The Horror Zine
Joe R. Lansdale
Joe R. Lansdale

Joe R. Lansdale appears again in The Horror Zine to share his thoughts...

This time about publishing


Joe R. Lansdale Part 1
John Gilmore
Ryan Fleming
Mort Castle
Gabrielle Faust
Brent Monahan
Mark Crislip
John Russo
Ellen Datlow


See Part 1 HERE

I talk to people all the time who are looking for the secret to getting published. Really, there isn't one. It's just what it seems to be. You write it, and you try and find a publisher, or you publish it yourself. Nothing wrong with that, but without having someone to vet it, you can really pass off anything.

Sure, crap gets published, but I'll put the worst of it up against most of the self-published material. I'm not telling you not to do it, or that you may not be a literary genius, but I'm saying I've read so many self-published books with hope, and found them wanting, I rarely do it anymore. I find a lot of things I don't like from mainstream publishers as well, but less.

So write, and market. If you don't agree with me, don't do it, and don't waste your time telling me how you did it and made a million. I say do what you want. But I'm telling you that the secret is you write, and then you market, and then if all else fails, you publish yourself. I still expect people to waste my time, and theirs, telling me how self-publishing is the way to go and they made big bucks or know someone who made big bucks. Save it. I know it happens. But I'm saying this is how I would approach it. You approach it anyway you like.

I keep getting asked what the secret is. Who do I know? I get sick of people who don't sell always saying those who do sell only do because of an "in".

How did I find a way to get published? I met editors when I could, and agents. But before that I was selling by writing and sending it in and getting it bounced.

Some of the damnest things become popular, and I might hate it, but I meet people who tell me, "Oh, this is the best book I ever read." And from their perspective they are right. And if that writer (someone who I think sucks) is very successful, no doubt some editor believed in them and thought they would sell, and if they do, that editor has somehow tapped into what readers want, even if I think what they want at that time sucks. When they like my work, I think, oh, cool. But you have to be suspect of your own material. Always.

Publishing can be about being published only. I wanted to make a living do it, and doing it my way. I have, somehow.

I think for someone who has been publishing, it can make sense to self publish. They have built their audience. I may do it for certain books in the future. I can't say.

I'm just saying why not give it the old professional try. I know some folks if they make a hundred dollars a year, or a hundred dollars a month, it's fine for them. For me, it's not. I love to write and I write for that reason, but I also want to get paid. I've been able to do what I love and get paid for it, and often well. I would never quit writing, but I would never cease trying to also make a living at it so I don't have to do something I hate. So far, so good. But life is long and fate is strange and publishing is the god damnest thing ever.

Remember, even someone who is published or makes a living at it as I do is just as likely to screw up as anyone else. Writing is a day-to-day event, and sometimes you do better on one project than another, but you should always try to do the best you can every time out. That way you find a level that you don't fall below. Or seldom do.













































About Joe R. Lansdale

Joe R Lansdale

Champion Mojo Storyteller Joe R. Lansdale is the author of over thirty novels and numerous short stories. His work has appeared in national anthologies, magazines, and collections, as well as numerous foreign publications. He has written for comics, television, film, newspapers, and Internet sites. His work has been collected in eighteen short-story collections, and he has edited or co-edited over a dozen anthologies. He has received the Edgar Award, eight Bram Stoker Awards, the Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award, the British Fantasy Award, the Grinzani Cavour Prize for Literature, the Herodotus Historical Fiction Award, the Inkpot Award for Contributions to Science Fiction and Fantasy, and many others.

His novella Bubba Hotep was adapted to film by Don Coscarelli, starring Bruce Campbell and Ossie Davis. His story "Incident On and Off a Mountain Road" was adapted to film for Showtime's "Masters of Horror." He is currently co-producing several films, among them The Bottoms, based on his Edgar Award-winning novel, with Bill Paxton and Brad Wyman, and The Drive-In, with Greg Nicotero.

An upcoming film will be titled Cold in July based on the book of the same name, and will star Michael C. Hall and Don Johnson.

He is Writer In Residence at Stephen F. Austin State University, and is the founder of the martial arts system Shen Chuan: Martial Science and its affiliate, Shen Chuan Family System. He is a member of both the United States and International Martial Arts Halls of Fame. He lives in Nacogdoches, Texas with his wife, dog, and two cats.

Go to his website HERE

See all of Joe R. Lansdale's books HERE

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