Recently I interviewed Sienna Tristen and Avi Silver on the Artsy Raven podcast. They are authors, editors and worldbuilders of The Shale Project, a complex fantasy world on the web. In the podcast they talk about how The Shale started off with a group of people contributing ideas to building this world, but some eventually left. It’s impressive in the vast amount of details written for every territory and reminds me of Tolkien’s worldbuilding!
What is success? Is it achieving a goal such as writing a best selling book or living a dream lifestyle?
Recently I interviewed Lindsay Wong about this and I was slightly surprised by what she said, since she hit success with her memoir, The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family. The book was nominated for book awards, won some awards and selected for the 2019 edition of Canada Reads.
For many people it seems after hitting one goal, it’s time to set up the next goal and keep going! Lindsay works very hard and I wish her luck in the future of being able to just wake up every morning to just write in pjs!
Recently we merged the Dark Helix Press newsletter mailing list with the Artsy Raven club mailing list due to limited time capacity. Marketing people will say we are doing something wrong, but we have too much to do and need to focus on creating things!
Books take a long time to make and are not easy to sell. Designs aren’t easy to sell either but people may pick up t-shirts or other items for their friends as gifts knowing there’s a better chance that material goods will be better liked than books.
All revenue from design work goes back into books because they are expensive to make and since we are a traditional publisher, the costs are all up front.
As a small press, Dark Helix will never qualify for any grants because there are conditions of selling X and reaching revenue of Y. We are a tiny player on a large playing field and over time, the larger companies have been merging into mega-corporations with different labels. The Goliaths are getting stronger and the Davids are trying new things to avoid them!
The future of the playing field for publishing seems bleak, as the larger Goliaths still have much control over the usual aspect of the industry such as access to bookstores, superstores (Walmarts, Costco, etc), databases and libraries. There are many emerging Davids over time – the self-publishers who are publishing themselves because the Goliaths refuse to. The most successful Davids are the ones that can get published by a Goliath for one or two books because the Goliaths have more marketing dollars and staff to make a book a success. It’s all still a gamble, but if the Goliath can shield a David temporarily it’s easier than a David struggling by themselves. Then after the partnership is over, the David can earn more from selling books themselves since there is no Goliath to take a giant cut of the revenue.
There are no easy answers to publishing success if you are a David! Throw in a mix of people using AI to the party and that changes everything as well! Hope my biblical analogy makes sense and have a great day!
Recently I was part of an event where I demonstrated how to decorate cupcakes. I had 5 minutes allocated to doing this. In 5 minutes I can show people how to pipe icing onto the cupcake, but there was no time to discuss how I made the cupcake or icing. So I made a video with details on how to make really nice rose cupcakes with Betty Crocker box mix and icing.
Eventually I’ll get back to writing when I gain more energy, but at the moment I am in the process of getting a short story published in a “happily ever after” fantasy anthology and publishing a feminist Sci-Fi author’s book through Dark Helix Press. Will just stuff my face with cupcakes in the meantime!
Click on the link I discovered I wasn’t #60 but #36. The list updates automatically based on number of hits. Hopefully over time the podcast will gain more listeners and gain more recognition for the guests on the podcast! Listening to so many authors gives me energy to keep writing as it is a difficult task to write since there is seldom much monetary gains for writers. There are only so many lottery winners like JK Rowling, so please keep your day job unless you have a sponsor!
In episode 26 of The Artsy Raven we spoke with Adam Jonathan Kaat who wrote about his experiences on the grocery retail floor during COVID. In our interview with him, he said he had to publish the book quickly because COVID is a timed event and the traditional publishing cycle takes so long! Episode links here: https://www.patreon.com/posts/ep-26-writing-57308566
Nastasha Alli was born and raised in the Philippines and came to Canada in 2007. For her writing at the intersection of food and diaspora communities, she won a Food Sustainability Media Award from the Thomson Reuters Foundation. Her work has been featured on CBC Radio and her recipe published in a “top cookbook of 2018” by the San Francisco Chronicle.
She answers the question “Why is research important in your “Exploring Filipino Kitchens” podcast?” on the Artsy Raven podcast, Episode 12. This clip is an excerpt from the episode.
Moni Brar’s works have appeared in PRISM international, Hart House Review, Existere, The Maynard, untethered, Hobart, and other publications. She is a member of the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society, The League of Canadian Poets, and the editorial board of New Forum Magazine.
She reads “Fault Lines” and tells us what inspired it on the Artsy Raven podcast, Episode 11. This clip is an excerpt from the episode.
Kevin Wong was born and raised in Halifax, Nova Scotia: the same hometown as Sidney Crosby and Sarah McLachlan. He has always loved writing and creating art, and even as a child he was constantly drawing, painting, writing stories, and telling tales to his friends and family.
He answers the question “What inspired you to write stories about Hong Kong?” on the Artsy Raven podcast, Episode 9. This clip is an excerpt from the episode.
Bianca Weeko Martin is a designer with Filipino, Indonesian, and Chinese ancestry. She was educated at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture in Canada, where she has been based since immigrating with her family from Jakarta in 2000.
She answers the question “What makes you decide to make a piece of artwork versus writing?” on the Artsy Raven podcast, Episode 8. This clip is an excerpt from the episode.
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