I think the fact that we can self publish so easily is changing literature, or at least the associated industry, and I love it. The fact that anyone can publish and sell their fiction is changing the way we’re exposed to new authors; it’s becoming more like the way we’ve been introduced to music.
Think about it. Before the internet, before eReaders and Amazon and CreateSpace, a room full of suits decided what would and wouldn’t be published. Prospective authors could only attain the hallowed title of “writer” by paying for a MFA and then they’d query one of the aforementioned suits to see if their work was up to snuff.
Music has never been that way. Musicians would congregate and start small in bars or on the curb. They’d build a fan base gig by gig and once they had a following, their own group of suits would come in to produce and manage. Now authors can start small. We can bleed our souls into pieces of fiction or memoirs and then publish them for the world to see. We can market through blogs and Facebook and that vapid pool of idiots that is twitter. We can lure in a fan base and get more recognition from story to story and hope the suits will come in to buy our souls and get us movie rights so we too can have our works immortalized just like those damn sparkly vampires.
I think literature is progressing more quickly as a result. Campy tales rich with street vernacular are selling like crazy because the reading public has their eager fingers directly on the author pass/fail button and the large publishing houses are striving to catch up. At least that’s my take on things.
I’ve decided to take a short break from the drivel I usually blog about and do a three part segment on self published authors that I’ve run into in one way or another on the internet. I hope you enjoy.
Part One – DelSheree Gladden
One of the boons to being an indie author is that you have an incredible community at your disposal. It’s like we live in this weird little bubble that’s complexly devoid of cut-throat competition. Every indie author I’ve met has promoted other people’s work right alongside their own and that’s why I’ve decided to start this little series with DelSheree Gladden.
I don’t get jealous of other authors often, but I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t at least a little envious of Gladden. This woman has a freakish amount of drive, and other than an ability to levitate things via telekinesis, I don’t think there’s anything she can’t do. My wife met her in school where they’re both studying full time to be dental hygienists, she’s a married mother of two, she teaches my daughter gymnastics, she runs a rather in-depth blog, she’s a prolific author, and I even hear she makes some of her own cloths. You know that Steven Segal movie “Marked for Death” wherein the bad guy actually turns out to be twins? I have my suspicions that maybe that’s how it is with DelSheree and one of these days I’m going to prove it. One of the DelSherees is going to get a haircut and forget to tell the other one and then I’ll totally point it out and say “Ha!” and then she’ll say “and I would’ve gotten away with it too if it wasn’t for that meddling Jesse” or something like that.
Gladden’s blog, The Edible Bookshelf, is completely dedicated to reviewing books and interviewing authors. She does one book per week (give or take) and her comments and interview questions are really insightful. I don’t have the time to read one book per week let alone write badass books that approach the 100K word mark but DelSheree pulls it off effortlessly (again, this isn’t a compliment but rather proof that there’s actually two of them). This goes back to what I was saying earlier about how indie authors are all on the same side. I’d recommend her site to anyone that’s looking to find a good book or would like to query DelSheree for a review: http://theediblebookshelf.blogspot.com/
Anyway, DelSheree did it right. She wrote like crazy and was a tireless champion of her work. She blogged about it and self published it and joined all the sites you’re supposed to like Good Reads and she finally got her break recently when Briona Glen Publishing LLC published “Inquest” which is the first book in the Destroyer Trilogy. DelSheree let me read this book before it was finally published and I loved it. I guess I’d classify it as YA but it’s one of those stories that transcend genera and I’d recommend it to anyone. And actually, I did. I was given the opportunity to be one of those authors that write a short recommendation for the back of the book and I jumped all over it. As soon as it was available I ordered a copy and when it arrived in the mail, I ripped open the box and flipped over the book and there it was; my recommendation. How awesome is that? I was honored. I plan on running into my daughter’s gymnastics class waving the book and a pen like some half star crazed idiot begging for an autograph (all the while looking for proof of a twin).
Please go buy this book; it comes highly recommended: http://www.amazon.com/Inquest-Volume-The-Destroyer-Trilogy/dp/1618070622
For Libby Sparks, turning sixteen means only one thing…death. Guardian rule demands she attend the ritualistic Inquest that will unveil her talents and secure her place in society. But that isn’t all that will be revealed in Libby’s case.
The more talents you have the better, at least to some degree. Four or five talents will guarantee you a life of luxury, but seven…that is the mark of the Destroyer. Libby knows her Inquest will reveal her to be the Guardians’ greatest enemy. Their law requires her death before her eighteenth birthday. If she lives, prophecy foretells that the world will fall into chaos and destruction.
Once her destiny is revealed, Libby is abandoned when her mother throws her out, her boyfriend tries to kill her, and her best friend shuts her out. Only Milo, a slightly grungy outcast, seems willing to be her friend—but Libby soon realizes he has secrets of his own. His secrets may very well have everything to do with her own destiny.
In order to make it to her eighteenth birthday, Libby must bury her talents and convince the world she is harmless. Her plan only lasts until Milo is put in danger and Libby is forced to choose. Abandon her friend to save her own life, or embrace her destiny and truly become the Destroyer.
Here’s a guest segment DelSheree did that explains some of her thought process as it
applies to writing: http://nancyjardine.blogspot.com/?zx=9863897c50e78803