Thursday, September 19, 2013

5 Reasons to Self-Publish and oh, yeah, I have a new book out.

I'm a self-publisher.

I am an unabashed fan of CreateSpace, which is what I use to self-publish. Now, I know the arguments against self-publishing: it's not "real", your sales are junk, you're not a "real" author if you self-publish.


And, no, that's not a real word. But anyone who has read "Frindle" knows how much stock to put into "real words". I make up words all the time. Usually they're onomatopoeias, but nonetheless, I make up words when it suits me to do so. That's one of the reasons writers are called "wordsmiths".

Now that we've run down that rabbit hole, let's get to where we are going: self-publishing. I support it. I do it, and here's why:

1. Self-publishing allows you to get works "out of your system" to go on and produce better works. Once you have something (usually a sucky first novel, like my "Empowered"), then you can take a deep breath, clear your mind, and work on something else (like my much, much better novel Scales--Skin Deep).

2. Self-publishing forces you to think of your work as a marketable object. Yes, you want to reach deep into the hearts of your public and bring forth hitherto unrecognized universal longings and motivations...but you also want to support yourself, so you can unearth and bring forth more of them. To do that, you have to think of your work as a saleable package. A commodity. Does it cheapen your novel? Not at all, because it's done after you write it, but it helps you take your heart out of the text and do what needs to be done.

(Time out for Shameless Plug): Guess what's suddenly available on Kindle, or in soft cover? The latest, the greatest novella you've ever read: To Every Teacher Who Ever Lectured Me About My Potential.

When the word "Potential" gets dropped at her parent-teacher conference, precocious fourth-grader Jessie knows her day is ruined. But she has no idea how bad it can really get.

Although she gallantry tries to hold on to her feelings--and preserve her life in the process--she is unable to cope. Her abusive father and clueless mother drive Jessie toward school for solace. But a friend she makes reacts badly when Jessie spurns her inappropriate advance. Just when her father is acting human, her grandfather appears with his own brand of abuse. One Hell chases her into the next until she makes the only decision left to her to make.  Kindle $2.99      Softcover  $4.99 + shipping

(Resume Informative Article....Right Now!!)

3. Publishing is moving, and the old rules don't apply. Everyone has a smartphone, and every smartphone can be a Kindle. Who could be reading your novel right now?

4. You can build a following that you can then "sell" to other publishers. Let's face it: are you really willing to gut the novel you so lovingly crafted (and to which you dedicated the last three years of your life) because an editor said so? No. Not right away, at least. So go ahead an publish it. Then write another. And another. And while you are getting to be an expert at writing novels, you become more and more willing to tweak them to suit the tastes of fickle editors. In the meantime, people all over the world (I have a small but amazing following in the UK, for example) begin to like you. They tell their friends, and other people like you. Suddenly, hundreds of people--customers!--are following you on Twitter.

5. You don't die with a bunch of unpublished manuscripts. Yes, it makes for a romantic story we all love to read. Reality check: this only happens if you make it big time. If you don't, no one discovers your stuff and it never gets read.

So, don't be shy. Publish your book, and then come here and tell everyone about it in the Comments section. I might buy your book, too! I love buying books of new authors. Paying it forward.

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