fter years of pimping my first novel to agents and publishers, I’ve decided to quit stalling and self-publish the thing as an e-book. Why? Well, there are lots of reasons, in no particular order:
- Indie ebook authoring is the way the market is going. Every time I read something from an author who has gone independent and e-book only, it only reinforces that I’m making the right decision.
- I know my book’s good enough to be on shelves. I got one offer for a book deal from a publisher (it was a really shitty deal, and I was right not to take it), and got requests for a full manuscript from two agents.
- It will keep me from being lazy and making excuses about why the book hasn’t been published yet. I can’t blame anyone but myself.
- Every day I don’t self-publish my book is a day I’m not making money (thanks J.A. Konrath), and I could use it.
- The Redheaded Stepchild is not my greatest work. I have better stories to write and it’s time to get this one under my belt and move on.
So, what are the main functions today’s publisher offers, since I can get my books in the hands of readers without a publisher getting them on pages and on a shelf in a bookstore? Primarily, editing and cover art. I’m doing both of these myself, which may be a cardinal sin, but hey, if I’m going to be a starving independent author, I need to play the part.
In addition, it’s been more than 5 years (seriously? seriously.) since I wrote The Redheaded Stepchild, so I felt like I had the level of dramatic distance needed to be more objective than I would have been right after I wrote it. And I think I do, for the most part. I’ve taken a lot of measures to make my main character a little stronger (she was a lot whinier than I remembered) and I’ve caught a lot of technical errors I am both embarrassed by and know I would have missed years ago.
The first pass of editing is now complete, and I’m moving on to phase 2. In phase 1, I was mostly cutting – deleting details that didn’t add to the plot development, took away from the character’s persona, or were just weird. Now I am adding – adding details that will help make my character stronger and my plot more believable. I think after phase 2, I will be done editing, because I am getting to a point where I think “gee, that’d be a great detail to add,” only to add the detail then find the exact same thing a few sentences later.
Editing is a necessary but thankless task, and the biggest part of every writer’s life. I can’t wait to hire someone to do it for me next time 😛