So there it is. My first novel. It isn’t like the old days where it’s a pile of papers that I can still chuck in the fireplace. It’s an e-pile of papers, and I’ve saved it and backed it up and all that (Dropbox.com is working pretty well for this).
But, for as much as I celebrated, drinking too many beers at the in-law’s on New Year’s Eve Eve, I wasn’t finished. I’m not finished. I’m not even close.
See, now I take the novel that I wrote, and actually make it something readable. Hell, not just readable, enjoyable. Sought after. SELLABLE.
It’s not. Not right now anyway. I sound like I’m whinging a bit when I say it like this, but… it was my first try!
It was my first try at this. I’d never written a book, let alone one that people might want to read or someday even *GASP* purchase.
It’s a good story though, and it’s got a lot to it. I have a lot of work ahead of me though, in that I have to go through it, from the beginning, with a fresh set of eyes, with a cold and hardened heart, with an artist’s flair and an editor’s temperament. I have to go through it all again, to make it good.
Not that it’s not good, it’s just not ready.
So, first I’ll go through it and I’ll revise it into something readable. Then I share it with strangers. Yes, that’s right, strangers. To see what they think. They’ll critique the work, not the artist, and I’ll get some honest feedback.
Then, I’ll make changes, as I see fit, and I’ll share it with the most important reader I have. My wife. She’s the inspiration for the story AND my chief editor. That’s when I’ll get the real deal back at me.
Then I’ll share it with everybody. Well, everybody that’s willing to pay $0.99 for it on Kindle (or something similar). Then I’ll look for feedback that’s less honest, the kind where my mother gets a bit teary and says, “Oh, I always knew you could!” Of course, by that point it’ll be too late to change anything, I’ll be published.
Yes, that’s right. This is the New Millennium.
Old School Publishing Houses and Literary Agents and Editors and Agents and all that… well they may not be long for this world. Not in their present form anyway.
I’ve delved into researching the world of e-book publishing, or self-publishing.
It all really started with David Farland’s Daily Kick in the Pants, an email I get every day (usually) sent for free from a published and successful New York Times Bestselling Author. He mentioned an Indie publisher named Amanda Hocking, whom I checked out, and that was that. I was sold.
See, Amanda Hocking hasn’t been published anywhere, not traditionally. She didn’t send out millions of queries just to get millions of rejections. She didn’t go all J.K. Rowling nor did she go Stephanie Meyer. She just wrote lots of books, a series or two, and then e-published them. For Kindle, predominantly I assume, and then she spread the word about her books.
Then people were reading them and buying them and further spreading the word.
Last year at this time, she was still working in her dingy disadvantaged-care job, getting more and more excited at the idea that she could sell books online.
Last July or so, she made more in book sales than she did the previous year at her job. In December, she made around a quarter of a million dollars.
Just between you and me, that’s a lot of money.
Not that I’m in it for the money, because if I was I’d be a bit retarded. I’m in it to make books happen and see if people like them and entertain and make people’s lives a little bit better.
If that makes money, then Rock On.
But we’ll see how it goes. For now, I’m just documenting how I’m going and trying to keep track of the cool shit that happens on the way.
Wish me luck.