Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Proud Souls"--July 10th, 2007

Never Judge A Book...

The most interesting aspect of being a self-published writer comes with dealing with all the headaches of the business aspect of writing. See, being a writer is hard enough. First you have this great and wonderful idea for a story and naturally being optimistic and creative you are almost certain EVERYONE will love the story. You begin writing the draft, and for me this means writing roughly 90% of the story on paper. As I have mentioned before, I write on paper to allow the free-form creativity to flow without hinderance of spell or grammar check within a word processing application. Once this initial draft is completed I begin the painstaking process of transferring the story to typed text. From there comes the meticulous order of correcting punctuation, grammar, sentence flow, etc. Next comes the re-reads and then the re-reads and if you weren't sure when the re-read process begins, this is it! Naturally, anyone can write a story, as we all have the means to share or create a tale that will easily be identified with most people. But the trick to creative and drafting a well written story isn't always knowing when to use a comma and/or semicolon. There is a fundamental process of storyflow that can only be learned in time, by reading other "quality" stories and studying the art of crafting a well-rounded story. Now please, don't get me wrong. I would NEVER say there is a set rule for creating a story because to take that approach would kill the ideal that writing is indeed an artform. But I will say, ask any painter and they might agree with the following statement. Anyone can put paint on a canvas but not anyone can paint a picture. There are minute details critical to the artistic process, such as shadow, perspective and texture. These techniques can only be learned in time with hours of stressful and yet satisfying practice. The same applies true to writing.

Now, where was I going with this? Oh yes, I remember, the never judge a book concept. Now with all this said, I can say I have worked as hard I could, with the tools and abilities I had at my expense to create the best FIRST novel I could produce, not only for myself--because an artist and professional owes it to themselves to be as true and honest and as capable as possible--but for those who would ever invest time or money with my story, "Proud Souls." And this is my official Bobby Ozuna stance on the content within "Proud Souls."
I DO NOT WRITE SMUT. I write literature.

Okay Bobby, are you saying, a novelist who writes erotica is not producing literature? No way, I would never say that. There is a difference between raw, pornographic (storytelling) and erotic literature. Remember at the very basis of writing all novelist are still nothing more than story-tellers. We are entertainers of the written page who try (as hard as we can) to allow our reading audience to partake on a written journey somewhere other than their common, everyday world. And as novelist we are responsible to produce the best possible story we can. An author who writes erotica works no less hard at producing realistic characters and realistic emotion as would someone who writes within my classification--literary fiction (no genre). And with this said, you have to understand that each writer is responsible for locating and targeting their market readers, agents, publishing houses, etc. Now for me, as an independent publisher, this means locating the right partners to work as distribution means and the right printing partners to produce the best (possible) book for our reading audience. I thought I found that....but recently that has changed....

For the sake of ethical business, I won't drop names, but I will say this. Recently, my printer (partner) has bailed on me and more so, on "Proud Souls." We had a verbal agreement to do business together. We, Ozuna Publications created the novel and the cover content and they were hired to produce the actual completed product. Well, for reasons beyond my understanding they have decided to "wash their hands of Proud Souls and its author" to quote them. Apparently their business owner (says he) read "Proud Souls" and after doing so, decided to drop me and my book. Now I appreciate their honesty and their right to defend their own business and ethical beliefs, as they were a "christian company", but they are also a business with NO disclaimer or customer/partner survey or documentation to say they will bind/print books ONLY if they are written to edify or glorify the kingdom of heaven. This wasn't clarified up front and because of that, I found myself in a position of having to look elsewhere and hurriedly find another business partner. Now, as a publisher, I know I shouldn't necessarily offer this information because as a good friend of mine once said, what happens between vendors is NOT the customers problem. But as a writer I felt obliged to share this burden because my goal within my blogs were to offer advice, helpful tidbits of information, etc, to you the audience.

Do not fret however, "Proud Souls" is available for purchase because we did get our first run completed. I can't say how it will affect you as the reader, whether it will upset you because of your own pre-determined expectations or shock you because it has a bad word here and there. What I can say is this, it has stirred its own controversy without my help. It has made people cry, laugh, even aroused a reader or two. So, before you are quick to say I wont read it, remember the old saying, "never judge a book by its cover." Or for that matter, don't judge the author by the content... remember we are merely story-tellers and nothing more.


Bobby Ozuna
"Drawing Stories...With Words"

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