Vincent Zandri's Blog - Posts Tagged "scott-nicholson"

The following blog is "now appearing" at The Vincent Zandri Vox:

Bestselling indie Scott Nicholson most definitely falls into that, "If we lived in the same town we'd be steadfast buds" category. Or maybe my association with him, although limited to internet, runs even deeper in a sort of cosmic, old soul sense. We've got more things in common than I did any of my ex-wives before I married them (don't get nervous Scott...). Like me he's journalist, a musician, a lover of adventure and history, and maintains an intense passion for creative writing and genre fiction. He's into some great bands too, like XTC, Elvis Costello and The Beatles. No wonder he's made quite a splash on the Indie scene. Like most successful dudes however, he comes equipped with well honed built-in shit detector which allows him to be realistic about what the future holds for authors and publishing. Like his guest post will reveal, what seems like a great independent publishing opp right now can soon turn into something that won't be indie at all anymore. That is, once the big houses pick up on all that we are teaching them about selling books.
But then, judge for yourself. That's what Scott does.

Take it away Scott:

Indie Publishing Is Dead

By Scott Nicholson

Nobody wants to read yet another blah-blah-blah indie author post unless it’s controversial. So how about this one: indie publishing is dead.

Does that work for you? Or are you an author whose personal identity is somehow tied up in a specific outcome? You know the drill: the NY author under contract who insists NY publishing is the way to go, or the indie author who got rejected a hundred times by NY who says indie is the way to go because NY sux, or the suddenly-hip “hybrid author” who is “taking advantage of both opportunities,” usually because they have a lot of dead backlist but are still stuck in indentured servitude and have no real choice.

Yes, it’s great fodder for forum flame wars, except we all have to mutually agree or risk somebody slamming us with an anonymous one-star review or declining to retweet our hot sales link. So we only hang out where everyone has the same opinions as ours, because we’d rather be validated than right.

We are all equally right and wrong. I’ve been big pubbed, small pubbed, self pubbed, and soon to be pubbed in ways that are only now coming into existence. And all the words are roughly the same, the talent level is the same, the storytelling style is the same. And while the fracturing of publishing methods continues, it will also slop over, in much the same way all the distinct genres of music eventually get lumped into “rock ‘n’ roll” once they lose their freshness.

Indie publishing is dead because we, the current crop of indie authors, are teaching New York how to publish books. I know, that seems crazy, but publishing has always been a crap shoot, with a lot of money backing almost every bestseller and nothing but luck and the author’s tireless marketing backing the other infrequent successes. But corporations aren’t just nabbing superstar indie authors. They are paying attention to how books are presented, where they are priced, what readers really want instead of following outdated Bookscan reports that serve to reinforce the perception that publishers were—surprise!—geniuses at turning bestsellers into bestsellers.

Heck, even agents are rushing to learn the skills we indie authors were forced to develop as survival mechanisms. It’s truly ironic that NY strengthened the enemy by thrusting marketing upon the authors—and marketing is the only skill of value in the world of digital publishing! All else can be purchased cheaply and easily and operated with no overhead but time.

Yes, we are teaching our competition, as we always should. Not that we could help it. If they aren’t watching and learning, they aren’t competition anyway, because they are out of the game. As soon as indie and trad and small press slop together, as they inevitably will, then indies will lose many of their advantages—low pricing, rapid response to changing conditions, innovative marketing that connects with real readers, and the ability to reach niche audiences with narrative voices that have been long suppressed because New York behemoths couldn’t run on niche audiences. Soon, they can, and the niches can look pretty darned big when they are merely one click away, and staff and overhead has been trimmed, and the corporations consist of a half-dozen tech geeks clicking buttons and raking in cash (of course, they will still have a 60-member board of executives and numerous shareholders at the trough, but still….).

I’m not worried, because I plan on staying one step ahead of everything, even if no solid ground is there, even if it means flying on faith without a parachute. Everyone out there buzzing about John Locke, John Green, J.K. Rowling, J.A. Konrath, or Amanda Hocking has zero chance of duplicating what were outlier successes that defied chance. Buy all the how-to books and diligently copy them and you still won’t be them, because 10,000 people are already doing it. We don’t need a “next Locke” or “next Hocking” anyway. Why not be the first you?

The First You is the one who doesn’t care if indie wins or New York wins or if so-and-so was right. The First You is already right, if you trust it. There are only three questions that matter:

(1) What is the next impossible thing I want to do?

(2) How do I get there first?

(3) How do I inspire people to meet me there?


Concrete Pearl
Concrete Pearl by Vincent Zandri
The Remains by Vincent Zandri
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Published on July 18, 2011 13:08 • 135 views • Tags: kindle-bestsellers, liquid-fear, scott-nicholson, the-innocent, the-remains, vincent-zandri
The following blog, is now appearing at The Vincent Zandri Vox:

A very dear friend of mine reminded me just this morning that if the Mayan calender is indeed correct, we've only got about 12 more months on this planet before the whole thing goes Kaboom on December 21, 2012!!!

What this does NOT mean is that I will stop paying my bills.
It does not mean I will stop getting haircuts, or hitting the gym, or jogging my 3-5 miles everyday. It doesn't mean I will cease paying my taxes (although I do so while grinding my teeth), and it doesn't mean that I will stop stopping smoking or take up cocaine, fun as it all sounds.

What it does mean however, is that I am writing like a fiend again. My normal daily output when writing a new novel is five new pages per day. But lately that daily quota has risen to close to ten. In a word, I'm writing like it's the end of the world.

There are other things at play. Like my colleagues at Thomas & Mercer, Scott Nicholson, Lee Goldberg, and Barry Eisler have all astutely pointed out in their popular blogs, 2011 has been a "Golden Age" for writers and digital publication. I've sold hundreds of thousands of e-book editions of my books this past year and now with my new 7 book deal at Amazon, I expect to double those sales next year due to their "matrix" marketing system. Yes, Keanu, I took the red pill.

In the meantime, I want to write books. Not push them.
I no longer feel the pressure to constantly be barking up the social media tree in order to move a few books. I feel like social media has become more a place to say hello to friends and that's the way it should be. Yeah, sure, I'm still gonna taut my books, but the pressure isn't quite what it used to be when I was out there publishing with an indie house all by my lonesome.

Remember a little more than ten years ago when we were all listening to "We're gonna party like it's 1999?" and we were peeing our pants in anticipation of a global computer crash? Well, this year I'm going to write like its December 20, 2012...And if the Mayan calender ends up being wrong, I will have a whole new batch of novels to unleash on the world.


Scream Catcher
Scream Catcher by Vincent Zandri
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Published on December 06, 2011 17:31 • 141 views • Tags: barry-eisler, kindle-bestsellers, lee-goldberg, on-writing, scott-nicholson, vincent-zandri