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In which John talks about self-publishing, which was Casey's topic suggestion from the Project for Awesome. The Wimbly Womblys play Gillingham.

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Twitter: @AFCWimblyWombly
Hello and welcome to Hankgames without Hank. My name is John Green, and as you can see we are beginning a new journey! With AFC Wimbledon here in a pre-season tournament. Look at Other John Green who emerged from his TARDIS, he is a Time Lord, with a beautiful new head of hair! It's just magnificent. We're playing Gillingham today. Gillingham. Gilly! They've got a unicorn as their mascot, we hate them. We hate them with a white hot passion! But first my goal keeper, James Shea, is apparently gonna have to save some penalties. Oh, you don't wanna be up against James Shea. It's easy if you tell me where they're gonna be.

So I'm really, really excited for this new, for this new journey that the Wimbly Womblys... James?! For this new journey the Wimbly Womblys are going on. It's just incredibly exciting and I know that we're gonna be successful. I just, I can't wait.

And here we go. It's the first game of our new career. It's a pre-season Invitational Cup against a bunch of unicorns. And today I'm going to be talking about... So a bunch of people donated to the Project for Awesome, thank you to everybody who donated, more than 20,000 people actually donated to the 2015 Project for Awesome, raised more than 1.5 million dollars for charity for organizations including Save the Children and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. But several people donated to get, to pick the topics of Wimbly Wombly videos.

Oh! Look at Other John Green! He's beautiful in this game! He looks like Ronald McDonald, Meredith! Oh! It's a beautiful thing! So... I may make him get a haircut, actually. Alright. Meredith says no. Meredith says I can't.

So the first one is Casey, thank you Casey for donating to the 2015 Project for Awesome. Oh no, Meredith. How do I turn off my Kinect? They're always making fun of me for having my Kinect on but I don't know how to turn it off. Alright, somebody in comments tell me how to turn off my Kinect, please. But I'm not a scientist, alright. I'm a novelist. Not, not...

Oh! That's a good ball in! No it's not. We could have done better, we should have done better, instead we gave it away to Gillingham. Dannie Bulman's... We got lots of players that need names.

So anyway Casey's question was to talk about self-publishing, what I think about self-publishing, especially for authors who don't see self-pub... Like don't see their... Look at, look at the Beast Meredith. That's Adebayo Akinfenwa, Adebayo Akinfenwa! Oh, that was a good looking cross but wasn't good enough. So, especially for people who aren't looking to make a career out of writing. Well I mean I think there's lots of really interesting cool tools right now. I don't want to sub anyone off. What's going on? Oh the Kinect, Meredith, it thinks that I want to do something that I don't want to do. There's a lot of... Oh, get there! Oh, man. There's a lot of really good publishing tools now for people who want to self-publish. And I think there are lots of good reasons to self-publish.

One is, as Casey points out, if you don't want to make a career out of writing, you know, if you, you know, if you want to, if you wrote a story that you want to share but you aren't looking to, you know, sell, you know, find a broad audience for it and you're not worried about, like, you know, trying to...

Oh gosh hold on, sorry. I'm not very good yet. Oh there's Akinfenwa. Meredith, this guy is an absolute star. Do you know he's the biggest player in FIFA? Do you see him? Do you see him right now? He is the largest man in professional football. Look at him! He just runs rampant over the Gillinghammers. You follow him on Twitter? I do too. Beast mode on! That's what he always says on Twitter. That's when he really, that's when he's really getting into a workout or something, he always says "Beast mode on". That's not a bad ball, but it wasn't quite the right one. So, we're still as you can tell, like, we're weak in defense. Oh that was a nice looking, nice looking shot there. We're still figuring things out in FIFA 16, I'm not very good at this game, I don't know how to turn off my Kinect, etc.

But, yeah. So, like, Amazon has really good self-publishing tools, but there are also others that, you know... One of my real issues with self-publishing over the years has been that it's too often, in my opinion, exploitative of writers. You know, people want money for the chance to self-publish you, and a lot of that has gone away with the advent of Amazon's Create Space and things like that which is really good. I think as long as we live in a world where, you know, authors aren't being taken advantage of, I think it's fine. And I think the other advantage to self-publishing of course is that you don't have to go through the rigmarole of trying to find a publisher.

The big disadvantage, in my opinion, is that the existing, like, infrastructure for the world of books is... And admittedly I am tremendously biased in this conversation, and I have to acknowledge that. But, like, in my opinion, the existing infrastructure for books is actually quite, is actually quite good, it's actually quite healthy. I think, like, for instance editors add a ton of value to the publication process. I think that they're, you know, like my editor... Anything that anyone likes about Looking For Alaska or any of my books is from my editor one way or another. You know, the labyrinth of suffering in Looking For Alaska is from conversations that came, you know, that happened with Julie. The, you know, I mean everything in The Fault in Our Stars that people like is from, you know, is from Julie one way or another. And I think that's what, that's some of what you risk losing if you self-publish is the, you know, having other professionals who you are able to collaborate with in the process of making something.

I don't really buy into the notion, I mean we all know that books aren't made by one person right? Because, you know, you're influenced by everyone in your life, you're influenced by everybody who, you know, who plays a role in your life, and stories are inspired by the people you know and love regardless of whether you pay them for the gift of inspiration. But I also think that there's a lot of benefit in the existing book publishing and sharing world, like I think that book sellers have a lot to offer us as a community, and I think that that is, like, a good and useful profession that adds value to the quality of, the overall quality of books. 

My biggest, like... So when I, the problem I have, and I've expressed, like, publicly, you know, issues, especially with Amazon's publishing platform in the past, and it's not with people who want to share their work and can't find other ways to do it, or with people, you know, who don't want to make a career out of writing. It's a nil-nil draw after forty-five minutes. You gotta say AFC Wimbledon's had the better of it, we've had seventy-two corner kicks, but so far nothing's come of them despite having both Bald John Green and Other J... Oh my God, look at that hair, Meredith. It's an absolute, it's not, it's a gift to the universe. That's a, that's a penalty shout right there. That's gotta be a penalty shout. 

These are the teams that we're competing with in this pre-season tournament. We actually really need to win this tournament so that we can buy one player. We only have 50,000 bucks in our current transfer allotment, but if we win this tournament we'll have a million. So that would be nice because, you know, we need the, we could use one player. We could really use a good, solid, 65 right-back. That's a nice ball. Oh, it's Akinfenwa. It's Akinfenwaaaaaaaaaaa! Oh! Meredith, it was deflected. Life is so full of disappointments.

So, right, so the other, the issue that I have with Amazon in particular, their... well I have a bunch of issues with Amazon as a company. But the issue I have with their publishing platform, Their ideas about publishing, is that, you know, they argue that, and I think this is just wrong, again I might be wrong about any of this I'm obviously biased. I've obviously benefited from the entrenched ways of publishing, but they argue that, you know, right now, publishers take, take too much from authors and add too little value. I just don't agree with that as an ideal first off. But secondly, my worry is that like if Amazon, you know sort of like, for lack of a better term, "wins", if they get what they want, the authors who have distribution into big box stores like Target and Walmart and Costco, they'll continue to publish with publishers because theirs is just such a big advantage. I mean, you know, theirs is such a big advantage to having your book in Walmart, if you just sell so many copies just by virtue of being there, then it's worth it to work with a publisher just for that, putting aside the, you know, the editorial concerns.

I just worry about the overall, I guess I worry about the quality of discourse in two ways: first I worry about... uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, James Shea! We need a name for him. His name is Shea... J Shea? J Sheaaaaaaaaaaa I don't know we gotta work on it. There's Taylor. I don't have a name for him either, but he's oh he's rampant Meredith! He's rampant! Akinfenwa!? Akinfenwa make your way to the box, somebody in the box for the love of god! All right I'm going attacking. All right, um I think I might have accidentally gone ultra-defensive because of something I said to the Kinect. Which is potentially part of the problem here.

OK, all right, everything's fine. Nobody freak out. Nobody freak out, nobody freak out. Oh boy, now freak out, now panic, PANIC. Oh it went wide of the net, by the grace of god. So, one of the things that books have that movies for instance don't have is actual real diversity and breadth of voice, right? So, there are thousands of books published every year by major publishers. There are thousands of books that sell more than a thousand copies. There aren't thousands of movies that sell more than a thousand movie tickets every year. This is a big big issue for movies right? You know, you end up with two or three movies a week really that are able to reach broad audiences, which means you end up with like 160 maybe 200 movies a year that are able to reach broad audiences. 

That is not the case with books. With books we have many thousands of books that are able to reach... not, not movie scale audiences obviously, not massive massive, tens of millions of people. But really, pretty significant audiences. And also, you end up being able, I think in the best of publishing anyway, to develop a career overtime. Why is it - I wanna, not all out attack, something, something just in the middle. Just like, attacking. Yeah like there. I don't know what the issue is or what I'm doing wrong. 

I'm still learning FIFA 16 you guys, I'm sorry. I don't know how to turn off my Kinect yet, I got a bunch of issues OK?? I'm still trying to figure it out, we just need to beat Gillingham for god's sakes it's Gillingham boys! That's what I should have said before the game: "It's Gillingham lads!" They're unicorns. We can beat these, we can beat these dirty unicorns. Oh John Green, John Green, John Green, he's taken down in the box from behind!! But because of a long-standing conspiracy against AFC Wimbledon among referees in the football league, there's no penalty called! Frustrating.

So, I don't wanna lose that, right? And I worry that, my worry is like, how does Toni Morrison, not Toni Morrison now, because obviously now she's wildly famous. She won a Nobel Prize. But how does Toni Morrison you know, in 1978, how in that world where there are only two kinds of books: ones that are published on Amazon and ones that are sold at Walmart because there are no book stores or very few book stores and the vast majority of book distribution happens from one company. How does someone like Toni Morrison build an audience over the course of many novels? It's really really hard in a completely flat market place for books that are quiet, or for books that, you know, deserve audiences but will take a long time, it's really hard for those... That was a great header by Akinfenwa, that just saved us the fricking game.

Thank you Akinfenwa! We're going to extra time. Oh, extra time Meredith. The boys are already exhausted. Oh boy. All right, what are we doing here? Is the the game over? Meredith? It was a glorious nil-nil draw and apparently the game has come to an end. I have no idea what's going to happen next. Thank you for watching. I am trying to get better at FIFA. Best wishes.