscape of their own lives, all while searching for the meaning of sainthood.

“HIPPIE MAFIA,” BY JESSICA EVANS

Hippie Mafia is a multi-voice narrative that examines gender roles within the constructs of urban identity. The antagonist of the work, Mason, is the antithesis of the female archetype, both in her decision making skills and in the progression of her character through her stand-alone agency. The female protagonist, Amy, is one who responds to the situations she finds herself in as one might expect of a standard female character. It is the hope of the work that these two conflicting female identities will help the reader to begin to understand and examine ways in which female characters do not need a male counterpoint to advance their own stories.

FIRST TUESDAY REPLAY

This month, we will revisit “Tango: An Argentine Love Story,” by Camille Cusamano, “Shuffle an Impulse,” by Bill Delorey, “Clemenceau’s Daughter,” by Rocky Porch Moore, “Aftermath Lounge,” by Margaret McMullan, “Glass,” by Kate Kort, and “Close,” by Erika Raskin.

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writersbridgebridgebuilder

Recently retired after 35 years with the News & Advance newspaper in Lynchburg, VA, now re-inventing myself as a novelist/nonfiction writer and writing coach in Lake George, NY.

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