After self-publishing my second eNovel in December, I’ve been increasingly tormented by the fear that it possibly may not be quite the classic in the making I assumed anything pouring from my fingers would instantly be. Understand, this is a strange sensation for me. Even as a kid I used to imagine what it would feel like to be one of the dumb kids. I’ve just always been blessed/cursed with an ego the size of a professional athlete’s (despite neither being very professional or athletic).
Maybe my ego is more the size of your aunt Edna’s goiter. Anywho, as I’ve said in an earlier post, I’m stoopid like a fox. Steven Pressfield’s quote about artists and writers is so great that I’ll include it here again: “Ignorance and arrogance are the artist and entrepreneur’s indispensable allies. She must be clueless enough to have no idea how difficult her enterprise is going to be—and cocky enough to believe she can pull it off anyway.”
Normally that is me to a “T.” I’m as cluelessly cocky as they come. But lately I’ve rather non-stoopidly become aware that lots of self-published eBooks are ludicrously crappy. I have a collection of free Kindle samples to prove it.
As I begin my third novel, I’ve become increasingly less clueless, and this has smashed my cocky factor like a beer bottle over the head. I desperately don’t want to create products that rightly inhabit the Amazon bargain/trash bin. But in a game that requires ego and bravado to survive, how does one ensure his/her product is more than single-cell slime slithering around the dark fringes of the eVerse?
The answer? Do all the necessary market research, start writing and then have Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones use their little flashy dealy to eradicate all memory of the truth. It is the only way to maintain the clueless cockiness needed to thrive while ensuring a reasonable level of quality control.
Yeah, yeah. Of course there is the normal rhetoric (and I’m sure lots of it isn’t rhetoric at all): surround yourself with a team, use professional freelancers for editing and art, be patient, do your research (dot, dot, dot). So I’ve done all that. I preach it to others all the time.
But still… I crave improvement of my craft. I want (as most of us do) world domination. I want my eNovels to grab people by the brain and slap ’em around and then inject them with enough endorphins and serotonin to turn the biggest scrooge into a roisterous promoter of life and love.
At the same time I want to make a living. So I round up reviews, and the like. Everyone says my stuff is wonderful. They love it. Blah, blah blah. Then one guy comes along and says it’s ranker than the excretions of a yeti who has recently eaten a North American tourist bursting with McDonald’s drippings.[divider]
So when sales depends on buzz and not quality, the gatekeepers have been discredited, and sucky eBooks are flooding the market every hour… you just gotta stay stoopid and smart both. Where do you think I can find one of those flashy deals?