Conversation Between Barry Eisler and Amanda Hocking

Folks, Agent Ted Weinstein got Barry Eisler and Amanda Hocking to talk in the same interview and it is FANTASTIC!!

Worth the read, including how Ted sees possible future agent models.

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15 Responses to Conversation Between Barry Eisler and Amanda Hocking

  1. Mike Powell says:

    Thanks for the link, Dean. In fact, thanks for this great series of articles.

    Changing the subject: With regard to drawing software for cover production, I just started looking at Inkscape. It looks interesting. It’s free, and it has kerning capability.

  2. Mike, if you have Windows for an operating system, I think that the Paint Shop Pro series is a terrific program. Very easy to use, with tons of tools. I’ve been employing it for various purposes for 15 years now. It’s a solid application. If you surf the web a bit you can find a fully-functional, older version called Paint Shop Pro 4.12, which is what I currently — still, after all this time — use for the majority of my stuff. In conjunction with some of the more advanced tools of Paint Shop Pro 7.

    Here’s a look at a cover I did a couple of weeks ago:

    Back to the three-way between Barry, Amanda, and Ted, I think it’s worth noting that Amanda can’t understand why people keep wanting her to be the exemplar of the “right” way to do things. Her main points — over and over again — seems to be that all she ever wanted was a) the ability to reach an audience that would b) pay her for her effort. She never went into e-publishing to become an anti-NYC crusader. Having written the books already, and struck out in NYC, she decided to take the new avenue of e-publishing. And it paid off. Far more than she could have ever expected.

    Now Amanda can play both sides of the street. Which is, from my point of view, an almost ideal situation for any author at any level. She doesn’t have to feel trapped in one particular mode. The days when a writer might “crash and burn” because New York wasn’t working out, are beginning to drift in the rear-view mirror. Writers able to tell good stories can get their product to market through alternate means, which may in fact serve as a roundabout conduit back to NYC once NYC clues in to the fact that said author is selling like hotcakes via indie publishing.

    I just spent a week down at the bottom of Utah doing a workshop with Dave Wolverton (aka: David Farland) and he emphasized — again and again — that story was king. Writers able to capitalize on story now have multiple avenues they can take to reach their audiences, and audiences can and will respond. Projects that might have not raised any interest in New York, can take off on Kindle and Nook. What an exciting prospect for anyone who has ever been frustrated by the old publishing model.

    • dwsmith says:

      Dave is spot on. Story is everything now. And writers who can chug along and produce new product regularly never know what might take off and what might not. It is now up to the readers, as it should have always been.

      Great time for writing and writers.

  3. Ramon Terrell says:

    One thing I see that has your words echoing in my mind, Dean. Each of them, Amanda, Joe, and Barry, each have a minimum of nine books published. Inventory. They all have inventory hovering around the ten book mark.

    I’m so excited about all this to the point I’m giddy! The possibilities are just endless.

  4. EF Kelley says:

    I love Ted’s final quote:

    “If there are any lessons from today, I’d say there is no single right answer for every author, the world is changing lightning fast, and it’s ever-more important for authors to take control of their own careers.”

    A few years ago this might have scared the hell out of me. Not anymore, thanks largely to the generosity of Indie authors like Dean and Joe for making the publication process transparent and debunking a lot of the misconceptions.

  5. Ramon Terrell says:

    I’ve been researching free art. I know you recommended powerpoint, Dean. Is it free also? I’ve looked at Inkscape and Gimp and a few others. I’m trying to decide on something that a person who can barely draw a stick figure (points at myself) can use to create art. Maybe something where I can alter photos into graphic art, or something. I write fantasy, so I need art where I can have characters doing things, or fictitious landscapes. Any input appreciated. :)

    • dwsmith says:

      PowerPoint is an art program that is easy to learn, mostly used for slide presentations, but works great for covers. I get cover art from places like iStockPhoto and Dreamstime and a dozen other places like them where you can buy an unlimited license to use the art for book covers for under ten bucks. I seldom pay more than $4.00.

  6. John Walters says:

    Dean, I write a lot of short stories and need covers. If you don’t mind listing them, what are those dozen other places? Or is there a link list somewhere?

    • dwsmith says:

      Google, John, Google. Free art. There are hundreds of pages that come up. Again, just watch the restrictions in their agreements so that your cover use is allowed. And that there are no royalties.

      • dwsmith says:

        Or try Google for “Royalty Free Images” or Royalty Free Photos” or things like that. Again, I use DreamsTime and iStockphoto, mostly Dreamstime because I have favorite artists there that are constantly putting up new work.

  7. Ramon Terrell says:

    *laughing* So it is the same one. I thought it was a different powerpoint than the one I already have.

    I have a question though. How do you add in characters. Say I drew characters for the cover, purchased the background art and wanted to put them in. Is this actually possible with powerpoint or any of these other programs?

    • dwsmith says:

      Way beyond my artist skill level with PhotoShop. I know layers and that sort of thing, but only barely and I don’t use Photoshop much.

  8. Megs says:

    iStockphoto – do you have to do the standard or extended license? I’m not sure we can measure the number of impressions on the cover.

    • dwsmith says:

      Just standard, Megs. If you think you are going to go over the half million or whatever it is, you can buy the extension then.

  9. John Walters says:

    I took a look at Dreamstime. It’s got a lot of great work there and a good search engine with which to find it. Thanks for the tip.

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