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There’s 5 I really want at this juncture, and so I’ll list them here as a blog:
5. Captain America by Kirby – This is a hole for stories not in other formats like the epic collection so I would like to have these to do a more complete Cap read-through.
4. Captain Britain – I’ve never read the material in here, but this is a strange one for Marvel to have printed to begin with. I doubt it will get a reprint, but it’s so hard to find I’m curous.
3. X-Men: Inferno – Not really an omnibus, since it was labeled “oversized hardcover” but this is one of the most interesting X-Men storylines and has been out of print forever. Definitely need a reprint of this!
2. Rachel Rising Hardcover – When this came out I was an idiot and thought “I have all the single issues.” This is my favorite book of the decade and I want this more than just about anything.
1 Fantastic Four By Hickman Volume 1 – Honestly, I want Rachel Rising more, because I have this in complete collection form, but I am a completionist collector and not having a complete Fantastic Four omnibus library bothers me.
If you like my taste in comics, you should try mine. It’s really good. Flying Sparks in issue form starts here with #1 and goes on a wild ride of epic superhero story from there:
I know this is a hard concept to get across, because I even bought into it too to some extent.
It’s engrained in us from the moment we take an interest in writing.
Workshop your books. Get beta readers. Find an agent. Get it edited. If it’s good it will find a publisher.
It’s a complete lie.
Authors are trained in this because it’s a gatekeeping practice specifically meant to keep publishing in business. It’s a vanity for the publishers and agents to be able to take a large piece (usually more than 75% of what you would have gotten as an author by the time all is said and done) of your finances in order to provide some editing and slap a cover on a book.
Now for some authors, since the cost of this can be around $1,500-$3,000 per book for a professional quality job, need this just to get their book out there.
But there’s a lot you can do yourself, especially if you’re willing to put in a 2-3 year investment into a business like any other business.
There was a big stigma around “self-publishing” that it even lasted into 2016-2017 for me. I took pride in being able to say “I’ve never self-published” to people attacking me on the internet as “not a real author.”
But it didn’t matter.
Being able to self-publish just means taking the full piece of the pie. You have to learn formatting, you have to learn business practices, you have to learn marketing, but honestly you should be doing this all as an author anyway if you want to succeed.
I watched a fellow steampunk author through a major publisher coming up around the same time I did, getting about similar reviews on the first book of their series, and watching the publisher give next to zero support on the marketing end. This is what happens with most books that come out, unless you’re a megastar.
You’re not getting book tours, you’re not getting media, you’ll just have a book an hope it gets out there on a shelf.
Well, this person confided in me how much they were making from the book. It was dismal. And once the “newness” faded off, there was nothing there, the book stopped selling like most books in their cycle.
Meanwhile, my steampunk series kept going because I learned marketing tricks and kept them rolling myself, tending to my own business. I just ran a kickstarter repackaging the books that have been out for 2 years and making an extra $1,300 on it. What publisher would do or allow this?
The answer is none.
Publishers are running in the same antiquated system, and they just want to throw a book out there and “see if it sticks.” If it doesn’t, they have a million other chumps who are willing to work for nearly nothing for the pleasure of saying “I’m published by a REAL publisher.”
The only point is self-congratulations. Vanity. You do not need them, authors.
They need you to keep buying into the mindset that you need validation.
And the funny part is, you’ll start writing better books once you don’t want validation, because you’ll be writing more honestly, with more confidence. It’s a necessary step to get you to the point where your writing matters.
This holiday season, make the leap. Cut out publishers.
My first self-published book is a comic, Flying Sparks #0, featuring short stories from my very popuplar kickstarter series. Get it here in print or digital.
“Fools find no pleasure in understanding
but delight in airing their own opinions.” – Proverbs 18:2
This is social media in a nutshell. It’s the complete transformation of letting someone’s ego dictate all interaction, as it’s all about your feed, your opinions, arguing with other opinions, formulating other arguments, never coming to understanding.
There’s no win on social media. Likes are garnered by “zingering” the other side, and never giving ground. The more you dig in, the more you’ll encourage people who think like you to follow. Any time you give ground, you appear weak.
And so all argument on social media just comes down to feeding ego. There’s no rational debate, it’s all just playing for an audience, whether it’s getting your friends to like your posts, or goading their side into “looking dumb”. It’s always about posting one’s own opinions, getting the likes, getting the dopamine hits.
Some people get frustrated with me because I rarely actually argue dialectic facts on social media. It’s a waste of time to do so. I just post my rhetorical opinions and go, and usually they’re strong ones. I get it. You want the argument, but it’s never because someone wants to understand, they just want to get into those endless threads where their anger goes forward, they get likes, they hit that block button. However, if anyone wants a real discussion, it can be attained without the grandstanding.
I presume anyone who is fighting on the public wall is just doing so for the bait and grandstand and treat those interactions that way. If someone DMs me, I presume they’re sincere and want a discussion. It’s INVARIABLY right.
The truth is, social media is truly the definition of hell, where ego surpasses all, there is no connection, there is no communion. It’s separation from God. And that’s why with the prevalence of social media, our society is falling apart at the seams.
So what’s the takeaway?
Three steps to improving yourself as a person. That’s all you can do.
Maybe one day we can get back to celebrating culture. I’m trying to do so by producing great books like the Nano Templar series. Get started reading today. It’s changing the landscape of science fiction.