Thursday, June 8, 2017

Still PulpRev

It's been a little over a month since I emerged from lurking to larval wiggling about in the PulpRev trenches. Time flew fast. Momentum resulted in further participation with other anthologies like Misha Burnett's 21st Century Thrilling Adventure project, which I'm looking forward to - not just to read, but also seeing my story amongst other great PulpRev stories/authors.

There's been the Discord, extending my social media to Gab and Google+ regularly, the Space Opera post on Castalia House, StoryHack kickstarter getting funded, and then, there was the kindle release of I, the One. The response was humbling and incredibly supportive.

In my time as an independent writer for the past four years, I've never seen support like I've already experienced in the PulpRev community. Castalia House posting about I, the One's release and then reviewing it was something I never expected, but was elated to see. While I tried my best not to fall over myself in gratitude and look ridiculous, the amount of thanks I want to give is great. Jeffro and Scott at CH, thank you! But also THANK YOU to everyone who liked the cover, reviewed on their blog, said kind words/reactions in comments and on social media, and especially to those who decided to give the story a try in the first place.


The exposure was sudden due to being unexpected, but interestingly, I found out that I enjoyed it! In a way, it was almost thrilling. I was happy because the story deserves attention and readers. While I've always known I, the One isn't for everyone (what is?), the reason I worked on it for the last 3-4 years is because I knew there were people who would enjoy and appreciate the story. Also, I want to put out a series of novella that stem from the reality of that story.

And I can only hope that I've gained some lifelong readers because of it, maybe just one or two, but setting a foundation for later name recognition when my other novels release... this is why I'm very happy about the support.

I would have never gotten that kind of support from a regular writing group or a place like NaNoWriMo. In fact, I posted about I, the One when I initially released it on Smashwords to the forums of NaNoWriMo and let my "buddies" know. Not a single person there bothered, of course. No one even responded, let alone getting interested. That was four months ago with people who virtue-claim support for other writers.

An aside: the only support NaNoWriMo knows how to give is of two kinds; Rabidly cheerleadering "approved elements" to include in stories (you know) along with word counts regardless of quality and yet parroting the "proper ways to write" which ranges from mangled quotes of Strunk & White to Wendig blatherings to generic marketing/myths (which always includes "GIVE AWAY FREE COPIES ...(so I can get it for free)"). There's obviously a few reasons for this and I won't go into them here, maybe for another post. I have a half-written rough post about why I'm quitting NaNoWriMo and so I'll probably go into it more there.

This post isn't about that, but it gives a quick contrast to highlight the difference between mainstream writer groups who pretend to be communities to what PulpRev is and is still becoming. When I was lurking, I was attracted out of the shadows by what I saw and while I'm a newbie and underpublished compared to the greats, I'm not 100% fresh off the turnip boat either.

So my story, a week later, is still above the 1000s in Amazon rankings (#312, #498, #951). As of this moment it's #195,465 in the entire Kindle store and for the circumstance (stand-alone debut short story), I consider that successful. I'd really love some Amazon reviews (from people who enjoyed it), but I don't want to ask for that. I figure if people like it enough, they'll leave a review. Besides, it even lingered in the top 50 of its categories during release and the day after - a wild success for what I was actually expecting.

My mailing list has certainly grown. It's been a successful past week or so and I attribute a lot of that to the energetic (and hungry) community of PulpRev, of readers desperately seeking entertaining SFF and of other authors looking to support in ways they hope to find similar returns.

I don't begrudge the latter at all. In fact, I made sure to ask for a little extra in my hourly wage at the job I recently got, specifically driven by a desire to have a slight monthly budget to spend on PulpRev publications from authors I admire, enjoy, and wish success for.

The difference between this kind of reciprocation and the kind from other writing crowds is that I know this group is actually going to reciprocate in a sincere manner.

In mainstream writing groups, there is a con-game sometimes played of trying to get and get and get without ever having to give anything in return. A lot of people will PROMISE to give back, but never will. There is little trust and sincerity because they are so self-interested that it paralyzes growth of any actual community. They hold what few cards they have close to their chest and do their best to not share a cent while acting like they are "writers' best friend". This goes for information, ideas, applicable advice, as well as actual monetary support - they don't want anyone else getting a leg-up from them so they avoid sharing anything of merit or making actual connections. Anything that is given in return, is done so begrudgingly. These types would rather disappear before that happens, taking everything they got with them just like a good old con in a local town. Internet is the Wild West, isn't it?

Thanks for all the free copies, suckah!
With PulpRev, I suspect that's different. There is sincerity behind those involved in the writers' side of the community. Even if self-interest is involved, there is also interest in the group for everyone to do well and to continue lifting each other up so that we all succeed in our own ways. So those people who do give back by purchasing books, I feel they sincerely want to, indicated by the fact that they are PURCHASING not pressuring for free/ARC copies.

That doesn't mean we're all going to like each other's works or even each other's personalities. However, the differences and disagreements that arise will serve to further elevate our individual efforts and improve the community around the concept of PulpRev.

You know what that is? That's the start of a modern literary movement.

I'm proud to be part of PulpRev. I know the community will make a wiser, stronger, greater author out of me - it already has. In the past month, I've learned a lot more about Pulps, techniques, and my list of dead author names keeps growing along with my living authors list. I've found amazing advice that is practical and tested. I've met people who fuel my passion to not only write, but write and publish hard and fast with unapologetic strength.

PulpRev is enriching my life and I will continue to participate, support, and share in return.

That's just how it's going to be.

4 comments:

  1. I'll never forget how astonishingly kind PulpRev authors and editors were to me when they stood to gain absolutely nothing by it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Got it just in time to be swamped with submissions 3:

    Looking forward to your illustrations for 21st Century Thrilling Adventure.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Awesome. This is exactly how I feel about the whole thing.

    ReplyDelete

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