I felt the tires slip upon the tarmac and wheel go wild in my hands. Sliding noisily, the shortbus missed its turn and elbowed around a tree, its driver flung like bloody meat through the windshield. There were no survivors.
What happened? Was it a banana peel? No, it was a royalties check. I won’t say how bad the royalties check was, but it was awful. It was bad enough that I would intentionally drive my bus into a tree to collect the insurance money––but there is a minor setback. Shortbus drivers are uninsured.
What will I do now that my shortbus is a mangled wreck? Walk away? Some friends suggest I self-publish my next book. Take control over pricing, and be able to offer my third and greatest book to readers for free. One of my author friends has done well with self-publishing—comparative to my awful royalties check.
Being a fan of Jesus, I’m going to tell a Shortbus style parable. Here you go…
One upon a time there was a telemetry technician who worked in a hospital. He knew how to interpret cardiac rhythms so as to help medical teams quickly respond to critically ill patients and save lives. He was very attentive, and fairly astute at determining dangerous heart changes from non-dangerous rhythms.
But one ICU manager didn’t like how this technician sat around watching computer screens all day. She didn’t think watching over sick, critically ill patients was enough work for the tech. So, she and her micro-managing charge nurse conspired against the tech who watched over the sick and the dying. Although it wasn’t his duty, they made him transfer doctors’ orders to nursing charts. A duty that averted the telemetry technician’s focus from dangerous and sometimes fatal heart rhythms to charting medicines he wasn’t educated in the use of, or proper dosing. The ICU manager said, “You’ll figure it out.”
One day, while the telemetry tech was trying to read a doctor’s shitty scribble, a patient went into a fatal cardiac rhythm—and died. The tech was blamed for not doing his job—and fired. The end.
Nice parable, aye? It might be true, or maybe not. Jesus was never clear, so why should I be?
The point is this, I am a writer. I am not a publisher. Some people might have two heads and with their two heads be good at wearing two hats, but I have no desire to slack my primary duty to make way for one I’m not educated to perform. It is hard enough writing a book. Then selling that book, and then marketing that book. I have no interest in being the publisher too.
The shortbus is crashed, but there are other facets of my writing to be found for free.
Here is my fantasy fiction hobby blog—http://skyrimprodigy.wordpress.com/
Here is my professional webpage—http://jakeelliotfiction.com/