Sunday, March 2, 2014

Writing Bad: Adventures in Self Publishing

I'd like to tell a story about this guy, whom we'll call Writer Windham.  While this guy suffers a mid-life crisis and learns that he has a terminal case of ihavenopurposeinlife-itis, he decides that changes need to happen.  Then he gets an idea.  An awful idea.  He gets a wonderful, awful, idea.

Immediately, his wife realizes something is different.  "Sweetie, what are you doing at 2 in the morning?" she asks.  He answers, "Um ... nothing ... puzzles?" But still, she suspects he's hiding something he doesn't want to talk about.

His coworkers notice a change.  "Windham!" says his boss.  "Why are sleeping at your desk?"  Writer lifts his head and says calmly, "Amen."  But still, they sense something else is going on.  I mean, he's not that religious.

His sister-in-law, who encourages everyone to get published, would have a cow if she ever found out what Writer Windham was planning.  She would be full of the cream of concern, fearing that Writer may be shunned by the gatekeepers, and banned by the AbsoluteWrite forum.

However, how long could Writer Windham keep this all a secret?  One day, he would have to confess where all that money was coming from, and reveal the true identity of Seussenberg, the author of the purest schtick ever created.  And one day everyone would know his name.

Yes, Writer Windham was Writing Bad.  He was dabbling in self-publishing.  (Or at least he's seriously considering doing it.)

Now, imagine Wayne and Garth doing their dream hands, going "Doodly-doo. Doodly-doo" as we return to real life.  The real Writer Windham has an announcement to make.

In a nutshell, I have two finished novels collecting dust in my computer.  These two stories are actually pretty good, and they need a home.  Several years ago, they were rejected by most of the major publishers for the intended audience, and also rejected by several agents.  So, I figure I have nothing to lose.

Additionally, I have a good day job, and should this publishing effort fail, I'd still have this source of steady income to support living expenses.  (I only bring this up, because I wouldn't recommend self-publishing for anyone who depends on writing for their sole source of income.)

I've spent the past few years trying to write short stories to get them published, and start building my name, hoping to one day become worthy to have my first two novels published.  However, I've only been met by more gatekeepers following the same outdated formulas.  Even though I feel I'm a better writer today, I still feel that I am nowhere near closer to establishing my name.


I think that if my two novels were sufficiently edited and sufficiently exposed to the world, they'd sell well.  So, I'm just going to have to do the hard work myself. Here's the plan.

I will first work on novel #1, Escape From the Planet Justice, your typical space opera action story.  This novel has already been through 3 rounds of editing.  In a couple of weeks, I will send the entire novel to my friends at  After two or three months, I will take their suggestions and do another round of editing, followed by a grammar/wording round of editing.  Then I will hire a reputable editor to do a final check.

I will publish the book through a reputable self-publishing service (most likely Amazon).  I'm targeting a release date of December 2014 if not sooner.  Then we'll see what comes next.

The second novel is The Silver Lining, a Mormon sci-fi look into what happens after death.  This novel has been through one major edit.  I need to send the first four chapters (which are problematic) through another edit, and then I'll be able to send this story through the same process I described above.  I'm targeting a release date of December 2015 for that one (if not sooner).

In the meantime, I'll still try to get published in magazines.  I'll start and continue working on other new books (Time Sleuths, and Space Cadets).  Whether or not I self-publish those will depend on what transpires in the next couple of years.

I'll keep you posted along the way.

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