Getting Ready to Self-Publish

Hey there! So, you might have heard (or maybe you didn’t) that I’m soon to be embarking on a grand adventure. That is, I’ll be self-publishing a short book (based on word count, it’s a “novelette”) this fall, and it’ll be the first legit (non-blog) thing I’ll have ever, ever put out into the world for strangers to read.

Just the idea is SCARY AS HELL.

But just as I decided a few years ago that if I didn’t push past the fear and write my stories, no one else would, I had another epiphany over the past year: it’s fantastic to have an agent in your court selling your story and a publisher doing all the advertising and whatnot, but it’s just as real a thing to cut out all that middledy-gook and deliver a book directly to the readers through the power of the internet. And sending queries and waiting for some agent somewhere to decide that what I’m pitching is exactly what they believe in exactly at the time I’m querying is just another stalling tactic for me to hide behind.

So I decided to challenge myself, to put something out there into the world and see how it goes. And I figured I’d go with something shorter to just wet my toes and see what happens. I’m thrilled to know there are a couple of people out there who are stoked to read something of mine; it gives me hope that they’ll share and their friends will share and sooner or later I’ll have roots shooting through my community of online friends, followers, and subscribers, and nothing in the world brings me more pleasure than sharing my stories.

So, here are a few things I’m doing and/or thinking about.

THE FORMAT

It’ll be an e-book through Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP), and since I’ve got full rights, I plan to make it available worldwide (hello to my friends in Asia and Europe!), though at this point not translated into any other languages.

I’ll convert and format the file myself using an amazing, FREE program called Calibre. The interface is a little clunky but the damn thing works and it costs nothing, which boggles my mind with awesome.

THE COVER

I’m lucky to have an amazing photographer friend, Rebecca Bridges. She has graciously agreed to help me shoot the photo that will become the basis for the book’s cover.

THE MANUSCRIPT

The story itself is pretty much good to go, though I’ll give it another edit-through now that I’ve been away from it for a few months.

THE FRONT & BACK MATTER

Honestly, one of the things I’m most concerned with is making sure I’ve got all the right information included in the ebook file and in the right place, like copyright info, any disclosures that might be needed (can you tell I work in insurance?), and the ISBN. So I’ll have to conduct a little research to make sure I’m doing it right.

THE PROMOTION

This might actually be the worst part for me, because I don’t like to pressure people or feel like I’m really tooting my own horn, but you have to do that to successfully promote anything. The trick is in finding the way to do it that doesn’t involve being annoying as hell, because I’ve been turned off by a LOT of self-pubbing authors on Twitter who just overdo it on plugs, and the plugs are obviously trying to be clever and fun and totally, at least for me, falling short of the mark. So I’ll be formulating that plan over the next month or so.

All in all, I’m super scared but super excited to be taking my publishing into my own hands. Having grown up with a deep, awful (in the original sense of the word) respect for books and the behemoth that is traditional publishing, the thought of self-publishing feels a little like some kind of sacrilege.

But Imma do it anyway. 😉

FOLD is expected to release on October 25th, 2015, just in time for Halloween. You can find out a little more about the story by visiting my BOOKS page.

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