Friday, February 14, 2014

A Sale; And How I'm Tired of Talking About The Market, And How I'm Glad For It

Since my publisher, Crystal Lake, was chosen as Publisher of the Year by This Is Horror, a sale is on until the 17th, which means the ebook for my first collection of short fiction, Things Slip Through, is only $2.99.  The reception has been overwhelmingly positive, people seem to like the book, and four months after its release, it's still trotting right along. The reviews have been great, also. My favorites, I think, come from Shock Totem Publications and FearNET:
"Lucia knows what he’s doing. He has studied the masters and taken adequate notes and has written a classically structured, darkly fantastical book. A love letter to both 50s dark fantasy and 80s pulp horror, written in red and bound in heart. Things Slip Through is a solid and entertaining journey through a very strange town." - Shock TotemPublications
"There's a bit of the tone of The Twilight Zone and Amazing Stories in this enjoyable (and too short!) read...the descriptions are extremely vivid. With simple phrases, Lucia paints pictures of familiar and yet terrifying creatures. Having read other works by Mr. Lucia, I'd say this is one signature of his, and he uses his skills as a writer to draw in the reader without exposing the seams of the work." - FearNET
The sale is running until February 17th, and is on both Kindle, Nook and Smashword formats. 

On another note, something interesting happened recently. I came across yet another lengthy and insightful Facebook post by a well-respected writer colleague about the market and predictions for the "Big Five" and Amazon and self-publishing, started reading it dutifully (so I can be "market savvy and current and whatever else") when I realized something very, very important. It's going to sound cynical and depressing but it's not, really. In all reality, I felt like a huge burden had been lifted from my shoulders.

I realized that, honestly: I just didn't give a damn anymore.


Me Not Giving A Damn Anymore
Don't get me wrong. Said writer is an awesome person, very well-informed, and a talented writer. I've valued greatly their input and words of advice and encouragement to me, specifically

But I realized in an epiphany that, in all honesty, I've currently hit a threshold when it comes to musing about the market and what may or may not happen and how the Big Five are doomed and Barnes and Noble is doomed and books are doomed and the indie bookstore is doomed and how we'll all be buying books from vending machines soon and how Amazon is either the savior or damnation of publishing and indie publishing and the indie author.  

I'm tired of receiving conflicting advice from authors who fancy themselves veterans (when they really aren't); advice that most of the time amounts to the classic: do what I say; not what I do. (above author who encouraged me recently is the exception). I'm tired also of newbie writers blogging about writing tips and marketing tips and self-publishing tips like they're all Amanda Hocking - or J. A. Konrath - telling us all how we're supposed to be doing this, when they've barely done it themselves. 

I'm tired of the debate between self-publishing and traditional publishing. Dead end arguments, both of them. I'll be honest and say I'm tired of seeing people share J. A. Konrath's borderline smug posts about how apparently he's the only one who saw all this coming and the rest of us - Stephen King and publishing houses in general - are all a bunch of backward stupid-heads who are ignorant and doomed to failure if we don't do EXACTLY WHAT HE SAYS RIGHT NOW. I'm tired of speculations about when the ebook "bubble" will burst (if it ever will). 

I'm tired of speculating how to write in a fashion that will capture the attention of Millennials who are attention-deprived and can't hold their focus for longer than a paragraph, so now we must write in tweets, AOL speak, wing-dings or something else to catch their fractured attention. Apparently the old: "Write the book you want to read" now no longer matters, and I'm tired of being scared that might be true, indeed.

I'm tired of hearing myself talk about these same damn things and I'm just. Plain. Tired. OF EVERYTHING.

Except for one thing.

Writing.

I don't care about anything in the writing career anymore, past writing. Screw it. Toss all the rest out the window. I work full-time in what is a rewarding but often mentally and emotionally draining job, so therefore I get up at 2:30 in the morning every day to write.  By 9th period (which is a free period, thankfully) I'm daily nodding off over a stack of papers at my desk, or falling asleep while prepping for the five different novels my classes are reading that week.

I have two children, both wonderful darlings, but one of them is 9 and starting to get active playing basketball (my pre-writing love, and still an important part of my life), and the other is 7 and though he's made great strides against his autism he's still a handful on his best days. We're always walking a budget tight-rope, trying to figure out how to stay afloat and not lose our house, wondering when the next car is going to break down, and also dealing with the annual: "I hope I get good teaching evaluations and am offered a job again next year" fun and games, all the time me wishing I could afford to go back to NECON and attend World Horror for the first time, and knowing it doesn't matter because I simply can't afford either of them.

Now. Understand - all that stuff in those last two paragraphs is just LIFE stuff. It doesn't depress me, by any means. It's part of the gig, and I'm cool with that. I'm just tired of worrying about all these ephemeral, transitory, "publishing buzz-topics of the moment" when I've got all this other stuff to attend to.

And please. Also understand this: I'm not slamming writers who are keeping their fingers on the publishing industry's pulse. By no means. I just had this breakthrough moment the other day when I realized that, really, all I care about is writing, and that's it.

So, I'm going to do what I always do: write. I'll worry about market stuff when I've gotten a lot of stuff written. Until then, I'm going to write/revise/polish/submit; repeat. Because really, none of this stuff matters to me, anymore. Maybe someday it will. Maybe this week I'm just burned out, and a month from now I'll have a fresher perspective. Who knows? The only thing I can control, however?

That I write, every day.

Because that's all I care about. 

End rant.