Archive for December, 2010

The Plan

Posted: December 18, 2010 in Self Publishing
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I started thinking the other day while walking around the track at the YMCA. Yes, don’t look so surprised, I was actually exercising. My thoughts may have been the result of adrenaline rushing to my brain or just boredom (it’s a very small indoor track), but I started thinking about self publishing.

This isn’t the first time the idea has crossed my mind. It comes to me every once in a while when I feel discouraged about the number of rejections I received from traditional publishing attempts, or disheartened by the sometimes dire-looking vista of the traditional publishing world in general.

From an age when I could read by myself, I have wanted to write books people would enjoy reading. Books provided me with so many adventures and escapes and pleasures I wanted to create and explore more worlds for myself and others to enjoy.

I’ve had some success with short stories, but they don’t provide the same build a world experience as a great novel. I’ve also received quite a bit of encouragement from people who have read excerpts of my work–six completed novels, not counting two or three less than stellar fabrications in my early teens. Between workshop leaders, teachers, and even some of those rejection letters I have garnered enough confidence to believe that I actually do have talent and at times maybe even something to say.

Because my initial love of books was tied to the tactile, the “book” itself: the paper, binding, cover art, even the turned down corners to mark my place when I didn’t have a bookmarker, I was a publishing snob for years. Not only was I set on publishing in hard or soft cover, I was determined to find publication with a house that had a reputation, that would make my book available nationwide if not globally. No small regional publishers for me, I set my sights on Random House, St. Martins, Harper Collins, or at least Avon or Penguin paperbacks.

The last few years, however, that confidence has not been enough. I still believe what I write is publishable, and that people, some people at least, would actually enjoy my work as much or even more than some of the current novels being churned out in the market. But it is getting harder and harder to get published, even when you’re damn good. And there is much news out there about the publishing industry that makes me doubt they are as esteemed as they used to be, or at least as they’d like us to think they used to be.

So I have decided to seriously look at the self publishing options that are available to me today. This includes e-books and Print on Demand, as well as any other ventures I can find that involve little or no up front investment by yours truly, the author-to-be. Because I am not at all interested in vanity publishing by the standard definition of the term. No garage full of books for me, or standing on street corners giving my books away for free as a marketing ploy.

The plan that evolved as I revolved around the 1/8 mile Y track is simple.

  1. Start a blog entitled To Self Publish or Not to Self Publish, That is the Question.
  2. Research the pros and cons of the various self publishing opportunities out there.
  3. Post weekly entries on the self publishing search.
  4. Market that blog by way of Facebook and other social networking media.
  5. Include a poll in the blog where people can vote on whether I should take the plunge.
  6. Include cover art and an excerpt from my novel Painted Black to help people decide how to vote.
  7. And eventually to self publish the novel and actively self promote it on the internet, including continuing the blog with updates on how the novel is going (or not going as the case may be).

Sound like a plan?  Well, if you’re ready to decide, click on the link to my page called “The Critics” and tell me what you think.  Maybe I’ll listen.  And maybe I won’t.  Only time will tell for sure.

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