A New Publishing Path

A New Publishing Path

Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.
— Maya Angelou

A lot’s gone down on my side of the screen.

Life is good at throwing curve balls and otherwise turning an uneventful year into one full of activity. Isn’t that what life’s all about? The ebb and flow of entropy all around us, both real and imagined, forever trying to keep life from becoming truly mundane? My wife and I always kick off a new year with a proclamation: Let’s aim to keep this new year as uneventful as possible. At this point, I’m pretty sure we only say it in jest because whenever we made this statement to the universe the exact opposite happened. 2019’s been no different in defying our words.

In truth, I've just been adjusting to this new chapter in my life: returning to a full-time job and rebalancing all of my free time to reflect the shift. You would think that it'd be easy enough to go from being a writer full-time at home to being back in the tech world full-time in an office. At least for me, you'd be wrong. The good news is that I really love my job, what I'm doing, and who I'm working for. On top of that, I have a lot of flexibility over my hours. Finally, my co-workers, boss, and boss's boss are pretty great folks to be around and work with on a daily basis. I am pretty sure I struck gold with the position I've landed. I couldn't ask for a better re-entry to full-time work.

At the same time, I've admittedly fell into old, pre-writing activities which kept me entertained back when I worked full-time before as a consultant. Couple that with a toddler who demands all my remaining waking time while she's awake and you have a recipe for making it easy to come up with excuses why I shouldn't write.

That isn't to say I wasn't being creative and flexing my writing muscles. Two short stories were written and the plots for a handful of others are lying in wait for me to sit and expand upon them. I've also been pushing my CP along in her endeavors while planning joint trips to writing conferences later in the year.

However, there was a growing, nagging voice in the back of my head once I started working full-time. That voice slowly questioned what I was going to do with my first book. Granted, I've submitted it to a bajillion (about fifty) agents, many of which I've heard back from at this point. However, with my new stream of income came a question in my mind that quickly gained traction despite my previous position on the matter:

"What about self-publishing?"

I've written about the pros and cons of traditional vs self-publishing in the past. Though I didn't take a solid position in my article, I've frequently shared with friends and other writers that I was committed to getting traditionally published. The position was not just about seeing my book slapped with a Del Rey or Tor logo on the spine. If I were to be honest, there was a certain amount of stubborn pride behind the choice. To get through all the hoops required for traditional publishing - to fight through the endless no's before reaching multiple elusive "Yes’s" several times before your book reached bookshelves - there was a lot of value that I placed on that process. I still think that it's a viable path for novels, as we see books being released by traditional publishing houses to this day.

Though I still believe traditional publishing is a part of my writing career... that won't be how my first novel will be published.

I've decided to self-publish my novel.

Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete? Proving nature’s laws wrong, it learned to walk without having feet. Funny, it seems to by keeping its dreams; it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete when no one else even cared.
— Tupac Shakur

I must admit, I spent an increasing amount of time reading more about the self-publishing path. Talking about it with my CP. Watching YouTube videos of writers who got their first book published on their own to find varying levels of success. Authors like Larry Correia and Andy Weir started their writing career by self-publishing, only to hit bestseller lists and find his subsequent novels traditionally published.

The stigmas against self-publishing, though still persistent, are weakening as more and more authors are finding success when striking out on their own. Combine the incredibly low cost of entry for getting stories published with the fact that more people are reading today than ever before and you have a recipe for getting stories in welcoming hands…

…Provided you work for it.

Though you’re all but expected to contribute to the marketing of your novel when traditionally publishing, you are required to handle marketing plus everything else related to your book. I won’t retread all the things that fall on your plate when self-publishing since I’ve done that already, but I’ve been very excited about the idea of handling every aspect of my novel, from cover design down to how I market the book. And, of course, choosing my own launch date!

Unless commitment is made, there are only promises and hopes; but no plans.
— Peter F. Drucker

I’ve embraced self-publishing as the path for my first book. It’s been over a month since I’ve made this decision, but I feel I’ve accomplished half-a-year’s worth of publication work in that time. My next post will dive into the details behind what’s been done so far - and what is coming!

Self-Publishing - My First Forty-Five Days

Self-Publishing - My First Forty-Five Days

My Writing Life: A New Chapter

My Writing Life: A New Chapter