Thursday, May 13, 2010

Self-Publishing, The E-explosion and Golf

My dad once said that pretty much everything in the world can be related to golf. Which might explain why it's such a popular sport. Because it's too damned hard to play well for that to be the reason.

I've subscribe to almost thirty blogs about writing and the publishing industry. Included in that list are blogs by agents, interns of agents, publishers, interns of publishers, and writers. Sorry, I haven't found a blog by an intern working for a writer... yet. If you read the posts from these blogs over the last two weeks, you will see an absolute tsunami of words written on either self-publishing, e-books, e-publishing, and the predicted death of tradional publishing houses. I've even written about it. Had to, apparently it's an unwritten thing that if everyone in the industry is writing something then you have to write it (Have you seen any books about using a character's knowledge of either history or some obscure area of study to find a mysterious object that will solve an age-old riddle and save the world in the process? Didn't think so...)

Most people are either saying that the publishing sky will fall in the next five years and that everyone who wants to publish a book in that time span needs to immediately start emailing Amazon or some other e-publishing group, or that they aren't sure what's going to happen and people should just wait and see (but, man those are some ominous clouds on the horizon so might want to check for an umbrella). All this fervor reminds me so much of the phenomenon that was Michelle Wie.

For those have been living under a rock for the last decade, Michelle Wie burst onto the world sports scene in 2000. At 10 years old, she qualified for the Women's U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship. She'd been playing golf since she was 4, and at 10, it seemed that everyone had already crowned her a Hall of Famer, and perhaps the greatest female athlete in the history of the world. In 2002, she qualified for an LPGA tournament at the tender age of 12. Golf writers were going ga-ga, sports journalists were drooling, and the advertising agents already were on Michelle's dad's speed dial. In 2005, Nike and Sony signed her to sponsorship deals worth over 10 million dollars. She even tried to qualify for the men's US Open. But a little something happened on the way to legendary status.

Turned out Michelle either wasn't as good as everyone thought, or that she didn't care as much we did. She has never won a tournament. She has played well, sure, but all that Hall of Famer stuff is waaaaay in the future. She's not even in the Top 15 professional female golfers in the world right now.

Self-publishing sounds great. But remember, writing isn't a 100-meter dash. It's a marathon. If you want to be good at it, don't let some flash in the pan thing lure you into sprinting before the finish is in sight. Be patient.

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