To all the would-be authors, elusive agents, publishers, pay-for-publishing outlets, self-publishing, and Print on Demand outlets…
Print on Demand is out of the question. I still wear the albatross around my neck from my venture with Publish America. And will continue to wear said dead bird around my neck, until the contract runs out in another three years… Where hopefully I will be able to turn my manuscript “Pariah” over to a more reputable publisher that offers more than 8% royalties— leaving me with the responsibility to market and promote my own work.
All PA did was get the novel posted at various online book-sites, and unless you knew the novel was out there, you had no reason to look for it. So since 2004, I have—according to PA’s records, only sold 30 copies, yet they still, for some inexplicable reason, refuse to release me from the contract—I suspect that more books are being sold, but I have no way to prove it. One reviewer was quoted saying, that “Pariah” was one of the best novels that she ever read… Another reviewer said that “Pariah” will compel you to neglect your responsibilities as you try to tear yourself away from the pages.
Now when you do a web-search of my name, “Timothy Goodwin”, you will find links saturated with Lillian and David Brummet reviews—two people gave me the same review…verbatim, which in my opinion doesn’t help the audience get a concise perspective of the artistic integrity of “Pariah”; they both couldn’t have done better by saying the novel was very good, and then saying, the novel was very good…
Now I’m ready to publish my next installment, “Tears of the Le’igro”, which I perceive is better, and worthy of warranting more than just a handful of reviews—especially if two of the reviews are going to be exactly the same. But now I’m wary—once bitten, twice shy—and I wonder why I shouldn’t wait until the Second Coming to be picked up by an agent who will take the initiative to promote my work, so that they can insure their financial prosperity; or why shouldn’t I wait for a publisher, who will market my work on its integrity in a professional manner, without asking me to pay an arm and a leg for it, all the while taking more interest in the one who crafted the work, rather than focus on what the creation can do for them?
You on the other hand want me to pay you a “reasonable” sum for the publication of my work. But can you guarantee that my next experience won’t be filled with the same pitfalls as I have endured with Publish America? If I pay you money—rather than waiting on a publisher that won’t charge me anything—following the flesh-flaying ceremony of crafting my novel for the past three years—will I be responsible for marketing, promotion, setting up book-signings, interviews on the radio, etc? Or can you guarantee that you will do all in your capacity to insure my novel makes it to the shelves of the bookstores?
Or…will I be bombarded with a barrage of excuses after excuses, as to why a good book can’t make it to the shelf—when there are so many crappy ones already out there—or why it couldn’t be promoted in my local newspaper or magazines? Will someone work with me? Or leave me in the dark, refusing to answer my emails?
I am looking for a financially mutually beneficial relationship. I have already created the work—I even design my own book-covers, so you don’t have to worry about another artist. Now all that’s left is for the work to be reproduced. Now why should that cost an arm and a leg—or for that matter, why should my inability to pay a large—excuse me—“reasonable” sum of money, push me over to once again swim with the sharks and barracudas of Print on Demand? Just how much money does it cost to run the copy-machines? And how much money is going into the pockets for those running the machines that had absolutely nothing to do with the crafting of my novel?
I’m not an idiot—not any more—I have been put through the ringer, and I have done my research for the past four years. Now the question is—when I’ve already done most of the work, how am I going to profit from you, rather than go to a self-publisher (an idea I loathe and detest).
Publish America said that they would market and promote my work as the public demanded it—but apparently what I considered to be marketing and promotion strategies weren’t in their criteria; people had to know me first, before they could learn of my book; I personally thought it should have been the other way around; that people should know the book, before they know the author.
This whole flesh-flaying ceremony—after I have given my all, poured out my heart and spirit, my whole existence of blood, sweat, and tears—not to mention identity, and chasing down a dream of more than two decades—seeing the relationship of my wife and I become more strained and begin to deteriorate, as she comes to the conclusion that my dreams (without anything to show for them) is a little better than mental masturbation; all the while I keep plugging away, trying to prove myself to be better than the man that she married fifteen years ago—which, I cannot blame her; my life’s story is a little like that Kenny Roger’s song, “She has Faith in me”, except Kenny Rogers didn’t struggle with a bipolar mixed disorder with schizoaffective tendencies, while trying to write a song that only took a couple weeks…so he could turn around and make eleventeen kabillion dollars from it…as opposed to writing a novel which took more than a couple of years… And now the song is nearing its end—but with no money to show for it. AND WHO REALLY GIVES A DAMN? That’s what I want to know—these are the people that I want to find—not those stick-up-the-ass, greater than God, charlatans that are so mixed-up in their own preconceived notions that the only god they worship any more is money…
The love of a dream has been soiled and tainted by capitalism, that no one gives a wit for those living on the edge of the night. Am I the only solitary human being left alive that wants to open the largest homeless shelter in America? Am I the only fool that finally realizes that he took the wrong turn along the transference, and ended up on a planet where insanity laughs because love is nothing more than just an old-fashion word, and self-absorbency and instant gratification are the gods being worshipped these days?
Then given me a reason not to slit my wrists… If the world won’t try to offer love half as much as I try to offer it, what’s the meaning in carrying on? And don’t try to tell me God cares, and that He is Love—I have difficulty with someone professing their love to me by nailing their favorite cat to my front door—that’s a pretty barbaric and psychotic gesture if you ask me… So, should I just sit here and wait for the Promise of Armageddon, and not do a damn thing?
I don’t think so. I’ve never been good at that. Stagnation—in my book—breeds contempt. I may not have been the best. But through hell and high-water, I NEVER compromised my integrity; and I never settled for being less than the best I could be—all…in…the…name…of…PUBLICATION!
It is as fascinating as it is horrid…
And it’s enough to drive someone like myself to the brink of madness—maybe I should write a book about all that someday. Sure, spend my spare time looking into the abyss of memories desolation—Oh, but wait! There’s still that little matter of publication…promotion…and marketing; which apparently—unless you have some gold hidden up your backside these days, your life is only worth Print on Demand—good-luck finding you… Or…or…it’s self-publication.
It doesn’t matter anymore if you might have words to jar the world out of its euphoria of stagnation, because if you don’t have the gold, your words—as thought-provoking as they might be, don’t mean spit…
All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy; all play and no work, makes Jack spit…
END OF AUTHOR’S RAVE…
And what was the necessity of this little rave?
Simply this: If I give your company gold (or money), I want to feel like I WON something—an opportunity far and few between, that only comes around every sixty or so years. Hell, I want to feel giddy again. And for all that I have done, I really don’t think that’s an unreasonable request. I want a mutually beneficial relationship. I want a company that I can make money for, and in return reap the benefits of having done so. I want a company to express as much energy, intent, and initiative to see my book on the shelf—at least half as much as I had dreamed before crafting my work.
So if I produce a couple of hundred dollars now. And a couple of hundred dollars later to see my book on the shelf, I want something that will let me know that all the gut-wrenching and mental duress, not to mention the endless hours of burning the midnight-oil, actually meant something.
PS. I apologize for the brusque disposition. However I suspect that most puppies that have had the Kapok beaten out of them, aren’t ready to jump up and win any ribbons or awards at the dog show… I do rather get tired of wearing the smooth and polished masque that reflects that everything is right with the world…when I in fact know that it is not the case…