“Everybody says that you should write about what you know about, but my theory is that you should write about what you don’t know about. Or, you should write towards what you want to know. And in that way, you sort of liberate yourself. You’re not concerned and boxed in by your knowledge or your application of knowledge.”
— Colum McCann
Author, Let The Great World Spin (2009 National Book Award Winner, soon-to-be feature film from J.J. Abrams)
Port is a new kind of publisher. We're helping passionate writers along the publishing road. This is our blog, where we're exploring new ideas in the evolving publishing world and unpacking what it takes to be a successful writer today. We're in beta mode, so if you see any bugs, hiccups, or errors, feel free to let us know.
Thanks for stopping by, and make sure to check back often.
An interesting article from gigaom.com on three different approaches to publishing from the viewpoint of three separate authors. Info on the authors, followed by an excerpt, followed by a link to the full article: Read the rest of this entry …
That said, here are three essentials for a successful independent author: Read the rest of this entry …
This is an installment a new series here at the Port Blog, in which we explore how social media benefits writers. It’s called Socialize. Enjoy.
Life today revolves around social media. The Internet is television in the 90s, cell phones in the early 2000s. If you’re not plugged in, if you’re not involved, you’re soon going to be left far, far behind. The Internet takes connecting with the world to an entirely new level.
If you’re not in the social media game, it’s not that you’re not “hip” or “cool.” You’re missing out on something that, with the proper leverage, could catapult you from unknown author slaving away for nothing to, well, Amanda Hocking.
Later, we’ll explore Facebook and Twitter—the two major players in the social media game today—as well as Google+, the underdog who’s probably going to take over the social media world sometime in the next five years.
Today, though, we’re talking about blogging. If you’re a writer and you don’t have a blog, then go get one right now. We recommend WordPress. You have one up and running in five minutes, totally free.
Here are three reasons why you should be blogging:
Today’s post comes from editor extraordinaire Addy McCullough, who’s worked on everything from textbooks to medical books to young adult novels. In short, she knows her stuff. She read our post from last week about Five Problems With Self-Publishing, and graciously agreed to expound on a problem way too many writers fall into: Letting too many people read their manuscript before it’s published.
Trust us, this is a major problem that could potentially devastate your book’s chances for completion, much less success. Everyone is going to have an opinion, but nobody is going to care about your work as much as you. Thus, it’s vital to protect it.
That said, now we’ll just get out of the way and let a fellow pro take the floor. All yours, Addy!
* * *
There is Such a Thing As Too Many Readers
by Addy Robinson McCulloch
You’re writing a book. You’re passionate about it. Family members, friends, people you meet at workshops and cook-outs ask you what you’re doing. You say: “I’m writing a book.” They respond, “Wonderful. I’d love to read it!”
Your stock answer, the answer you carry in your pocket and bring out as quickly as you bring out your business card, should be: “Thank you. I’ll let you know when it’s published.”
There are very few people who should see your book before it is published. No, not because you don’t want anyone to steal your idea. Here are a few real reasons to keep your book under wraps:
We had an author approach us a few months ago with a horror story from the publishing world: He’d spent $10,000 publishing his novel with a certain publishing company, only to make somewhere in the range of $3,000 in return. We were mortified.
And so, today we give you Five Problems With Self-Publishing.
Wait, what’s going on here? Aren’t we, technically, a self-publishing company? So are we sabotaging ourselves?
Are we that clueless?
Au contraire, fair writer—we’re that into helping you. See, our specialty isn’t publishing books. Our specialty is helping authors publish the best book possible.
Same as traditional publishing isn’t for everyone, neither is independent publishing. Authors like Stephen King, J.K. Rowling, James Patterson, and on and on the list goes—they wouldn’t be who or where they are without traditional publishing.
But independent publishing today is less stigmatized than ever, and quite honestly, it’s downright business-savvy. J.K. Rowling is self-publishing her Harry Potter series in e-book format. You know she’s going to make a killing off that. Barry Eisler recently rocked people’s minds by turning down a $500,000 two-book deal to publish the books himself. (Barry! Call us!) Seth Godin has said he’ll never traditionally publish again.
These are big names in writing who are shirking the way things have always been done, and again, it just makes good business sense.
Even if you’re not an established author, it can work wonders for you. In fact, especially if you’re not an established author. In our last post, we mentioned Amanda Hocking. She’s 26 years old, she self-published nine books that went on to sell a total of a million copies (mostly e-books), and she recently sold a book to St. Martin’s Press for $1 million.
Every writer dreams of getting published with a national house, one of the Big 6, and become rich and famous and esteemed and invited to speak and the most popular guest at dinner parties and drive a fancy car and wear fancy clothes and … well, yeah, something like that, anyway.
Thing is, that’s a dream in the ultimate sense of the word. The reality is that less than 10 percent of all published writers make a living off their writing. Odds are that less than 5 percent of all publisher writers get to live that rockstar lifestyle.
Read that again: Less than 10 percent of all published authors. It’s about as likely as making a professional sports team, or becoming a millionaire movie star or musician.
Some people want that. Some people want to try to make it. That’s fine. Our first author, Brandon Sneed, wants that, and he’s going to still try, and you know what, we’ll let him. We’re even helping him. We exist to launch careers, not control them. And in fact, tomorrow, we’re going to explore the story of Amanda Hocking, the wunderkind who self-published herself into a $1 million traditional publishing contract.
But for today, you need to know that the world of traditional publishing, especially with a national house, is a weird and confusing one, a place unlike anything you’d expect. Traditional publishing isn’t evil. It’s not even bad. But there are problems with it, and you should be acutely aware of them.
Well, hello world. We’re Port City Publishing, this is our blog, and we’re excited about what we’re trying to do. Which is: give writers with a dream the help they need to bring it into reality; and explore the exciting and crazy world that is publishing right now.
Seems fitting that, this being our first official blog post and all, we say who we are and why we’re here. People say to blog like you’re hosting guests in your living room, so just imagine that we’re standing in the middle and you’re all sitting in the comfiest recliners or on the comfiest sofas ever. Oh, and that there’s a big table full of your favorite appetizers and hors d’ouevres (did we spell that right?) over there, with a big bowl of punch in the middle. Oh, and a bar over there, with all sorts of tasty beverages. Oh, and of course, valet parking.
Anyway, first, a bit about this blog, and then a bit about us.
Hey everybody. Welcome to the Port City Publishing blog, where we’ll be exploring the rapidly evolving world of publishing and ideas related to it, to writing, to marketing—basically, everything someone could use to become a successful writer. We’re glad you’re here.
Hang tight for a few days. We’re getting some things worked out as we spruce up the website and get this blog rolling. For now, just get excited about what’s about to happen here. Which is, in essence, a resource and community for writers and authors, veterans and rookies, to grow with the publishing evolution.
So yeah, get excited. More details to come soon.