I’ve been doing a little digging into e-publishing in hopes of figuring out if that’s the route I want to take with my novels or not. I haven’t submitted to nearly enough agents to give up on that possibility, but the more I think about it, the more I dislike the thoughts of getting involved in traditional publishing culture.
In all honesty, I didn’t write these crazy novels to get rich. That would be nice. I wouldn’t say no. But I wrote them because I had something to say and I had a story to tell, and I could find very few books in the world that actually peaked my interest. I like a specific type of book, one with a lot of complicated plot issues and lots of subplots and really intense character development. Most books I read aren’t complex enough. I try to figure out the way the story is going to end, and most of the time, the story ends far more simply than I imagined. And I am disappointed. A good new example of the type of book I really enjoy is Patrick Rothfuss’s Kingkiller Chronicles, The Name of the Wind and The Wise Man’s Fear. Really satisfying reads, both of them, especially for a schizophrenic mind like mine.
And more and more it’s really difficult to get an agent’s attention. I know there are probably workarounds. And I know it’s a lot about networking. And it’s also very much about selling yourself. And I suck at all of those. I can sell other peoples’ work without any trouble at all, but ask me to promote myself? Yeah. I prefer to hide in a corner and try to convince people I don’t exist. Anonymity is my closest friend. I would rather make the works available to whoever wants them for as cheap as possible and stay in the background while they enjoy a really good, really random read.
I have a Kindle and I take it with me everywhere. I use it every day. And that’s probably the way I’m going to go. I mean, after all, real marketing starts with grass-roots efforts, doesn’t it? Amazon has a pretty easy FAQ on their Kindle Direct Publishing web site. There are a lot of do’s and don’t’s and a lot of formats to stick to, which I didn’t know about and will have to reformat everything to suit it. Oh, well. My devotional this morning was on diligence. I guess I can put pen to paper on that and see how it works out.
What really fascinated me was the concept of the Kindle Singles. They’re basically short stories or novellas. I wasn’t sure if they had a word limit or not, and they seem to vary from 5,000 to 30,000 words. So my plan is to try publishing one of my short stories to see how the process works and if it’s successful, I may follow through with a novel . . . or two . . . or three. =) I’ve got plenty to choose from that don’t fit the mold any publisher or agent wants right now, according to my reading and the people I’ve talked to. Actually, they don’t fit any mold.
In other news, I tried entering a self-publishing group’s contest. I thought I should give it a whirl. The contest was through Xulon Press, a Christian type of publishing group. Sounds nice. I’m sure they’re perfectly peachy. I didn’t win the contest, but I thought it was a good shot. I think they hold the contest every year, and the grand prize is a pretty sweet publishing package worth around $8,000.
And I was informed that I will have another piece of work published in February. Not fiction. And really more centered around my day job, but writing is writing, right? I actually get my name on the February edition of Plumbing Engineer with a piece about the domestic water installation in the LIVESTRONG Sporting Park in Kansas City. Yeah. That’s going to look great in my credits . . . . a romantic short story . . . . and a plumbing installation article. Fan-freakin’-tastic. =)