The free sale on Amazon seemed to go pretty well. Zombie World Order got to 32 on the free horror list at one point, and was in the top 700-800 for all free downloads for a day or so. It appears to have given sales a small jolt as well. Most of the books ranked around there were actually published books (by publishers), so it was positive, I think.
There is a duality to “indie” publishing. You have to market your own books as well as write them. For hypocrites, this represents a problem. “Artistic” types are supposed to be above crass concepts like making a few bucks.
I know somebody who periodically has money problems, and he was so down about it he was talking about joining the military. Since he went to art school for a few years until he dropped out, I thought it was an educable moment, and started to suggest ways he could make money through art, at which point he got pompous and cut me off, basically saying he would never sully “his art” by trying to make money.
Yet he would sully his soul by going ten thousand miles away to shoot somebody he never would have seen if he wasn’t part of an invading force of the poor sap’s country. I know this person pretty well, and I should have encouraged him to join, just for the pleasure of watching him chicken out.
The day the Ruskies come over the hill, I’m grabbing my shotgun pistol and fighting to the death, but I’m not down with messing with people who never did anything to me. What could be ruder?
Another person I know wrote a book. Now, this book will probably be tremendous, and should get published easily if there is any merit at all to the book publishing industry, from what I know of this person as a writer and an intellect. Yet, when they told me about it, after I guaranteed them this, I also added this sentiment-if perchance the book publishing industry is meritless, you can always try the “indie” route and publish the thing yourself, and I mentioned a couple of writers who had done this successfully.
This person is married to somebody who has some money. This person lives in a very nice house and is comfortable. This person said some very snooty things to me when I brought up self-publishing, yet can’t this person see that saying they are above commercialism seems irrelevant? After all, they did not marry someone living in a dumpster. I know this person pretty well, and they have never struck me as a non-materialistic person.
When writing books, people should be artists. However, if they want anyone to read them, they have to turn into promoters even if they don’t care about money, unless they can hand the finished manuscript to someone else and pay them to worry about it. Somebody has to peddle your work, even if it’s just finding an agent and selling the idea.
It gets back to the duality thing. Right now, I can write my book anytime. I’m seeing the end zone, and want to finish. For the first 75,000 words, I had to be alone, it had to be nighttime, it had to be quiet, and I had to be drinking an ice water, lemon juice and honey mixture I find to be helpful for some reason. I wasn’t sitting there trying to write a best seller, but rather trying to create art. Yet, now that it is in the ballpark of being done, I am going to start trying to market the series more. I want people to read it and like it, because I want to create a brand-P.J. Kelley Books. I’m not hypocritical about it.
Whether or not I’m succesful with this project, it’s been gratifying to sell some books and get some positive feedback on them. People can learn a lot from a book, and mine are priced to sell, because I want people to think it’s worth it to buy them, and maybe get the next one when it comes out. This is a long-term project, of course, but down the road, after I’m gone (and hopefully not back as a Zombie), maybe my daughters could see a few bucks in royalties once in a while and know I tried to do what was right by them the best way I knew how.
Does this violate my artistic integrity? Most great art has been created under duress. To answer the question, I don’t know, but I’d rather not take my lectures from people for whom bills are not a problem.