The Audiobook edition of Zombie Maelstrom will be available soon

The audiobook edition of Bryan Cassiday’s zombie epic Zombie Maelstrom will be available soon.  Zombie Maelstrom is the first book in the Chad Halverson zombie apocalypse series.  Hopefully it will be ready in time for Halloween!

1228 Bryan Cassiday ACX cover ZOMBIE MAELSTROM_2

Bad for Business?

There’s an interesting article in the current New Yorker about the future of the publishing industry.  It doesn’t look bright for the Big Five publishers.  On the other hand, it looks rosy for Amazon, according to the author of the article George Packer.  He claims self-published Kindle e-books are bad for publishing because they’re so cheap that they’re putting the Big Five out of business.

If you ask me, anything that allows good writers to get published is a good thing.  The so-called gatekeepers of publishing in New York frequently make the wrong calls and keep good writers from being published.  No less than literary great Edgar Allan Poe had to self-publish some of his books.

Packer makes the erroneous assumption that anything that’s bad for the Big Five is bad for publishing and for authors, as well.  Anything that’s bad for the Big Five might be bad for New York Times best-selling brand-names, such as Stephen King and Lee Child.  But, then again, these guys could make it without the Big Five.  The demise of the Big Five won’t effect midlist authors and other lesser-known writers who are struggling to make a living, either.  These authors can self-publish.  So,  it looks like, if the Big Five go under, it won’t be the end of publishing.  It will, however, be the end of traditional publishing.

The book business has always been a difficult market to crack unless you had connections in the right places.  Amazon has opened up the market and allowed writers, who otherwise would never have gotten their works published, to sink or swim on their own in the cutthroat publishing business.  These authors can learn by experience that most books don’t sell, no matter how well written they are.  There just aren’t enough readers out there to make many best-sellers.

This Writing Life

I can’t write without knowing what I’m going to write.  Apparently some people have no trouble sitting down, staring at a blank sheet of paper or a blank computer screen, and typing out a story or book without having a premise in mind.  When I sit in front of a blank paper or computer screen, I become blank–unless I had an idea already flying around in my head before I sat down.  To paraphrase Nietzsche, don’t stare too long at a blank sheet of paper or it’ll stare back at you.

I need to know in which general direction the story is going to go in before I can start it. Writing a book is like taking a journey.  The first step is always the hardest.  The path will likely be fraught with deviation as the story proceeds, but I do need to have some idea where it’s going before I can begin writing.

That being said, I don’t write a long, complex outline before beginning my work of fiction. If I did, I would no doubt divagate from it somewhere along the line, making writing an outline a lot of work for nothing.

I’m not saying writers don’t need to write an outline.  I’m just saying what works for me. In lieu of writing an outline, I jot down notes whenever I get an idea where my story may be headed next.  I then consult these notes as my story progresses.

Writing is an exploratory process, and you need to find out which method works best for you.