Sunday, October 19, 2014

Publishers Anonymous: my name is John.

Louis Shalako

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.

My name is John, and I have a problem.

I am a binge publisher.

It began innocently enough.

I was a social publisher at first. That’s how it starts. At parties, maybe once or twice a year, with a few friends.

It’s insidious. It’s seductive. You get sucked in over time.

You, know, where we’d sit around in our friend’s basement apartment, with their parents thumping around up above, and experimenting with words, and poems, and writing stuff, and ultimately, yes: publishing.

Even now, I don’t consider myself a publishaholic. There may be some level of denial there, but the truth is that I have a problem and that’s why I’m here tonight.

Every so often, it’s like I just can’t stand it any more. It’s like I’ve been on the wagon long enough and it’s time to dive overboard and wallow in it.

My habit.

The monkey on this old back, ladies and gentlemen.

And I’m tired, and I want to go home.

As if you could ever really go back there again, eh?

Oh, yeah, eh. This time I’ve got a whole shit-load of stuff. The Mysterious Case of Betty Blue was published exclusively on Kindle Select Program. After ninety days, I get her back. Then she must be published on Smashwords, OmniLit, Google Books and Google Play, and then it will go into all of those distribution channels. That one is already published in 4 x 7” and 5 x 8” in Createspace and Lulu paperbacks, which doesn’t conflict with the terms of Kindle Select.

My new mystery novel, The Architect of His Own Destruction, will be done in the next few days. I’m not going with Kindle Select on that one. I want the book in all stores, using all distribution platforms, by Christmas. There is some time lag when using Smashwords, and it takes time to filter through. They don’t have real time automatic shipping and distribution as there is an internal human review process. Simply put, they ship on Thursdays, and you need to have it in and vetted on time. The stores at the other end have their own internal time lags.

It's my bag, ladies and gentlemen. It's what I do.

Between the five pen-names I have, there are six more books published either exclusively on Kindle (without actually being enrolled in Select) or coming out of Select in the next two or three months. What that means is that I get to publish six books over all of those other stores/platforms. The most time-consuming is OmniLit, where they don’t have a grinder-process, and you have to upload multiple file formats…sorry, I forgot myself for a moment there.

It was getting so bad, I had to make a list. Seriously.

I just published a couple of horror short stories, and knowing me, it’s like I’m fricking rummaging around in drawers and closets, trying to see if I got something worth selling. I’m wracking my brains trying to remember somebody, anybody that might owe me money. Where can I borrow seven or eight bucks for a marketing image? Who can I talk into giving me a lift to take them beer empties back? Do I have few rolls of nickels or even pennies in the back of a drawer?

Never know, might as well have a look.

'Cause I know damn well there's more stuff I could publish.

There has to be. It didn't all just dry up and blow away now, did it?


That’s just how it is, sometimes, ladies and gentlemen. You’re desperate, and you’ll do almost anything short of looking for work in order to get a fix…you know what I’m talking about.

You been there too.


So that’s why I came out this evening.

Maybe some kind of twelve-step program can help me. I mean, seriously, when I first started out, a couple of books, a story or two a year were enough to keep me going. But it’s getting bad lately, it really is. There’s never enough to satisfy me any more, and it’s like a real bad craving.

It’s all you think about from the time you wake up in the morning to the time you go to bed. You see it in your dreams…and you drool just a little bit.

I don’t know, ladies and gentlemen. I might have waited too long and left it too late.

The odds are that I am incorrigible, and that no matter how hard I try, I can never be saved.

Which is kind of sad, when you think about it.


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