Q&A with Stephen Goldin discussion

15 views
The Business of Being aWriter

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 57 comments Mod
I was teaching an adult-learning course on writing science fiction at a local community college, and I thought it would be cruel to send my poor students out into the publishing world without some basic knowledge of how to survive there. I devoted one 2-hour session to business principles, and the class was over before I'd barely scratched the surface. I convinced the college administrator to devote an entire course to this subject, and found several of the same students eager for more information. When I learned that one student was commuting about 200 miles for a 2-hour-a-week class, I realized there was an enormous need for more information on the subject.

Eventually my wife (at the time) and I wrote a book called The Business of Being a Writer. The book was a main monthly selection of the Writers Digest Book Club and a featured alternate of Book of the Month Club.

The publishing world has undergone major changes since the book's original publication in 1982, and much of the book is out of date. A friend of mine, author/podcaster Dan Sawyer, is collaborating with me on a brand new edition, hopefully to be published in 2011. In the meantime, I've updated some of the book's chapters and published them individually as ebooks.

A Career in Writing
The Mechanics of Submission
Marketing Your Work
Rights and Copyrights
Dealing with Editors
Legal Matters
Magazine Contracts and Permissions


message 2: by Neve (new)

Neve Maslakovic (nevemaslakovic) I'm looking forward to perusing these when my new Kindle gets here!


message 3: by Cerena (new)

Cerena Brown | 9 comments ok


Kelly H. (Maybedog) (maybedog) I'm looking forward to the new book.


message 5: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 57 comments Mod
So am I. Dan's been researching a lot of the new stuff, and I'm hoping to learn a lot, myself.


message 6: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 57 comments Mod
A writer has to have an ego so big that he's sure what he has to say is so important that people will pay him just for the privilege of reading it.


message 7: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Cotterill (rachelcotterill) I'm not surprised to hear you're revising it - the world of publishing seems to be changing incredibly rapidly. I just opted out of the traditional route - not because of rejections, but because I decided I'd prefer not to have middle-men at all. At least, not whilst I'm also busy studying for my PhD! I reason that I can always try the 'traditional' route later, with subsequent novels, but for now independence suits me ;)

Rachel


message 8: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 57 comments Mod
That's my feeling exactly. I've already proved I can sell things to editors at traditional publishing houses. I don't need to prove anything else. While I'd love to get the distribution and notice they could give me, my independence counts for something, too.


message 9: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 57 comments Mod
Independent ("indie") authors are already doing that. Smashwords.com is the best place to go, and you can also sell on Kindle machines directly through Amazon. (The service used to be called Digital Text Platform; they've just changed the name to Kindle Direct Publishing.) These services get rid of the middlemen; I use both of them, and I'm pretty happy with each. Each has its own set of pluses and minuses, but they're both wonderful assets to indie writers.


message 10: by Rachel (new)

Rachel Cotterill (rachelcotterill) I use Smashwords and Amazon DTP for ebooks, and CreateSpace for paperbacks. Most of my sales come directly through the Kindle store (so far at least) although there still seems to be a market for signed paperback copies.

I haven't quite worked out how to make enough money to live off through book sales, though... maybe when I have a back catalogue the size of Stephen's! :)

Rachel


message 11: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 57 comments Mod
Rachel wrote: "I use Smashwords and Amazon DTP for ebooks, and CreateSpace for paperbacks. Most of my sales come directly through the Kindle store (so far at least) although there still seems to be a market for s..."

I use the same 3 companies. As long as you know what you're doing, you get excellent service and can't beat the price. (Just got a newsletter yesterday that DTP has changed its name to Kindle Direct Publishing.)

Misfortunately, a large backlist doesn't seem to guarantee much of anything. As you ladies keep telling us guys, size doesn't matter....


message 12: by Stephen (new)

Stephen Goldin (stephengoldin) | 57 comments Mod
wally wrote: "neato...so, is there a chapter devoted to that angle?

No, the original book came out long before the current revolution in self-publishing and ebook publishing. The new edition should have a substantial section on it, though.


message 13: by Jay (new)

Jay Parks (jay_parks) | 2 comments Why would I need a revised edition? My hardback copy is fine. For example, in the chapter Agents you say:
An agent who is getting better deals for you than you could yourself is worth 10 percent of your writing income
What could be wrong with that? I'm sure nothing in that sentence has changed.

(signed)
-- Smartass


back to top