When an author transitions from traditional publishing to the self-publishing realm, it’s a leap into uncharted territory. This podcast episode, featuring Michelle West, unveils the intricate journey of an author navigating the evolving landscape of the literary world, enhanced by the patronage model of platforms like Patreon.
The conversation opens with West’s candid insights into her decision to self-publish the ‘Sunning in Universe’ series after changes at her previous publisher. It’s a narrative that many authors can relate to, where industry shifts compel a search for alternative avenues to share their work with readers. West’s transition is not just about retaining creative control but also about directly connecting with her audience, a connection that Patreon uniquely facilitates.
She sheds light on the financial aspects of self-publishing, such as the costs of editing, proofreading, and cover design. These costs can vary depending on the length of the book, presenting challenges when striving to maintain the quality expected by readers. The podcast also touches on the intricacies of print-on-demand and the importance of understanding that a finished book is not immediately available on platforms like Amazon.
The dialogue moves toward the emotional experience of writing and the concept of crafting stories that resonate on a personal level. The discussion reflects on the unpredictable nature of publishing success and the value of passion over trend-chasing. This leads to a broader examination of the author’s role in promotion and social media’s influence on book sales.
Another key aspect of the conversation revolves around the shifting dynamics of the publishing industry, including the reduced patience for author development and the consolidation of publishers into the Big Five. These changes have impacted authors’ careers, contributing to anxiety and discouragement in the writing community.
Further along, the episode delves into the world of gaming narratives, highlighting the emotional layers present in MMORPGs like Final Fantasy XIV. The narrative progression and character development in such games often elicit profound connections with players, paralleling the emotional engagement sought in books. The podcast explores how these digital storytelling methods have opened doors to discussing controversial social and political topics, reinforcing the role of stories in shaping cultural discourse.
The episode’s depth is exemplified by its thoughtful examination of complex villains from Final Fantasy XIV, and the nuances of their motivations. It is this kind of character analysis that resonates with both readers and gamers alike, emphasizing the universal themes present in both media.
As the episode wraps up, it touches on social media platforms and online interactions, reflecting on Twitter’s role in disseminating diverse perspectives and the importance of engaging with various opinions to understand the broader societal landscape.
In essence, this podcast episode is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of authors like Michelle West, who navigate the turbulent waters of publishing while fostering a community around their work. It’s a journey that intertwines the craft of writing with the business of publishing, and the communal aspects of storytelling, whether in print or pixels.