He who stands on tiptoe
doesn't stand firm.
He who rushes ahead
doesn't go far.
He who tries to shine
dims his own light.
He who defines himself
can't know who he really is.
He who has power over others
can't empower himself.
He who clings to his work
will create nothing that endures.
If you want to accord with the Tao,
just do your job, then let go.
Fill your bowl to the brim
and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife
and it will blunt.
Chase after money and security
and your heart will never unclench.
Care about people's approval
and you will be their prisoner.
Do your work, then step back.
The only path to serenity.
It's amazing how many new words are being created or repurposed lately. Take the term "indie." A few months ago an "indie" author was anyone who published with an independent or small press. Now many are using it to describe any person who self-publishes.
Here's another term for the self-publisher I picked up this morning. It's my favorite new portmanteau -- "nongatekept author."
I suppose then that a "traditional author" publishing with a "legacy publisher" might be a "gatekept author," which sounds rather ugly, doesn't it? Like a shackled prisoner who's locked up for 18-24 months, forced to sign noncompete clauses, and when they're finally let out, have to perform like some sort of zoo animal in exchange for peanuts.
It's a phenomenon known well and exploited by most marketers who deal with price. Price tags ending in the number 9 often compel shoppers to open their wallets, while a slightly lower price that ends in zero may not. In light of the recent e-book pricing debates, it might be interesting to take a look at why 99 cent and $2.99 price points are so prevalent. Yes, 99 cents is the minimum Amazon will allow an author to charge, and $2.99 is the minimum to receive a 70% royalty. But why did they pick those numbers, and might it be possible that $3.99 or even $3.95 is a more compelling number for e-book shoppers than $2.99? Check out this article from Psychology Today and experiment for yourself.
I came across these two titles while browsing the Kindle store today.
It's easy to see how this can happen. Just google "Magic Book," and you'll be amazed at how many similar stock images you'll find--open books with sparkles and magical effluvia and various otherworldy emanations.