Hugh Howey: The Conundrum That Baffles The Publishing World

If you’ve never read Wool, then I urge you to get it from Amazon or your favorite e-book store. It is free for the first hit. The rest will cost you, but my oh my, they will addict you like textual smack. Black Tar textual smack.

Now that you’ve read that, or if you’re already a fan, you really need to understand why Hugh Howey is the hero to many self-published authors, including me, and somewhat of an anti-hero to the traditional publishing world, or at best, a conundrum that constantly evolves and cannot be predicted.

What is the beauty of having a physical book? Is it because it is made of paper? Is it the size? The smell of the pages and cover? The way the pages feel under your fingers? The memories of growing up with physical books? I still love physical books, but I’m also a huge Kindle fan (a fan of all e-readers to be honest, since that is the direction the literary world is evolving in).

The one thing e-books don’t have that physical books have, well, one of the things, but sometimes the most important thing, is a physical presence. So in a sense, without a physical presence, it can have no smell, no paper pages, and since it is so new, no real fond memories of sitting under a tree in the summer reading an epic story. Maybe some of you have had this memory with the e-readers, but I’m still working towards that goal.

But what if you could have an e-book AND a physical presence to remind you of it? Friends, this is why Hugh Howey is someone authors like me respect and publishers cannot predict:

What will the man think of next?

Piracy Is Not An Epidemic

And let us take a moment to be completely realistic.

If one million pirated downloads of your book has occurred, yes, you could have lost one million sales. But come on…one million means you are EXTREMELY popular, and have more than likely sold a few million at Amazon and other outlets. And if you are that popular, you have publishers shoving contracts in your face, Hollywood bugging for the rights to your work for screenplays, conventions bugging you to attend, all sorts of other little perks and money-makers because…you are extremely popular.

Because there’s no one on this planet that has had their work downloaded one million times and is still a nobody, crying out in a lonely voice on the internet that he has nothing, barely any food to eat. If your name was “Game of Thrones – Season 3 – Episode 04” then you would be downloaded a million+ times, but you don’t see any of them (nor even HBO) making a fuss about it. HBO has even openly said they know their show(s) get pirated, and they really don’t care that much. Continue reading

Believe In Yourself

Right. So. I’ve spent the afternoon having an excellent conversation via Facebook chat with one of my readers. I hate calling them ‘fans’ as that sounds like I’m famous or important…and come on, we all know better than that. As the conversation went on, this nice young lady did a bit of a psych eval on me. I finally realized at some point that this was most likely because I am one of the most self-deprecating humans on the planet, and within seconds, another realization that to those that don’t know me, I probably seem like one of those types that truly is hateful of himself.

You know, the kind of Debbie Downer that makes everyone uncomfortable because when they say something like, “I suck”, everyone around them knows that the person indeed believes that he or she feels like a complete and total loser who has no value in life to themselves or to others around them.

The kind guy like me, who thought all through junior and senior high school my name was “Kill Yourself” because anytime someone said something to me, it always started with “Kill Yourself”.

So I decided I should write a new blog post to say a few things that I think are important. No, not about me, I’m definitely not important (I can see this nice young lady cringing at each self-inflicted insult I produce, by the way). Some of it will be about me, but that’s because there are many like me who use self-deprecation as a form of humor, and there are many more who use it as a defense mechanism for poor self-esteem, and then there are the majority who use it because for some reason or other, they truly do believe they aren’t worthy of any respect or compliment. Continue reading