Ariana, Some More, On POD and SHIVERING SANDS

Ariana got the shouting out of her system in re: whining about how making stuff and showing it to people is too hard.

Now she’s moved on to: how to start thinking about making a project.

…if the feedback I’m getting is any indication (and I’ve got comments disabled here because they don’t suit me, but I do pay attention to Twitter and I read everything on Whitechapel) — there are a LOT of you right. on. that. cusp. of taking the first step. So look, I know I’ve been giving you lot a hard time about “just getting it done,” but before I get into my list of Stuff What I Learned Working With POD sometime tomorrow, I wanna back up a step and talk to you.

Here’s what you need to do, right now, tonight. No, NOT tomorrow morning, or this weekend, or once your work rush has let off a little, or after the holidays, or sometime in the New Year: Right. Fucking. Now….

And from there to book-specific notes and observations about working with a POD system:

…how you go about putting your book together is completely up to you, and what you’re comfortable with. The Lulu templates will give you a bit less control over what the finished product looks like, but it’s a really good place for the people that are just starting out. Do you already understand why your inside margins need to be a titch wider than your outside? If that question just kinda terrified you: that’s all right, but you probably want to start with the templates. Trust me, your book is still going to be lovely, the important thing for you is just getting your content into a pretty and readable format.

And, today, the begininngs of how we run FREAKANGELS the way we do.

Wil’s been all over Ariana’s THIS IS HOW WE FIX SHIT WITH WRENCHES posts during this week, and has a distillation of what he’s taken from them at this link here:

This is incredibly inspiring to me, and I hope that it’s just as inspiring to indie artists everywhere. Why not take a creative risk and see if it works out? Unlike the old days, when we had to purchase a lot of stock ahead of time and hope we could sell it, we can just Get Excited and Make Things, knowing that the very worst that can happen is that nobody likes that thing we made as much as we thought they would…


So, one week later. Copies of SHIVERING SANDS are now starting to arrive with people — I found this on Kat Foisy’s blog this morning:


(If you want to send me a photo of you posing with SHIVERING SANDS? Email it to my dump address at warrenellis [at] gmail dot com, along with your website address or twitter ID or whatever, and I’ll run it and your link here)

A week since launch of the book. We’ve sold, I believe, a little over four hundred copies. Given that the production of the book involved 1) me culling from seven years of jabbering and sticking it all into a couple of RTF files 2) Ariana flowing all that into a single file and spending a couple months’ worth of spare moments fiddling with it 3) Ariana uploading the thing, ordering a proof and spending an hour checking it over… we were well into any definition of profit by the end of day one.

It is, of course, the long game that pays off. It’s interesting to look at the first week, but it’s not defining.

A persistent criticism of my interest in POD has been that only writers at my level of cultural awareness can make any kind of success out of it. And some of them will now be saying, well, even Warren Ellis can only move 400 copies in the first week of a POD project. But, for one thing, it is about the long game. For everybody. The book doesn’t go away. And, for another, if I’m not aware enough of you to order that POD project — whose fault is that, really? Because, I’ve got to tell you, I wasn’t born with a book deal in one hand and an exclusive comics contract wrapped around my other flipper. Hell, when I was starting out, there wasn’t even an internet.

SHIVERING SANDS is published through Lulu.