The Foxy Armadillos
August 2018 by V. R. Duin

NO BARRIER TO ENTRY:
CROWD PUBLISHING
NO CROWD FUNDING

To the den, the farmers couldn't pass.
They had no armor plates, alas,
And to wriggle through the bramble
Was an awful prickly, painful scramble.
(“The Foxy Armadillos”)

With no barrier to entry, everyone can publish a book, so expect competition for crowd publishing, without crowd funding.

Anyone can test the market. Books can be published in handwritten or word-processed form, with or without images. They can be created in black and white or in full color, with or without a specialized book printer.


There is no barrier to entry. No education, licensing, certification, registration requirements or regulations are sanctioned into law for the writing, publishing, marketing, promotion or sale of books.


Companies are built around the self-publishing of books. They serve writers in the production of e-books, board books, audio books, paperback and hardcover print books. Independent upstarts outnumber traditional houses.


Publishing applications make it easy to format finished work. The only specification is sizing in printable or Web-ready units. Books for English-speaking markets may be published in foreign countries.


The self-published book market may have stalled. The market is saturated. Readers and writers are wary of the quality. Books go unread. Writers may be the sole purchasers of their books, made possible by other income.


The do-it-yourself book design template may be free of charge. The printer gets paid for quantities and qualities of books and other items ordered. Color runs cost more than those in black and white.


Writers live and work in isolation. There are few invitations to speak to groups, engage at signings or participate in publishing events and book fairs. Established writers have the audience. Unknown authors have no authority.


Banks will not take chances on loan paybacks from pending work. There is too much risk involved in this highly speculative and competitive business. The failure rate in publishing vastly succeeds the success rate.


Writers often have faith when others have none. They may be drawn into financial and emotional publishing losses. They live in poverty and obscurity. The stress of being one of too many can take physical tolls.


Writers scramble to replace losses and repay loans. Begging for forgiveness, they struggle with financial upset. Expecting success, they meet with brutal truths. Upstart writers may sell 250 books before calling it quits.


The pressure to quit is constant. It is discouraging when original creative toil is received as another load of junk. The hopelessness of perceived failure sends many writers into despair. They may feel conned.


Reunions and holidays may be difficult. A writer's income arrives all at once, if at all. Writers are chided about anonymity and range-bound results to efforts. The miserable reality is jolting. The industry is hype.


Friends and family drift from writers' seemingly eternal efforts. Writers become muted and subdued with bad feedback. They need a support group. Colleagues are too busy seeking “magic” to form cohesive groups.


There may be a thin line between vision and delusion. While writers devote time to their work or to salvaging it with promotion, they are inaccessible. Hostile environments may surge in the homes where they work.


Nobody wants constant frustrations. Quitting under pressure means losing all past efforts. Writing to promote books may perpetuate the feelings of unfair and disproportionate stress. It is time-consuming to build a platform.


Few people stick with writers until success arrives. A singular focus on books and writing may meet with rebuke. Writers must rise to the challenge of technology for advertising and promotion in the twenty-first century.


Writers compete with colleagues. They battle over perceived trademark and copyright infringements, misappropriation of trade secrets and acts of interference at signings, conferences or shows.


There is no obligation to support new writers. The first places to close the floodgates may be the local library and school systems. In most places, there is an overload of fresh talent pining for discovery.


The local news media may pull in the welcome mat. Closed door policies are guided by security measures or scheduling limitations. Celebrity authors are paid to appear in these preferential environments. The 1% rules.


Ongoing tinkering is required. Writers must decide where and how to place marketing and promotional emphasis. Flexibility is required to adapt plans and content to changing directions, affiliations and discoveries.


Unflagging persistence with unsuccessful approaches leads to downfall. Ideas must agree with the writer's nature and compel others. Creative effort must be tempered by awareness of changing trends.


Readers have difficulty finding published books. Tremendous competition in the publishing business is difficult to overcome. To hold positions requires upgrades of technologies and constant creation of compelling content.


It is discouraging to publish a book that gets lost in the millions. Web anonymity and innumerability are attractive and distractive. Writers must apply strong tech skills or pay for access to mold an online presence.


Serious writers need technology to spread awareness about their craft. It is not cost-effective to pay others for the management, assessment, testing, validation and design of the necessary tech platform for books.