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  • The Conversation: "I Self-Published Myself and You're Jealous!"
The Conversation: "I Self-Published Myself and You're Jealous!"
Contributor
Written by
Laura Zigman
November 2011
Contributor
Written by
Laura Zigman
November 2011

Hi She Writes Community!

I'm thrilled to be posting one of my "Conversation" movies -- part of a series of almost 20 annoying conversations using this really fun (and free!) software, Xtranormal.com.  I started making these short movies as a way to warm up for starting another novel (for those of you who weren't' born yet, my first novel, Animal Husbandry, was published in 1998 and later made into the movie, "Someone Like You" in 2001: three more of my novels came later: Dating Big Bird, Her, and Piece of Work). Soon I forgot all about starting a new novel and instead became obsessed with the immediacy of this funny-movie-making medium and how it's all about THE DIALOGUE -- both literally and figuratively. I've been posting them on my own personal "Brant" (Brag + Rant = "Brant") at www.laurazigman.wordpress.com for the past month (and on Facebook and Twitter), and last week Entertainment Weekly's "Shelf Life Column" featured one of them!  If you like this "Conversation" I hope you'll visit my site or go to my YouTube Channel and continue to visit my She Writes blog since I'll be posting a movie here every week. Stop by and say hello so we can start having our own (Frenemy-less) conversations! And why not try making your own Xtranormal.com video? 

 

Let's be friends

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Comments
  • Laura Zigman

    Thanks, Ey! Another one will be posted here on Wed (thought the rest are on my site and on YouTube.) Thanks for watching!

  • Ey Wade

    Hi, I really enjoy your clips.

  • Laura Zigman

    Hey Regina, Thanks for trying to give me the points but don't worry -- I usually use the free characters and backgrounds anyway! But good for you for making your own -- and I would agree 100% that it's a useful tool for writing -- because, uhm, before I started making (writing) little movies every few days, I wasn't writing much. Hoping it's the spark that gets a big flame going, for you too!

  • Regina Y. Swint

    @Laura...I signed up and created an account with Xtranormal.com, but couldn't find the place on the site where it asked who referred me, so that you could get your 100 XP points. :(  I made a silly video for my sister, niece and nephew.  It was kinda easy, which says a lot coming from someone very techno-challenged like me.  Thanks for sending me there!  Maybe it'll be a useful tool for my writing/publishing efforts, too.  Here's hoping.  :)

  • Laura Zigman

    Thanks so much, Cassie! Always interesting to hear how others are understanding (or not understanding) (or semi-understanding) the new publishing options.  Thanks for sharing this on Facebook, and thanks for liking my other video -- SheWrites is going to feature one every Wednesday so maybe they should feature that one next?

  • Cassie Tuttle

    Love this episode, Laura.  I'm a freelance copyeditor, and a lot of my friends ask me about how to get published.  I tell them that it's not as "simple" and clear-cut as it used to be.  And self-publishing is one of the areas I tell them about. 

    I plan to share this video on Facebook.

    P.S.  I also really loved "You're Making the Face and Doing that Thing."

  • Laura Zigman

    Good luck, Starla!

  • Laura Zigman

    Ha! You found that one, Susanne? It was fun to do. Maybe I'll post that one here next week!

  • Suanne Schafer

    Love the marriage brant!

  • Laura Zigman

    Thanks Kathleen!

  • Laura Zigman

    Thanks, Kat! There are 15 more (on my YouTube channel). We'll be posting one here every week!

  • Kat Ward

    That was pretty funny, and bizarre—especially with the monotone delivery—but I was laughing out loud! Look forward to more.

  • Kathleen Sweeney

    Funny!

     

  • Regina Y. Swint

    [email protected]"Wine."  But that's a good idea.  Always be prepared, ladies.  :)

  • Laura Zigman

    Wine, Sarah. Wine. And Klon.

  • Sarah Pinneo

    You're right, Laura. As Nora Ephron says, "everything is copy." But still. I'm staring down the barrel of those book clubs in a few short months.

  • Laura Zigman

    I used to think I was the only one this had happened to but then I started to hear similar stories. You're always SO grateful to be invited that you don't even think of the possibility of them hating the book! It's actually funny. GREAT MATERIAL FOR FUTURE NOVEL!

  • Regina Y. Swint

    [email protected]!  It is a pretty scary thought that book clubs would be lying in wait for unsuspecting authors to show up so that they can pounce on you in person about their dissatisfaction with your work.  Kinda gives it a whole Misery-esque tinge, doesn't it?

  • Laura Zigman

    HAAA @Sarah!

  • Sarah Pinneo

    Oh my God, Laura. Your book group experience has freaked me out. I'm going to go breathe out of a paper bag now.

  • Regina Y. Swint

    @Laura...Ha!  That's funny and kinda sad, too.  Not sure why they didn't just cancel the meeting if they were just going to beat you over the head all night.  Their reactions/behavior only supports my theory more.  Her was hardly mean, but I guess it's a matter of one's perspective at the time.  Granted, your main character was decidedly neurotic, but I liked her because she was believable.  My guess is that that's why so many others didn't like her...too believable, and too close to home.

    But no matter, right?  It's all a great compliment in the end, what I like to call a testament to your skill at drawing credible characters.

    My first book is about a woman who has an affair with a married man, who also happens to be the husband of a friend.  Most of the reviews have been kind (although most reviews have been from family and friends), but one book club reviewer wrote an entire page about how unlikeable the main character was ("desperate woman" to be exact), only to say near the bottom of the review that it was an "overall good story," and finish with "I would recommend this book to others."  Ummm...not quite the eye-catching blurb I was hoping for, but eh. 

    I went on to convince myself that she didn't seem to have any problems with the writing itself, but only the subject matter.  So I "read" a compliment between the lines of her disapproval.  Whether or not she meant to compliment me is completely inconsequential.

    And to be fair, I've found myself quite unhappy with stories and books because the characters were jerks or otherwise unwholesome, or the stories didn't end to my liking.  I'd much rather have readers slam my characters than my writing.  As long as they read, I'm happy...even with the not-so-nice reviews.

     

    @Starla...I say congratulations, too!  What's the name of your novel?  Please do post your link or direct me to your blog or where I can find it and check it out.  I worked on my book (which started as a short story project for a writing class) for years, and peddled it around with no success at finding an agent or publisher.   I finally, after much research and encouragement from other writers (some self-published authors), decided to stop waiting on someone else to validate my work as good enough to publish.  I POD published it last year, and I'm currently working on some revisions to release it as a 2nd edition in early 2012.  For me, the publication was a little rushed, because I wanted to publish it by a certain date, and then have a launch party before I deployed.  Although the story was pretty well done, I could have spent more time polishing the final product, i.e., following more of my editor's advice before going to press.  Like you, I'm still learning so much about being an author and soon-to-be publisher, but so far, it's a fun ride.  This process is all a life-long dream, so it's nice to see it coming true a little bit at a time.  Self-publishing is quite a ride, isn't it?  I love to hear how some of the established traditionally published authors are actually interested in how us indie-published authors make it happen.  It's an encouraging sign that the gap is closing a little bit more. Yaay!

  • Laura Zigman

    I love your story! As a "published" writer with 4 books under my belt, I'd had a certain take on self-publishing. Then a few weeks ago at a shiva, I met a guy who was self-publishing his own novel. He'd put together and handpicked a kind of "team" -- he'd hired an editor, and a really good designer for the jacket -- and he really sounded like he knew what he was doing -- and suddenly my perspective changed and I realized how different the publishing world is: "published" writers like me are now asking "unpublished" writers like him HOW THEY DO IT! It was fascinating to me because I realized: "Hey, maybe I SHOULD do that, too!" Best of luck with your novel! Post the link here so we can TRULY CONGRATULATE you!

  • Laura Zigman

    Thanks again @Regina! I was so mystified after it came out because I meant it to be funny and a lot of people thought it was mean. Mean!? I was shocked (and then I felt bad). I was once invited to a book group -- you know, one of those "Let's invite the local author to our book club and ask her questions about herself and her book"  nights. And they read "Her." (They'd had me first for Animal Husbandry so there was a good history there.) The minute I walked in NO ONE WOULD LOOK AT ME. Three people didn't show up ('they're sick,' the hostess stammered). The other four women glared at me until it was finally time to sit down in the living room. They ALL HATED IT and went on and on and ON about HOW MUCH THEY HATED IT and HOW MAD THEY WERE because they'd WASTED TIME READING A BOOK THEY HATED. I was totally and utterly shocked: I could understand that they hated it but WHY DIDN'T THEY CANCEL THE "EVENT???" (also, Why didn't I just leave?)

  • Regina Y. Swint

    @Laura...Hahahahaha!  Small world, indeed.  And oh my goodness.  It's such a good read.  If people hate it all, it's most likely because they can relate too much to it, but don't want to admit it.  That's what I like to think of as the best kind of writing.  Kudos and Likes and all else that represents applause in social networking circles.  :)

  • Laura Zigman

    Thanks so much, @Regina! Didn't know I was on a site with a person who'd actually read (and finished) (and didn't hate) HER!