MOST of you probably know I have big issues with the Left Behind series.
Mostly because Jerry B. Jenkins, the dude who did most of the writing, managed to write the worst Christian series in the history of Christian things. And I don't mean bad writing, though that's there. I mean he wrote Christian characters that make Anita Blake look like fucking Ghandi in terms of humanitarianism. Also: HOW DO YOU FUCK UP THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST? Because they did. Oh GOD did they ever.
And then they wrote a sequel that was about Celestial Kingdom Day Care. NOT KIDDING. It was horrible.
So what set me off, and has me writing two long rambly posts in the space of thirty minutes instead of doing book reviews like I ought to? This:
First of all, if you are a writer and you do not subscribe to Writer Beware you need to go fix that right away. Second, if you do not go read that article (AND YOU SHOULD) let me point out two salient facts:
one: the carrot on the end of this shit-stick is the promise that you are going to be taught/mentored by a real published author.
Kids, I count as published.
Two: They do not provide anything that you cannot get for cheap elsewhere. If you want mentoring by real published authors, go to the Absolute Write Water Cooler, hang around until you get access to the Share Your Work forum (It takes about ten posts IIRC) and you'll get help from people like John Macdonald and Stacia Kane. For free. Editing from package deals is notorious for sucking, because these guys make their money by quantity, not quality. And they do not provide the two most important things to any writer, ever, Marketing and Distribution.
Three: YOU ARE PAYING TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR THIS.
Folks, I've held off on going on a self publishing rant for a while, but seeing a so-called Champion (Gag me) of my faith pull this shit? Yeah. We're done.
Don't sign with this thing.
Don't sign with Author Solutions, iUniverse, Xlibris, Harlequin's romance Self pub arm, or about ten other companies because they are ALL Author Solutions IRL, and Author Solutions sucks.
Don't sign any contract that asks you for a year's commitment to the company if you are paying them money for the privilege of seeing your book in print. IT WILL NOT BE WORTH IT.
Don't sign for a "package" that contains editing and a book cover and mentions lots of swag and press announcements but doesn't say anything about distribution. IT WILL NOT BE WORTH IT.
And if you DO want to self publish your books:
-Try to get professionally AKA "Trade" published first. It will teach you how to polish your work if nothing else
-Go to Deviantart.com. Find somebody whose work you like whose commission prices you can afford. Commission them to do your cover. It'll be better than what a package offers AND their fans might read your book just because
-Either edit using beta readers or hire somebody who has edited books THAT HAVE SOLD WELL. Contact authors they edited for and find out how many of their edits actually got used.
-Use KDP to get your ebooks on Amazon.com. It's free.
-Use Pubit to get your books on Barnes and Noble.com. It's also free
-Use Smashwords to get everywhere else. It's also free and you don't have to screw around with Apple/itunes
-Find or hire a typesetter to do the PDF for your print book, if you go that route.
-Look at Createspace.com and Lulu.com and decide which one you like better. Print through that one.
-Investigate Lighteningsource as a possible printer/distributor as well, as they DO have access to the brick-and-morter stores. Real bookstores probably won't carry your books, but Lightening Source, FAIK, also does hardback books.
You can probably do all this on a budget of 1500$ or less. MUCH less if you can do any of it yourself. AND THAT IS ALL MUCH MUCH MUCH LESS THAN TEN FUCKING THOUSAND FUCKING DOLLARS.
I tried to maintain respect for JBJ because he's an elder and a member of my faith and he's sold more books than I ever will, but I don't remember Christ saying "Do unto others, but bleed them dry first, because hey, there's a lot of money in this self-publishing thing". This is a cash grab, and possibly THE most overpriced cash grab I have seen JBJ do, and that INCLUDES the Celestial Day Care...thing.
Fuck you, Jerry. Fuck you.