Tag Archives: writing life

Authors Vote for Freedom

©2016 by Raymond Alexander Kukkee


Authors Vote for Freedom and Independence

Today, in significant numbers, authors vote for freedom and independence  in a booming trend to by-pass traditional publishers. Migrating to  independent methods, it seems authors vote for freedom and independence Heady stuff.

Why? Change in the industry was inevitable, considering the arrogance, economics, and straight-jacket  limitations of  traditional publishing.  Loss of project control, fine-print contracts,  bad editing,  deadlines, unrealistic promises of miniscule royalties.   As authors in larger numbers move to self-publish, it seems  something substantially more important is involved; the underlying wish and dedicated vote for  freedom and independence.


Freedom in Voice and Content

If you have ever published a book, you know the routine.  Publishers beta-read, edit,  crop,  switch the order of chapters,  introduce  arbitrary changes , smile like Cheshire cats, —then inflict what  they think —or perhaps even believe—is the best treatment and decision for your book. Even, in the extreme—to forgetting content, adding errors,  and altering your unique writer's voice.  Hmm.... we have even heard authors using foul invective  in discussions on this subject.

Publishers are, after all,  as you will be told,  the publisher, and  marketing expertswise decisions  by such informed persons,  by default,  should be beneficial upon occasion.  Besides, someone has to be the whip-snapping boss.  There can be only one flashlight in the dark, one direction, one captain on a ship, blah blah.  Regardless of  subsequent success, or the dismal sinking thereof.

For some inexplicable reason some writers  erroneously accept, imagine or assume  that official publishers should automatically be  smarter and more knowledgeable  than  garret-bound,  lowly scribblers of fiction or even those genius, highly-respected, bespectacled authors of  enormous, non-fiction tomes of significant stuff.  You get the idea.

We observe and must concede that sometimes publishers and editors  are wrong, or actually prove they are more right and clever. Kudos to shining, diligent, and wise editors when they are right,  may their stubby candles at head office always shine brightly.  Sadly, being right or 'being in control' does not always guarantee an optimal outcome —for any book.

Does this conundrum sound familiar to you?  Has your book publishing  experience been   a) surprisingly successful,   b)  produced paper-weights collecting dust , or c) _____?  you fill in the blank.

In all fairness, let us analyze  logically. If your book  fails   in the marketplace  and success expected is not achieved, something is, or was wrong. The question is, what?  You have to decide. It is very simple.  Sparkling, original content written well, with excellent professional editing work, fault-free publishing, and thoughtful promotion into the right market has a reasonable chance. Was your book a quality offering to the world of readers?   We hope so.  Was it dreck destined for failure, regardless of your publishing choice? We hope not.

Questions ultimately must  then also be asked, 'Are publisher  decisions  always  best for every book project?Are publishers compatible with every author?  Is genre a problem?  Timing?  Marketing? Did the formatting work? Is success ever guaranteed?  Of course not. Are your own publishing decisions right for the project?    The correct answer may  be based upon circumstance, karma timing and luck.  And a gazillion other factors.  Think for yourself. Don't feel bad if you are wrong.

Myriads of simple mistakes  are made every day by both authors and publishers —even before  that first draft.  Wonderful premises may be abandoned by discouraged writers, never to be explored.  Publishers may reject a timely,  impossibly good manuscript. Writers  may ignore the advice of  those rare, brilliant, and helpful editors.  Equally, bad editors may discourage writers or ignore, miss, and worse, even introduce mistakes.  Fantastic authors of potentially stellar works are routinely  sent rejection letters —or are told "go take a writing class". Wow—yet  happily end up eventually selling millions of copies.  Believe it; some excellent books never see daylight.    Such contradictions defy logic.

The hard truth is, to publish your book by any method, bravery is required. Publishing a book may be comparable to a crap shoot. Courting Lady Luck. A calculated gamble,  perhaps, but still a gamble.  Timing is everything —sure, we believe that, but how about quality content, originality, beta input, perception, presentation, reviews,  marketing, classification, publishing methodology, sales venues,  change in societal markets and reading audiences?   ...But don't forget luck. It all counts.

Personalities  involved in publishing may also rise,  cement, develop, bloom and  grow —or clash, fester, and fail with bad communication and people skills. You, the author,  —and the publisher —may realistically and justifiably have  completely different visions, ideas, and targets for the project. For better or for worse.

Both votes  to self-publish and the vote to publish traditionally are incredibly complex choices,  —and are only two choices of many which must be made. Hard decisions.  It is your book. Your responsibility.

So,  what to do?  Writers, scribblers, poetic persons and all,  if publishing is in your future, pick a straw. The best part is, now you do get to decide. Be brave. We observe that a vote for freedom and independence coincides nicely with a vote for personal satisfaction even if success is optional.  Read that again.

Here at Incoming Bytes we say step out there if you dare.  One thing is guaranteed...you'll never know until you try.  It's called the writing life. 




*An update on my most recent publishing project:

I have voted for freedom and independence in republishing  Morgidoo's Christmas Carol, —originally published in 2011.

We're now up and running.   Morgidoo's Christmas Carol (Subtitled The Bells of Blister,  3rd Edition  is now  published,  in both  eBook and print formats available  now  at Amazon.com 

  • Print:  ISBN  13: 9781523683826   167p.,  6"x9" paperback  b&w )
  • (Kindle  eBook format, ASIN: B0063EWU9G   Full colour )  
[caption id="attachment_3753" align="aligncenter" width="200"]Cover art for Morgidoo's Christmas Carol (the Bells of Blister) 3rd edition Cover art for Morgidoo's Christmas Carol (the Bells of Blister) 3rd Ed. 2016[/caption]

 ©2016 Cover art  All rights reserved.


Yes... Christmas, we do observe,  may  still appear to be 9 months away, —but go for it anyway. Why?  Morgidoo's Christmas Carol is classic literature  for all seasons.  All year.  Written to be enjoyed  by readers of all ages.  Adults  and publishers included.

Is that Incoming I hear?

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Blog This: SoWrite

©2016 Raymond Alexander Kukkee       [caption id="attachment_3658" align="alignnone" width="562"]SoWrite.us.com SoWrite.us.com[/caption]      

"In overview, SoWrite is almost a lifestyle"


SoWrite — a Writer's Sanctuary

What's a 'SoWrite' ?   Perhaps the best definition is now   "a successful website, no less than awesome".  Certainly more than the average website,  SoWrite.us.com,  if such a concept is even possible online,  the weary writer's sanctuary.  A site which offers writers comfort and somehow, inexplicably,  the 'feel' of a writer's sanctuary. Doesn't that sound a bit like a writing-escapist's-destiny? Just a bit? It is.

This amazing writing website was  built from scratch with nothing less than absolute smarts and dedication of the man behind the screen— a knowledgeable editor, publisher, author, creator and brilliant writer, family man,  a skilled, meticulous designer and tradesman, a trusted business owner—you get the idea,  an all-around  awesome dude.

 For R& R with his family and better half out in the great outdoors, he heads down the road  dragging a camping trailer equipped with firewood, cave-man fire tools, coffee pot, grub, the laptop, a great pup named Layla,  —and plenty of books to read.  Seen him?  Yep...that's the guy. He's probably helped you at one time or the other, too.  That's my friend Jim —Jim Bessey.


A Backgrounder

Jim Bessey and I  plugged away together in a number of interesting forays.  Meeting first as writers  in 2007  at Helium,  as many writers did,  we naively  generated articles for that once-popular content mill, —which subsequently failed miserably and disappeared, taking into the great unknown a lot of unpaid, copyrighted content, the work of many writers.  For optimists and real writers,  that disappointment and  failure simply gave us more reason to persist, to grow, migrate, try blogging, and explore new prospects having genuine potential.  One door closes, another opens, write on, Shakespeare  —you know the routine.

Turning to blogging and other writing projects, we, in search of productive new ventures,  got very busy.   I  started blogging on Incoming Bytes (Is that Incoming I hear?) and  concentrated on literary fiction, getting my novels The Fires of Waterland  and Morgidoo's Christmas Carol, a Christmas classic for all ages,  completed. And eventually published. With Jim's encouragement to persist. What else?

It certainly wasn't long before Jim found  new and greater challenges.  He was already far  ahead on the blogging curve, scribbling another website Just Camping Out.   At his invitation, we  became involved in writing, planning and management of  niche  custom freelancing  content for another client.  The paying kind. Wow. IN the writing life, it's not what you know, but who—the contacts you have.

We were soon  exercising creative limits, hard at work making significant decisions on content for a specialized website.  We became organized, creating lists of potential  titles,  taking original photographs for illustrations,  writing and posting original articles,  furiously trading edits  —then after a few months, abruptly  wondered what happened when the principal website owner stopped communicating, *disappearing* into the sunset.  The project(s) stopped dead in their tracks.

( *Oops--one of the unknown perils of the writing life.

Jim didn't blink. He boldly constructed his new website SoWrite.Us.com.   As if that challenge was not enough, he also accomplished some serious writing, co-authoring, editing and producing a novel, Beyond The Blue and the Gray  by Tony Verna and Jim Bessey— including the detailed and intricate process of recording an audio version.

Back in the ordinary world, a spec post of mine inevitably and proudly ended up on SoWrite.   I am delighted  to say  Freelancing Pitfalls: *The Perils of Writing for Niche Sites, inspired by the Helium disaster and other events coexists today with amazing, professional, insightful pieces written by Jim and others;  thoughtful  stuff which helps all writers turn the grit of the writing life into the real deal.  There 'ya go.

SoWrite Today

SoWrite  is an attractive, friendly, well-designed, highly informative  resource go-to reference for writing folk of all descriptions,  ink-stained scribblers,  editors,  idealistic newbie dreamers,  hard-bitten forgers of fiction,   cautious experimenters needing mentoring,  literary poetic-persons, and Jack and Jill freelancers,  sharing skills and secrets with their colleagues.  Independently-judged contests, new ideas, commentary, reviews,  issues, advice. It's all there.

In overview, SoWrite  is almost a lifestyle—a polished comfortable website which most admirably, welcomes everyone.  Jim fields, addresses, acknowledges, and includes discussions on books, articles, challenges, reviews, and  the amazing writing life,  including the  common inevitable  problems we  scribbling types encounter daily.

 SoWrite offers a wonderful environment for writers. Endless encouragement from Jim, a plethora of resources and  information,  --virtually anything concerning the writing life — makes  SoWrite  pretty much perfect and a must-visit destination —a writing sanctuary. A lifestyle.  You get the idea. Check it out, see for yourself.

Here at Incoming Bytes, for Great Websites, we think  kudos and congratulations should be going out to Jim Bessey at SoWrite.    Great stuff, bud! Best wishes for 2016 and beyond!


Is that Incoming I hear?

Posted in Great Websites, Writing Life | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments