Be the Monkey - Ebooks and Self-Publishing: A Dialog Between Authors Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath Kindle Edition
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- Publication Date : March 18, 2011
- File Size : 410 KB
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print Length : 145 pages
- Text-to-Speech : Not enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced Typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Language: : English
- ASIN : B004SV2IPC
- Simultaneous Device Usage : Unlimited
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,523,738 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The book is in the form of a recorded interview and conversation and contains plenty of "Quips `n Quotes" which are both entertaining and informative.
While it's no doubt an essential prerequisite when publishing a non fiction "this is my story, warts an' all" type of book, to be factual and economical on fluff, the injection of real life humour is what makes a book inspirational and thought provoking. Of course if you are a serial procrastinator (hint), the thought provoking elements of this book might not lead to any action ...on the other hand, where there's a will there is always hope, if not a crystal clear pathway.
This treatise (for it's a mammoth read!) on the do's and don'ts of self publishing and the why's and wherefores, is totally compelling reading for the "about to publish my Book on Kindle" writer. It's a very long and absorbing read, rather like a text book on steroids written by two comedians! (Try working that one out!).
Joe turned down what appeared at the outset to be an awesomely lucrative deal from a Legacy Publisher, in favour of self publishing. Not a few heads were turned in the process like a scene from the exorcist. A bold move in the face of the Traditional Publishing cognoscenti. One he won't regret I am sure. Those of you out there in the Kindle Kosmos won't regret Joe's move either, since it very clearly marks the beginning of the end of Legacy domination. Let's have three resounding cheers for the pioneers Joe Konrath and Barry Eisler.
Altogether a most illuminating read (for which read Great Polar Exploration). You'll need to plan well before tackling this book; like suitable outdoor clothing, a supply of long life sandwiches and a pack of Flares for rescue in the case of your disappearance! A back pack of Evian wouldn't go amiss. This book should give hope (maybe glory) and confidence to all those Writers and Authors whose pile of rejection slips now reach the Study ceiling. Wonderful book...get to it!
If you enjoy this book, I would strongly recommend Guy Kawasaki's APE (author, publisher, entrepreneur) and the digital career guide for writers sold directly by Mike Stackpole on his site. I would imagine Konrath's Newbie's Guide to publishing is good also, but I have not read it yet.
This is easily the best book on writing and publishing that I've read in a long time. Eisler and Konrath were both successful authors within the traditional publishing track when they each decided to pursue self-publishing instead. Barry Eisler made headlines earlier this year when he turned down a $500,000 contract with St. Martin's Press to pursue indie publishing. The rest is, to coin a cliche, history.
The authors, in a standard friendly conversation format (not an interview), cover a lot of ground from what is legacy publishing to why monkeys like mouth raping frogs. And, trust me, everything in between. Except crazy ex-wives.
It's important, though, to keep in mind that they don't whitewash self-publishing and they don't throw unearned stones at the major publishing houses. Both talk from experience, not theory. Their ideas are similar, but they disagree on a few minor points. The really interesting parts of the book are where they get prescient and talk about the future of e-books. Near the end it tends to sag as they spend a little bit too much time throwing darts at traditional publishers (within the context of trying to define Amazon's imprints).
I highly recommend this book for every published author and every struggling published author as well as every agent and editor in the publishing industry.
I'm going to read it again.
Top reviews from other countries
Joe Konrath has a fascinating blog - the Newbie's Guide to Publishing - in which he's often rather aggressive in tone and it's refreshing to read him in conversation with a friend he clearly likes and respects, making for a more responsive and considered dialogue.
Changes in the publishing industry are fast-moving now as the ebook/self-publishing revolution gathers pace. I hope Konrath and Eisler will continue to discuss the issues and publish more conversations if they do.
Oh, I can hear you: what about the frog?
Well, guess that poor raped frog could be — you.
The authors' arguments are quite persuasive and I found myself agreeing with a lot of what they said, however, their whole argument seems to be based on the idea that writing is purely about making money. Now of course it's nice to make money and once you are a professional author, I'd imagine most people would like to maximise their income, but nowhere (in these conversations at least) did I get the impression that these guys view writing as any sort of craft or skill or that they are at all interested in seeing interesting, but perhaps not immediately popular works see the light of day.
The authors talk a lot about upping word counts and seem to treat writing much like tending to a machine, which I feel is reflected in their output. I've read works by both these authors and while Barry Eisler's work was solid if unspectacular, Joe Konrath's (while pretty entertaining) really stank of just quickly churned out rubbish for the mass market. There is, of course, nothing wrong with writing entertaining but uninspired fiction - we all like to zone out with a trashy novel now and then - but you would hope that most writers would aspire to something more than just making as much money per word as they can.
By the time I was finished I was left with rather an unpleasant feeling that, while I hope that self publishing will allow many more great writers a wider audience, the majority of successful ones may be more in the vein of these two.