|This port contains my musings on writing and life in general. And yes, it is one hundred percent real. I pull no punches, and I co-sign no one. Enjoy.|
|Self-publishing is exhausting work. Writing a short story or novel is hard enough, but when you have to do everything yourself, it's easy to get worn out.
In order to publish my work through Amazon, I'm having to learn typesetting, and how to convert files. I also have to collaborate with a cover artist on book covers. I'm responsible for all my editing, but I've used test readers to ensure I haven't been blind to mistakes. I have to write compelling book blurbs to catch the attention of readers.
I need to get my website up and running, and I still haven't taken author pictures so that readers can know what I look like. I also need to find the most affordable way to advertise my ebooks.
But like the old saying goes, rome wasn't built in a day.
|It took me a long time to decide to publish my next short story. I never want to be the type of person who charges people money and wastes their time.
After ruminating over it, I picked Acting Principles. It still packs an emotional wallop eight years later, and the two main characters are some of my favorite characters that I've created.
I'll be editing it until...it's done, so if there are some weird incomplete sentences, it's because I took a break in the middle of an editing session.
I don't have a publishing schedule just yet, some of the work I'm publishing haven't even been transferred from paper to word yet, so I'll just make periodic updates on this blog from here on in.
|I've thought about traditional publishing off and on for several years. What has stopped me from going that route has been the time and money involved. Yes, money. It takes money to send out hundreds of pages here and there for people who may reject your work, and then shamelessly steal your ideas(ala The Matrix movie which was based on a script that was shopped around). And then there's the way publishing companies accept manuscripts.
Let's say Publishing Company A is accepting manuscripts for publication. That sounds great right? The catch is, if you send them your manuscript, they don't want you shopping it around to anyone else from anywhere from three months to six months. That means if you have a lot of publishers you are interested in, you might have to wait years before you get a yes, and that's only if your work is ready to be published right then and there.
There are other ways to be published. If you secure an agent, your agent will send off your manuscript(or a query letter with the synopsis of your book) to publishers and negotiate on your behalf. Sounds easier, huh? Agents get a percentage of your book sales, anywhere from 15 to 20 percent. And getting an agent is tough if you don't write in genres that are mainstream or popular. The agents I've looked up don't represent the genres I write in, which is why I haven't gone this route.
Then there's the publishing contract. It starts off by giving the author an advance. For most first time authors, this isn't a lot, and is representative of what the publisher hopes to get back in sales. Royalties, the money you are paid for every book sold, aren't so great either. They can be as low as 6% for a cheap paperback, or 10% for a hardback. So if an author has a paperback book being sold for $5 in Walmart, they are only making about 30 cents if they are a first time author. Fifty cents if it's a hardcover. The vast majority of the profit is going to the publisher. If an agent is involved, the author is getting back even less money. Prices aren't set by the author either. The publisher could decide to put your book on sale for x amount of time, and as an author, there's nothing you can do.
For these reasons, I've decided not to be published traditionally. I'm not arrogant about it. I don't think I'm the best author ever, but I would like to have more autonomy than publishers can offer me right now.
If I'm successful enough on my own in the future, and the right deal comes along, then I might change my mind. Never say never, I say.
|Now that I'm a published author, I'm starting to see how much time and money I have to invest into publishing.
Publishing is fairly cheap for me. I've used word processing software for years, so I find it easy to format my own ebooks. Editing and making sure my books are grammatically correct takes longer than formatting.
Finding affordable cover artists seems to be my biggest challenge. Some companies are charging as much as $500, just for one. And then they are charging another fee for physical formatting. Cheaper cover artists have waiting lists because...well, they're cheaper. As someone who has always written just for fun, and can churn out good quality short stories and novels in a quick amount of time, this makes me feel impatient. especially since it takes an average of six books on the market before an author sees a profit. I'd like to release a new short story or novel every month, if I could.
|I am published! It took a long time, but my work is finally for sale!
My new pen name is Jasmine Supreme, and you can find the final draft of Café Au Lait on Amazon.com in the Kindle Store.
Café Au Lait will be a free download until February 15, at which point it will go back to the original price of 99 cents. And woo-hoo! I'm already at number six for free downloads in the lesbian fiction genre!
I've learned a lot from being on writing.com for the past 15 years. I've polished my editing, I've learned what readers like and don't like, and I've grown as a writer.
Now it's time for me to take the next step.
Wish me luck!
|As I move closer to publication, I often wrestle with the idea of publishing my "lesser" work. The stories that would fit better in the romance section of Walmart rather than on the shortlist for a literary award.
Should serious writers write romance? Or should they put all their energy into their great works?
Judging by the responses of my readers, I am fully capable of doing both, and I intend to.
|It should go without saying that horror movies should be scary. After all, what's the point of a gorefest if your heart isn't racing and you're too scared to look away as "The Final Girl" is being chased into the woods? Unfortunately, most horror movies leave me shaking my head at the bad makeup, and unbelievable stupidity of the characters involved. Here's a short list of horror movies that are actually scary:
1. Triangle: It's number one because this mindfuck in the Bermuda Triangle is more than your typical slasher. I recommend multiple views to develop your own theory.
2. V/H/S: Who knew amateur camerawork could be so scary? I swear to God, I'm going to run away from the next person who tells me "I like you" with their eyes wide open.
3. Silent Hill: Based on the popular series of video games, the first movie had monstrous nurses and other deformed creatures straight out of a nightmare.
4. Insidious: Remember when horror movies took full advantage of lighting to set the mood? This new release uses it to a T.
5. 1408: I'd bet money that this is the scariest Stephen King movie to date. Instead of a haunted house, the protagonist has to survive a notorious hotel room that exploits his deepest fears.
|I've written a lot in the past several months. I finished a short story about two performers in the last live entertainment capitol on earth, started another about a young woman and a gifted farmer who may or may not be a nature spirit, wrote another chapter for "Visionary", and I was recently started on another short story two nights ago. To say I've been busy is an understatement.
I'll post the first short story I mentioned, tentatively titled "A Good Act" in about ten days. That should give me enough time to take care of neccesary editing and proofreading.