It has been a long road since I started writing my novel Blood Feud. The journey began in April of 2012. I remember it well — a month of straight writing where the ideas just flowed like water. They pooled onto the page with little effort as months of thinking about my story and characters finally found a permanent place on the page. My story flourished but my poor family suffered from neglect. So at the end of the month and about 50,000 words later, I took a break. A few weeks later I came back to my marvelous work of art to realize everything I had written was total crap. And that pretty much sums up the next four years. Awesome spurts of writing where words flowed and family suffered just to end up with… yep you guessed it, more crap.
That my friends is the way of the writer as I am sure some of you are quite familiar with.
But something happened in my fifth year of writing. During my sixtieth (and really that’s not much of an exaggeration) rewrite of Blood Feud, the crap fell away and a good story finally started to form. At least to the point where I felt confident enough to send my work to a professional author, editor, and friend (Michael Knost) so he could tell me it was crap too. And to my surprise, he said it was a pretty awesome story.
Crap, what do I do now?
There are really only two options to a writer who wishes to publish a book. And I decided that was what needed to be done, because dammit I needed to finish the book once and for all. I was done having it sit around taunting me as it likes to do (really it does, my book even whispers to me as I try to go to sleep at night… bastard). So the question was… do I try my hand at traditional publishing like thousands of other eager authors-in-waiting or self-publish like thousands of other eager authors-not-waiting-quite-as-long? In the end, what it really boiled down to was what I decided success would look like for me.
So after weeks of utter torture and turmoil, I decided to go with self-publishing, even though my book is supposedly good enough for a traditional press. Why then did I decide to self-publish? Because I have a story I want to tell and I don’t want to wait two to five years for that acceptance letter to come meandering into my mailbox (and that’s if I’m lucky, it could be a lot longer than that). Also, to me, it’s not about how far my book gets out there as long as it is just out there. Because once it’s published I never have to look at it again — hoorah (and if you are a writer you totally know what I mean)!!!
Why did it take five years to finally call Blood Feud almost done (still several more rounds of edits to do, thank god someone else will be doing those!!!)? Because when I started, I was a newbie at writing. BF taught me how to be a writer. How to not just put words on a page, but make them dance and twirl and do some pretty awesome things. How to write complex characters and plot. How to experiment with thoughts, feelings, and everything in between. How to write one scene from four different characters points of view (don’t worry I cut the other three out, they are laying around my computer somewhere cluttering up hard drive pissed that I didn’t pick them). When I started Blood Feud I was a babe in the woods, now I’m a gangly smartmouth teenager ready to trip over my limbs and tell the world to read my story or else.
For better or worse it’s coming out. Some may like it. A few might love it. Maybe a whole lot of people will hate it (that’s almost a guarantee!). And there will be lots more who won’t read it and never know what they are missing (sucks to be them!). But in all honesty, it’s been fun. A whole lot of fun writing it and that is all that really matters, everything else is just background noise. Do you know what I’ll be hearing as my book rolls out to the public? My characters whispering to me and demanding I hurry up and finish book two (and maybe readers might be yelling that too once they get to the end of BF).
Oh yeah, did I forget to mention that? I’m not just torturing the world with one of my books, but many of them yet to come. Initially a trilogy, but I have a whole lot more story to tell beyond that. If you want to blame someone. Blame the voices in my head. It’s all their fault. They made me do it. I absolve myself of any wrong-doing. So stick around for the introduction of a cast of characters that will break your heart, piss you off, make you shout for joy, and make you horney as hell (yep, I got a couple of those scenes scattered around — you’re welcome). And come visit a brand new galaxy never before seen that is rich in worlds with amazing technology and secrets waiting to be unveiled. Will you be brave enough to make the journey?
Oh yeah, you are probably wanting to know a publication date, huh? Well, I haven’t made up my mind yet. There are a lot of things to consider like my life altering decision to homeschool my son. This will be our second year of homeschooling but it’s still not smooth sailing yet. And setting up marketing plans for BF. And finish the first draft of book two (yes, I’m only on the first draft, don’t judge! I’m a busy person!). And naturally, all the things that goes into self-publishing (I won’t bore you with all the details), though I am outsourcing to Bookerfly Press to help with the big, really important stuff. So yeah, every day sort of stuff that I have to fit in everyday. No pressure or anything.
But in all seriousness, right now I’m considering a mid to late January 2018 publication, but we shall see how the cards fall. As soon as I know, you will know (because I’m totally itching to write another snarky post!). Until then, imagine reading my book and loving every bit of it, because (Hello!) you know you will.
4 thoughts on “Taking the Plunge to Self-Publish”
You should offer some signed copy giveaways to help promote your book. You might also want to self-publish in more than one place like Amazon, Smashwords, Kobo, Barnes and Nobles, etc If you self-publish via Createspace, they do offer a stage of the process to put your book on the bookshelves. Good luck!
Thank you for the advice! Very good ideas! I’ll have to keep them in mind. I plan on sitting down soon to start working up a marketing plan. Probably at the end of this month or beginning of next. Let me know if you think of anything else!
OMG – how exciting!!!!!
I have always thought self publishing is the way to go. You end up with more control. The next big decision you will need to make is Amazon exclusive with Kindle Unlimited and all the bells and whistles you get with that – or go Smashwords and reach other sources.
Good luck and can’t wait to read the final copy!!!!
Thanks, Michael!!! I’ve made a lot of changes since you read parts of it, so I’m hoping it will be nice and exciting for you! Yeah, that’s kind of the conclusion I came to. I want as much creative control as possible. I know my story and where I want it to go and I don’t want people messing with it. And yes, there is all kinds of stuff to consider. I’m going to buckle down here in a few weeks and start making some marketing decisions, but this month I want to work on book 2 as much as I can because I don’t know if or when I’ll get a chance once Caleb starts school sometime in August!