Punk rock is one of my favorite rock movements. Punk Rock was going against the establishment. One could argue the moment they sign a record deal that they were no longer ‘punk’ but when the original movement happened the idea of ‘doing it all on your own’ wasn’t particularly feasible. Do punk genre novels reflect this ‘against the establishment’ ideal? I’m not sure and I might write about punk genres being or not being like punk music another time.
In the book publishing world, one has traditionally, small press, vanity press, indie publishing, and… I would like to add artisanal.
The traditional and small press, on the author’s part, involve query letters, slush piles, money, and time. This is a team of editors, cover artists, and a promotion's agent. It is hard for the author to break into this world and once let through the doors, there is a possibility of being kicked out if your book doesn’t sell well enough. Traditional publishing is the studio musician who is well-trained.
Vanity press, yes it still exist, is paying someone to print your book. Some say Indie publishing is vanity publishing, but Indie publishing is more complex. Vanity press is like the guy who made a CD of himself playing music in his garage and then gives it to his friends and family.
Indie publishing is the author venturing out with their book and either creates an ebook from the original manuscript or hires their own team of editors, cover artists, and promotion agents. When the author hires their own team, then in many cases, they are their own agent and perhaps create their own promotions. This is the trend and there is a ton of people willing to take your money to ‘help’ you put out a quality indie product and promote it. Indie publishing is the rock movement of the book selling business and I really like many rock bands.
Being of the mindset of going against the establishment, of wishing to embody the idea of punk, I’m embracing the idea of being an artisanal author. The word artisanal is mostly associated with creating small batches of fine food to sell. In being an artisanal author, I'm not really screaming at the indignities of the world like punk music, but more like sitting quietly in the corner working on crafting a quirky story.
I have had help in producing my novel just as an artisanal food maker has help from the dairy farm, their neighbors, and the farmers market or small grocer. An artisanal crafter will give out samples to entice you to buy their product. My samples are the flash fiction on this blog. The artisanal crafter tries to make their product unique and use traditional methods of creating their product. I try to write stories that question everyday norms while working on not to ending a sentence with a preposition.
The artisanal, indie, and vanity press author is hoping to be discovered and read by millions and perhaps enter the world of traditional publishing with a big contract. After going through all of the steps to create my first ebook and soon-to-be paper book, I like the artisanal feel of being in control of every step even though those steps take me away from writing the next book.