Hey everybody! It’s time for the Friday update, where I share a few thoughts on some of the self-publishing news that caught my eye this week. After that, I’ll give you a quick status report on what’s going on with my new book.
Okay, so first I’d like to throw a question out there to everyone: Is this a good time, or a bad time, to get into self-publishing? Personally, I feel like this question will be THE question of the week, every week, until something really big (and kind of unexpected) happens to disrupt the market’s current trends.
I’m seeing very distinct signs all around me, and they remind me of almost exactly what I saw happening in the voiceover industry, over the last ten years.
In a nutshell, it’s something like this: Technology lowers the barriers to entry. Traditional gatekeepers are not happy, but everybody else seems to be. Then waves of new talent floods the market. Prices fall. Massive new platforms get their initial boost from the sudden uptick in market activity, but then begin showing signs of turning into pay-to-play portals as soon as market saturation becomes impossible to ignore.
And then what? Well, that’s the problem with the voiceover industry right now. We haven’t gotten there yet. It’s an ugly place these days, filled with people who are claiming to do voiceover as a “side hustle” and asking everybody really stupid and annoying questions like “so… how much should I charge for doing voiceovers?”
As far as I can tell, the self-publishing industry is right on the razor’s edge of taking the next step into a world of pay-to-play business models. If you don’t know what that means, it’s basically a situation where platforms like the house Amazon has built, begin charging writers an entry fee, just to become members, before they even publish anything. Or even if they never publish anything.
So do you think that’s going to happen in the self-publishing biz? I certainly hope not, and you indies should too.
Alright, enough gloom and doom, right? It’s time for a quick update on my book’s progress! I’m happy to report that I was hitting the keyboard pretty hard this week, and I’m back to nearly 20,000 words. Well… at this moment, it’s actually about 19,800 words, but that’s close enough to 20K for me to feel good about making up for work that I lost after the massive edit frenzy I threw myself into, just a couple of weeks ago.
As this is my first novel, the process has been highly educational. To be honest, I really didn’t even know if I was going to be able to write so much, about a single topic.
You know, when I was staring at a blank computer screen, it occurred to me that over the past ten years, all the writing I have ever done before this year was oriented towards copywriting, magazine articles, and advertising… which rarely ever exceeded 1,000 words at a time. Most of the time, it was less than 500 words per submission.
Now I’m building a story, with characters, and a timeline. When I really get going, it feels like I’m dreaming with my eyes open, which is a very interesting experience. That’s when I find myself typing for a whole hour, without even noticing. Other times, I get stuck on a scene transition, or a bit of dialogue, and then it feels like I’m running into a brick wall.
This weekend I’m going to take a break from writing, and prepare myself for a big change in the story. I spent the last two weeks building up my main character’s bad situation, and now it’s time to give him a chance to re-establish himself in a whole new and unfamiliar setting, as he tries to get his life together… in spite of the odds.
Well, that’s it for this episode of the Friday update. Now it’s time for me to get back to writing! I hope your book-related projects are also coming along, and of course I’d love to hear about that, or whatever is on your mind, in the comments. Have a great weekend!