I have been following author J.A. Konrath’s blog, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing, for at least five years. During that time, much has changed with the book publishing field, and Konrath has changed much as far as how he approaches his career as a fiction author.
Initially Konrath’s path was more traditional. He kept writing novels until one of them was accepted by a print publisher. Then he wrote another novel, and another, and another, and so on. He was having a solid career as a mid-list fiction author, with the potential to make it into the big leagues where names like Patterson, Rice and even King dwell.
Then along came digital publishing and the acceptance of e-reading devices by the general public.
And everything changed.
I won’t go into all the details, because you can find that out for yourself at Konrath’s blog, but Konrath basically turned his back on traditional print publishing and now works on his own for the most part, with a helping hand from Amazon and his agent. Konrath publishes his own e-books through Amazon for the Kindle, and he works with Amazon to put his books into print. He also makes is fiction available at Barnes & Noble and at other online venues.
All that’s very nice, but why should budding fiction writers want to read the blog of this particular author? The title should tell you everything you need to know.
On his blog, Konrath has outlined his own road to success, including his writing of more than 7,000 letters to libraries and personally visiting more than 600 book stores in 28 states within one year. Sounds crazy, right? But it was part of what led to Konrath’s success. More recently he does less promotional work, but he doesn’t need to. His blog is popular and his books and e-books practically promote themselves online.
Much of this blog focuses upon making a living as a writer and less on the actual craft of writing, but it’s common sense information fiction writers need to hear about. You might not agree with everything Konrath has to say on his blog, but you’re sure to learn something.
And a word of warning to the meek: This blog has its share of drama. I wouldn’t necessarily say J.A. Konrath is confrontational, but he is opinionated, though to my knowledge he always backs up his opinions with facts and/or personal experience. Just be prepared for a screaming match or two. And always keep in mind that this blog is Konrath’s online home, and he will shut things down when he feels it’s necessary.
If you’re a fiction writer and you’re not reading A Newbies Guide to Publishing, then you’re one of the few. Join in and learn some things.