It's October 12, 2011. The Vancouver Branch of the Canadian Authors Association is meeting tonight at 7 pm in the Alliance for the Arts building on Howe Street beside Waves Coffeehouse. I got an email from Ben Nuttall Smith saying that he and Bob Mackay were talking on publishing.
I'm a blogger. Who needs a publisher. Ha! I don't even use an editor. Ha! Ha! And no deadlines either. Ha! Ha! Ha!
I don't get fan mail like a Published Author. Only comments. I have to respond to comments or the comment might overshadow the piece I've written. Commenters are often more pithy than bloggers. They're the blogger world's equivalent of the critic. But I even get to censor the critics in blogger world. Published Authors don't have that luxury!
Bob and Ben, however, since they published their books last year have had women chasing them. Bloggers don't get swarmed, like Published Authors. You'd think it was the Vancouver Sun Run the way the Published Author Groupies charge, whenever Ben and Bob make a public appearance.
Bloggers don't have to do those public appearance things, either. It's highly unlikely that Harper, Obama or Oprah are going to phone up this blogger. In contrast Ben and Bob live at daily risk of having CBC call them and ask them to talk about their books.
Published authors. I'd not be surprised to see those letters after their names. Bob Mackay, PA. Ben Nuttall-Smith, PA.
As a blogger I don't have to re write. I don't even have to 'proof' my material. It's a bit like going to the opera in one's underwear, mind you.
Ben and Bob's writing is so much more presentable and polished. A bit posh really. Complete sentences. Actual story lines. Meaning. Big words and catchy sly bits.
Apparently people liked their story telling even before they got published.
As a blogger I could go from an audience of none to the whole internet of billions, not that anyone needs to take notice of a blogger. Blogging is democratic and subtle that way. Not in your face like a real hard book you could hold in your hand. Not even something that would get on Kindle.
I might be able to spiff up my blog a bit but it's never going to adorn a coffee table, unless it were a virtual coffeetable. Everyone has been gifting their friends with Bob's book or Ben's book but I don't even know if I can give my blog away.
Google doesn't pay at all like a real publishing house does,either. My on line income from blogging has a certain elusive quality like the media itself. Money always did have that here today, gone tomorrow aspect to it for me. But Google's not actually given me any real money. Keeps telling me I have to score 100 before they'll give me the 20's they owe me. A bit like Los Vegas.
I was kind of hoping to hear from Ben and Bob about all the real money Published Authors make. It's a paper business. Those publishing houses should be able to print their own money.
Now that Bob's a real Published Author and Ben is too, I expect they'll be telling us about their yachts and lear jets. Maybe I'll go tonight and hear what it's like to "get your money for nothing and your chicks for free'. I keep thinking there must be life after blogging. A Published Author's life, perhaps.
I went. Jean Kay, Perry Wilson, Anthony Dalton, Bernice Lever and all the other "usual suspects" were there. The room was packed.
Jan Furst had died just short of 100 so stories were already being exchanged about this delightfully remarkable Norwegian Bowen Island character, much loved in the author community.
It was a glorious night. Ben and Bob both humbly shared that if they could get published so could we. All it took was a good idea, a draft, a manuscript, editting, rewriting, an outside editor, perhaps, a good query letter, maybe an agent if he wasn't a complete dodo, a willingness to self promote, and a powerful publicity machine helped. Then a publisher would likely consider your work if that publisher actually published romantic goth fiction. In Canada no author ever admits to sleeping with the editors of Pen and Porcupine but it's been considered.
Blogging was recommended as was a web site. The Surrey Writer's festival was coming in 2 weeks and it was also recommended. As was the CAA December social and AGM as well as a 500 word Letter to Santa contest.
Dear Santa, I want to be a Published Author but I'd also like a Lear Jet even if my publisher can't afford one. My character isn't developed as much as the characters of the Published Authors I heard tonight so you might want to add that to the list. A plot would help too. I'm still not sure you can get from here to there. The CAA is truly inspirational and it's evident that Authors Helping Authors works. But Santa I could really use a bit of extra help from you. Has Rudolf got out of celebrity rehab yet? Bill