Well, it is official, folks. I’ve made up my mind. I am venturing off into the great unknown of publishing land with a makeshift vessel of my own construction. Given my abilities in the construction area of things, you can understand just how nerve-wracking and exciting this is. Nothing says “adventure” like setting sail in a ship with no bottom.
That is to say, I’ve decided to go the route of indie publishing. That is to say, I play publisher, as well as writer. As a theater geek with an overactive imagination who likes to adlib, at the very least this will give me more pretend roles to pretend to live (yay me?), in the middle, something might actually come of it, and at most, I might sell fortybazillion copies and retire at the age of 32. But as someone wittier than I put it, your work can sit on your hard drive and make nothing at all, or it can sit on an electronic bookshelf and maybe make something. Not that I’m in this thing for the money. Though, you know, a dude’s gotta eat.
What with the changes in the publishing industry, all the advantages lie with the writer now. It used to lie with the publisher and the agent. But really, if you want to make a living at this thing, own the rights to your stuff, and not get screwed over, self-pubbing is the way to go. Used to be, publishers cared about you and your book. Used to be, agents worked for you, not for publishers. Today, you frankly gotta be crazy to sign an agent or publishing contract. You get 12% of revenue, minus writing advance, you have to do most of the marketing yourself, you have no veto power over awful covers, you have no veto power over final changes they make to the manuscript, including changing the title, they keep part of your copyright forever, and the rights to the e-version of your book forever, and they keep your firstborn’s soul.
Okay, not that last one.
Still, who wants to sign that thing?
Due to this climate, and there no telling where the industry might go, it seems to make the most sense to DIY. Once I realized this and stopped hyperventilating, I was excited about the prospect of it. It’s all not that hard to set up, either. I am going to have help along the way, of course. a wizened and experienced guide. Someone to tell me, “Hey, don’t eat those berries. They’ll turn your insides into your outsides.” Among others, Dean Wesley Smith’s book Think Like a Publisher, has been instrumental. If you are at all thinking about indie pubbing, read this book.
One of the things Smith’s book recommended I do is make up a publication schedule of your planned books and stick to it as much as possible. So I worked up a publication schedule. It tells me when my outlines are due, when my first drafts are due, when final edits are due, and the release date, with lotsa time in between while I get the feel for this crazy rodeo.
So all the dates are subject to adjustment, obviously, but for now, here is the official scheduled release projections for my first few books.
May 2013 – Pirate’s Redemption.
November 2013 – The Book of Secrets.
These release dates refer to the e-book versions. I do plan on making nice, quality print versions available as well, but those are way harder to put together and I’m new at this, so I’m anticipating a longer learning curve for that side of things. But it will happen. Your inner luddite will be pleased with these trade paperback versions. They will be perfectly designed to prop up that wobbly coffee table in your living room. Your toddlers will relish the experience of tearing the quality number 7 cream paper stock out of the book and sticking it in their mouths.
Other release dates will follow, but those will be released when we’re way closer to them. In the mean time, I’m planning on setting up an automated newsletter thingy with special extras and bonus stuff for the really, very interested, which will also include teaser bonus chapters from forthcoming work. Keep checking back here at the site for when you can sign up for that awesome newsletter of hidden goodies. I’m hoping to have it set up sometime in November here.