So. Self-publication. I’ve been giving it a lot of thought lately.
If you’re anything like me, though (and if you are you should really think about seeing a professional), you have a habit of catching just a whiff of a new endeavor and throwing yourself at it to the expense of all else. If that’s the case, let me caution you to STOP.
True, Chuck is no self-publishing expert (and he even tells you so) but he likely knows more about it than the average self-publishing wannabe. Which is a category I definitely fall into. My queries are still out in the wild, howling their agent mating calls, waiting for some sort of response even if it’s just a shoe getting tossed at them so they’ll get off the agent’s fence. It’s not the novel I’m thinking of self-publishing.
As I continue working on my Free Fiction entries, spinning new ideas and laying out words, I see a pattern forming between some of the stories, things that readers can latch onto. As much as the anthology is a hated article of fiction, and combining that with self-publication means I’d be infecting my work with the literary equivalent of the Black Plague, an anthology of myths re-cast into different settings may still have an audience.
I don’t think you’ll be seeing it available any time soon, because I have a few things I need to do.
First, I need to write more.
No-brainer here. Right now I’ve got two solid stories and one that may be more a continuation of the first than a stand-alone narrative. I’ve got a new one in the works and ideas for at least three more. And I don’t want to just dash them off and slap them into a PDF for sale. There will need to be edits, revisions, cuts and fusions, all that good stuff that makes decent ideas into great stories. You’ll still get Free Fiction on a (semi) regular basis, but mostly I’ll be posting the raw stuff.
Next, I’ll need a cover artist.
Somehow I’ll have to find room in my budget to pay somebody for this. Considering I want this to be a product I’m proud of, willing to show to others as evidence of my style, inspiration and ability to produce, I don’t want it to look like something a fifth-grade drew in MS Paint or a photoshopped image with kitschy filters and lens flares all over the place. This should look professional, even if I’m a complete and total amateur.
Finally, it’ll come time to market the thing.
I’m not a marketing guy. I tend not to be inclined to schmooze. It makes me an inadequate salesman, even when I’m trying to sell myself. In social situations I always fear talking about myself too much, artificially redirecting conversations to make them about me, basically wishing to avoid behavior that’d get me branded as a self-centered douchecopter.
Yet that’s a good chunk of what will get a self-published work in a position to earn its keep.
Once it’s up on the Intertubes, it’ll sit there unless acted upon by an outside force. Newton’s First Law of Internet or something. And since I created the thing, I’ll have to be that outside force. I honestly have no idea what the best or most efficient way of doing so is going to be, but I’m willing to give it a try.
It’s something that could go any number of ways. Hopefully I don’t pursue one of the ways that pitches me head-first into an unforeseen pit filled with red-hot magma.
In other news, it’s entirely possible I’ve been playing Minecraft a bit much lately.