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Let’s E-Publish a Book
Step One: Deciding what to Publish
Charles Atkins
Every journey begins
with a step…at some point I’ll Google that and find out who said it.  But here’s the journey…or at least the
goal.  I’ve decided to e-publish a book,
and to recreate myself…a part of myself?…as a writer of urban fantasy.  To start, I’ve been very fortunate in my
writing career.  No, I’m  not a best seller, but I’ve had quite a few
books published.  This is a big deal, in
the passing age of publishing with its crushing rejection, where getting an
agent and a book deal(s) were hurdles that many authors were never able to
This is all changing,
perhaps it already has.  With the radical
shift in the publishing paradigm from ‘few can get published, to everyone and
their granny can get e-published’ it’s time to rethink my life as an author, what
I want to write and how I’m going to get it to readers.  So, the journey starts.  I may take some short cuts, but I know I’m
not the only one figuring this stuff out.
Here’s the plan.   And yes, I find it’s good to map these
things out, like writing an outline for a new novel.  The plan may go to pieces, and the steps
taken can diverge wildly from what was intended.  Still, a map is a nice way to get started.
Step 1.  Decide what I’m going to publish:
I’ve got a few ideas on
this one, but two books that aren’t far from being publishable spring to
mind.  First is a Faustian tale of a
young doctor who creates a pill that alleviates all human suffering.  Sadly, it comes at a cost and the devil–yes,
Lucifer himself–will have his due.  The
other is a lovely–albeit meandering multi-generational saga where once a
generation a child is born with the ability to heal.  It often doesn’t go well for that child as
the book dips in and out of a beautiful fantasy realm based on Gypsy–and
other–folklore.  Those are the two front
runners.  And clearly where I’m taking
some serious short cuts–I’ve got a couple books ready or near-ready to go.
Choice A, entitled–GO
TO HELL–is essentially ready.  It’s with
my agent and has received quite a bit of rejection.  That said, the rejection has been strangely
positive.  One editor wrote back,
“if this had been ten years earlier my answer would have been
different.”   Other comments have
been similar, no form letters saying thanks but no thanks.  All thoughtful responses about why they’re
hesitant to give the green light.  At the
end of the day it’s because they’re not certain the book will make money.  People are nervous and publishing books–at
least the old way with paper and ink–is expensive.  E-publishing–at least in my naive head state
is cheap, just format, post and publicize.
For the sake of these blog pieces I’ll be meticulous about actual costs.
Choice B–My
multi-generational sage will require a rewrite.
I’ve written and rewritten this one so many times, I just need to pull
my head around two ways it can go, commit to one and haul my butt through its
many pages to smooth and tighten–about a month’s work…maybe two.
I’ve a third choice as
well, but this book is not yet written and I just finished a fifty–or so–page
outline, which needs lots of work.
Clearly, the easiest is to go with Choice A.  Yes, baby has just taken his first step.  I’m going to e-publish GO TO HELL.  Now what?

1 Comment

  • Julia Munroe Martin
    9 years ago

    I'm so glad I found your blog (via Writer Unboxed on FB) — I'm seriously considering self publishing a mystery series, and I will be so interested to watch your progress and glean ideas!

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