and it got me to thinkin’…

See the previous post for my discussion on what may or may not be an ill-informed decision I have recently made.

There are certain feelings that have come with my decision to self-publish a book.  Let’s take a look at a few of them.

Excitement: Honestly, I have no idea what to expect here.  I could sell only 10 copies, I could sell 100.  I could sell more, but hey, let’s not get carried away here.  The important thing to note here is that I have stopped being undecided and am just doing it.  I’m not going about it with reckless abandon either; the manuscript is one I love deeply and it is currently going through its seventh editing stage.  This is following three beta reads.  I have taken the time to do (most of) the necessary research and am working to get a professional cover worked up for it.   I am seeking reviews, organizing a blog tour (sort of) and doing all of that.  So I am not just tossing a 70K word story out into the ether without giving a damn about it.  It’s quite exciting (particularly given my beta feedback).

Dread: While my success with the small presses has been moderate and my audience for short fiction and poetry has been sparse, there is still the fact that, to some, I have taken 4 years of my life to gain at least the tiniest shred of credibility. (Note: while I don’t necessarily see this as true, I’m relying on defined norms of the craft).  Self-publishing takes that credibility and tosses it out with black and red chips onto a roulette table that has a suspicious looking tilt to it.  If this self-publishing venture fails, that could very well demolish the house of sticks I have built.  No house of straw around the corner or house of bricks further in the future, but BAM, back to square one.

So yeah, there are moments in the day where I think to myself: Self, so we really want to do this? To which myself replies: Stop talking and feed me.  And try to write more later today rather than going to sleep early or playing Madden.  Also, more coffee, please.

So yeah, it seems I’m doing this.  And in an effort to appease the excited side of things (see above), here is a very brief and useless snippet of the cover for the self-publishing experiment.  This is just a background I created over the course of a few days…the end result will be better in the end.  I promise (hope?).

I am still open to further encouragement and/or arguments and pleas to step down from the ledge.  The idea of having a possibly productive year (this book, The Bleeding Room, and Birdwatching from Mars) has me feeling the urge to finish a few books I have left drifting about.  Broken Skies (remember that one?) is still without a proper ending.  Blood Routes is still sitting at a gruesome and awkward 45,000 words and in dire need of a rewrite and justification for what is going to be a truly unhappy ending.

But, best laid plans and all that…

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2 comments

  1. I think your decision to self publish is great. With the flourishing of small presses and ebooks and blog books the stigma that self publishing used to carry is diminishing every day. And it certainly won’t stop you from finding a publisher who loves you in the future. My first book was self published. I set up readings and sold it for $5. Did me no harm and I only have two copies left. Go for it!

  2. Screw it. I say do it. I’m thinking of doing the same thing with some humor essays I’ve written. Writing is about one thing: writing. A lot of writers successful later in their careers have done the very same thing. It’s about the craft, not fame or steps leading to. One thing I’d say to do is to steer clear of certain self-publishing groups. Although the prices look great, you’d be just as suited to set this bad boy up in Adobe InDesign and send it to a professional printer in VA. You’ll get a better deal and probably a better finished product and won’t be forking unnecessary cash over to Lulu or Amazon or whoever.

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