How to become a published author in the year 2015
The technological age of virtual ebooks, introductions to thousands of publishing platforms available via internet by companies we know, most we do not know, yet. Which is the best? Which road is the one to take? In summary, the question to ask sounds more like: What is my intention?
The purpose of publishing is to put an expression of some sort, regardless of the medium used, into the public arena for posterity. The reasons are personal. The goals are varied but to succeed one must first ask themselves: “What is my intention?”
pub·lish·ing (n): the occupation, business, or activity of preparing and issuing books, journals, and other material for sale.
“The moment (your work no matter what form) is put into writing it is copy written.” Published Author and Poetic Artist, James Berkowitz shared this nugget of information in a recent interview celebrating his latest poem publication in Edgar Allan Poet Journal #3 last week.
Decades ago what is called a ‘poor mans copy-rite’ was done by writing up your poem or story, mailing it to yourself but, NEVER opening it. A very popular anti-plagerism technique that gives your work a postmark with an official federally recognized date. A simple fail safe artists kept under their beds in boxes. Able to be used legally, found easily and used successfully were another person/agency claiming its version of a manuscript had been written first.
The Library of Congress is also used by writers to submit written work and therefore forever keeping the use of a specific title legally as your own. One of the first questions asked of James Berkowitz, a published and brilliant artistic performer formerly of Boston now residing in Los Angeles, California; included the question of using the Library of Congress in this age of advanced technology.
What can a writer do when you feel the time is right and you are ready to share your work with the public? Is the Library of Congress the simplest way to publish your work?
“Submissions to the Library of Congress is one immediate way to document your writings.” As James has done with his first two chapbooks “Canteen Trumpets at Noon” and “The Angels are Watching”. “But, truly the first step begins by asking yourself what are your personal preferences? The second step is establishing relationships within your chosen medium with real people, however they answer, they answer. Do your research, make your connections with people and be like-able.”
If your goal is to submit a manuscript to a large publisher, or any volume of work for print. A local vendor who is able to help cut costs with bulk mailings or with the more specific preferences such as type of paper, will it be bound by thread? stapled? cut or folded? James B. praised the Greg Barber Company, an Eco-friendly printing company in the introduction of his Chapbook that was put into print. As, ‘an invaluable ally’ whose goals followed the same focus as Mr. Berkowitz. Finding relationships that are in line with your own enhances your ability to complete your goal as it did with James. GBC putting this specific Chapbook into publication on recycled paper something perfectly a-tune to that specific work and it’s vision.
“Being published means more than just typing a blog. You’ve got to be ready to do the leg work.” The answer isn’t a cut and dry “yes” or “no” when asked of those interviewed about using a social media presence online. Don’t be fooled. Media in any form requires hours of leg work, or finger tapping if you will.
EVERY successful Author/Composer/Performer and Artist has made their first contact with the public IN PERSON. Although using sites like Facebook, Twitter and Create Space with Amazon are absolutely tools to use J. Berkowitz gives a heads up with some invaluable advice:
“Notice what time of year the finished product will go online. Make a note to yourself when researching your team players how a publishing company creates their publicity. Is the book or CD easily available to the public? And, at what cost?” J. Berkowitz
In today’s technology age, there are some who have grown weary of Facebook. But, after researching the most used sites Facebook hands down, is the number one in it’s genre of Social Media. Facebook offers patrons a free platform to share just about anything. “I stopped mailing out manuscripts several years ago once online submissions began.” James added he also stands firmly on the use of social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. But warns the public of the future possibility: Facebook may soon be asking for a fee to promote ‘Events’. it is a business after all!
Multimedia platforms such as newpages.com and poets & writers.com are venues J. Berkowitz uses with ease now that he has laid his foundation.
James Berkowitz born and raised within the Boston area and alumni of Emerson College resides in Los Angeles. Coming back to New England for a short visit didn’t stop this performing poetic artist from continuing to do what he loves. During his visit here in 2014, Berkowitz shared his most recent work with audiences in Lynn, MA at ‘Walnut Street Cafe’, ‘Plymouth Art Center’, the historic ‘Hall Haskell House’ as well as Lakeville’s ‘Somethin’s Brewing Book Cafe’.
Ask yourself, “What is my intention?” And remember to do the legwork.