Unca Mike's Bad Advice - Answers

June 2009: Tear it up

Bob writes: There are a lot of old people writing science fiction, and I'm one of these hot, young turks you hear so much about. I wanna tear up the scene and throw all those old pricks out in the cold! How best to begin?

Youíve made an excellent start by insulting literally everybody who is or ever has been published and expressing your intention to destroy their careers. How can they not be impressed? Now extend that cutting-edge attitude to include all editors.


Molly DeBlanc writes: I've heard a lot about self publishing these days, so I want to know—in order to be successful, do I really have to make a contract with a big, soulless publishing house?

Absolutely not! All that a big, soulless publishing house adds to the mix is proofing, copyediting, editorial guidance, jacket copy, professional artwork for the cover, packaging design, professional credibility, access to retailers, advertising, promotion, a decent chance of being reviewed, and a somewhat smaller shot at the brass ring. Oh, and a cash advance.

By contrast, at a cost of less than ten thousand dollars (if youíre careful), a small, soulful self-publishing non-house provides you with all the excitement of a desert island adventure. You metaphorically place your novel in a bottle and cast it into the sea of the World Wide Web. Then you wait. Will anybody find it? If they do, will they read it? If they read it, will you ever know? Will you ever break even? For-profit publishing houses canít offer you excitement like this.

home | author | truth | unca mike | news | fiction | non-fiction | bibliography
reviews & analysis | gallery | links | who & how | contact