With my upcoming book launch, one of 5 novels I wrote many years ago, I had been researching some new media, software, and upon looking couldn’t help but check out the latest video editing software as well. After I finished “The Refugee” the upcoming release I will bestow upon the unsuspecting public, I looked very seriously at publishing it, I even worked at a book store (big box) for a bit with the express purpose of seeing just what kind of audience there was for my type of novels… there wasn’t any. Novels had become the domain of the Oprah crowd, and thus only 35 year old women seemed to be interested in reading any sort of fiction, and what a sort of fiction it was.
At this point, being an unknown author, and e-publishing and tablet readers non existent, my only option was traditional publishing, again after research, unless I could somehow pull a bit time agent out of my ass, then I’d be looking at a 500 dollar advance tops, (standard at the time for first time authors) so even if I had gotten published I’d have a few measly hundred bucks in my pocket and 1 or 2 copies of my novel tucked away in the fiction corner of a bookstore, un able to be noticed next to the other thousands of single copies of unknown writers, and stuck beside 100′s of copies of popular fiction geared to middle aged women, much like 50 Shades is today. Also, those books would be featured on front of store displays, tables, floor displays, front page on the website, etc. It was a different world back then, the book store was the make or break it. If I wanted to get noticed it meant I had to do all the advertising and marketing myself, as the publisher would not waste any resources on unknowns who may not even sell a copy. So take in travelling and finding the time to set up and go to readings all across the country (even major cities) and you can see that little stipend of an advance isn’t really gonna be jack squat compared to the cost of doing this sort of thing. The web was newish and still a pain in the ass to break into and create things on. For better or for worse, I sadly shelved my books until the climate caught up to where I had envisioned it, where the artist could digitally sell his books without the cost of publishing, and where the web could be an effective self marketing tool. It has now become that. And it may be a closing window. Big corporations certainly don’t want self publishing to take over the world, with out them in control of it. The cyber wars have already started, corporations had already tried passing off a tiered internet, where corporations would get the internet we know, and we’d all be forced to use dial up speeds. If you love capitalism you cannot like the power corporations now wield.
At this time where I was at a cross roads, my entire early writing career was working towards being the bohemian literary poet writer, a soldier wielding idea’s and words, wanting to change the way books were written, wanted to keep spontaneous prose alive, wanted to create a new way of writing and a new way of reading – but now I was realizing this wasn’t possible how I wanted it to happen, I wanted to be in control of my destiny, leaving only my works to speak for themselves, and if I had to market myself, I want all or most of the money, not a measly 10% that a publisher was offering for doing nothing but printing and sending copies to stores. But the world and technology wasn’t caught up with my vision yet.
Enter digital cameras, more importantly, video cameras.