Tuesday, March 13, 2012

If you've been living under a rock, you might not know that the Author's Guild is at it again. This time, Guild president Scott Turow posted a letter more or less defending Big 6 publishers in the upcoming antitrust case the US Justice Dept. is pursuing on the basis that they believe legacy publishers have been price-fixing. Shocker, I know. Scott's argument is mostly a rehash of the facts (at least one side of the facts), but he closes with this:

"Let’s hope the reports are wrong, or that the Justice Department reconsiders. The irony bites hard: our government may be on the verge of killing real competition in order to save the appearance of competition.
This would be tragic for all of us who value books, and the culture they support."

Because without price-fixing publishers, there won't be any more books, right Scott?


And that's all I have to say on the subject because I'm tired -and it's tired- and anyone with even a modicum of critical thinking skills can see that the situation is for more complicated than Scott cares to acknowledge, which in turn leads to the obvious but already redundant questions regarding the Guild's loyalties and ethics. However, if you'd like an interesting read on the subject, check out the convo between Joe Konrath and Barry Eisler. It's a nice counterpoint to Scott Turow's letter, in which they tackle his argument point-by-point and do it far more elegantly and humorously than I'd ever manage. You can study both sides of the issue and make up your own mind. Meanwhile...

In real news, Goodreads.com  is kindly hosting a giveaway of Shadow Rising this week. I've posted the link above. Five winners will each receive a signed paperback.

Also, http://dailycheapreads.com/ will be spotlighting The Tinkerer's Daughter on Thursday, March 15. Thanks Paula!

Closing thoughts:

As of today I'm 60,000 words into the sequel to The Tinkerer's Daughter and I expect to have the rough draft finished by the end of the week. I've been considering some experimental promotions for this title. One thought is to publish a teaser containing only the first few chapters. This would be free of course, in an attempt to build  steam for the book's release this summer (excuse the pun). I admit that I'm a marketing fool and I fully deserve that title. I didn't become a writer to spend all of my time marketing. The truth is, I've been profoundly dismayed at the amount of social networking going on among so-called writers who spend more time chatting up the boards than creating fiction. I don't fit into that world very well. I don't know how and I don't think I want to. Regrettably, I would probably sell more books if I did, but I still think the best route to success in this business is through prolificacy. I've read too many interviews by great writers who echoed that same sentiment in quotes similar to this:  

Writers write. Authors hang out in coffee shops talking about writing.

At any rate, I welcome marketing suggestions. If you have any thoughts, leave a comment or contact me through the contact page. Thanks for reading!

Monday, March 5, 2012

JamieSedwick.com is live!


JamieSedgwick.com is live today, and that's not the only thing that's new. As of today, this blog is now "Author Autonomous." It was a change I had been considering for some time, and now that I've launched the new website the timing seems appropriate. I think the new title is more reflective of what this blog is about, and of what I do. I was thinking earlier today about the differences between the legacy system and the new revolution of Indie publishers, and I suddenly realized just how much freedom I have. Granted, I don't have the benefit of a high-paid New York editorial team or a marketing team. I don't even have the option to go do a signing tour. What I do have is complete, unrestrained freedom. When it comes to my writing, I answer to no one except my fans. I don't have an agent or publisher expecting me to show up at certain venues at certain times. I get to choose my covers and if they're not good enough, I get to reject them for something better. The only deadlines I have are the ones I set for myself. 

It was an epiphany for me, because I often tend to focus on the advantages I don't have rather than the ones I do. Now that I've thought about it, I'm feeling pretty good about my situation. I like what I do and the more I do it, the more I'm sure it's what I'm here for. People talk a lot about freedom, but in this world I don't think they often really get to experience it. Rules govern every aspect of our lives. Ironically, this may even be more true in the land of the free and the home of the brave, where politics and big business have embedded themselves into every aspect of our lives. But in a way that has all fallen by the wayside because of the digital revolution, and for this brief, exciting moment in history, we have our freedom back and it's up to us to make of it what we will. This amount of freedom and power comes with certain inherent risks, but they're worth it. If there ever was a wild west in the business world this is it, and it's exciting!

Regarding JameSedgwick.com: About three years ago, I shut down my old website believing that the non-dynamic web space had outlived its usefulness. I didn't think anyone would be interested in visiting a static web page when they could interact with an author regularly through his or her blog. What I have come to understand since then is that a website is still considered the standard internet presence by some, especially those who are less internet-savvy and don't recognize or understand the rapid-fire changes that the internet has gone through in the last few years. To some of these people, the absence of a traditional website indicates a lack of professionalism or worse, a sign of the amateur. I have learned that I might sell thousands or even tens of thousands of books, but only a handful of those readers ever develop an interest in reading my blog. In fact, most of my regular readers are people who are writers themselves, or are closely connected to the Indie movement. 

On the other hand, readers and/or professionals who are unfamiliar with me may seek a standard website rather than a blog. It is primarily for that purpose that I have resurrected the old, and made it new. In that aspect, I'm very excited about the new website. The image above is a small preview of the website banner, but there's plenty more to see. Don't take my word for it! Cruise on over and take a look. When you're done, feel free to drop me a line and let me know what you think. In the meanwhile, I have links to update in all of my books. Yay...