Good Luck road sign

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.

Read this, this and this.

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.