Publishing: Trad or Self?

To print, or not to print, that is the question, Whether ’tis nobler to self-publish or suffer the endless grind of querying.

Book written – novella actually.

Completed third draft? Check.

Spelling and grammar? Check.

Beta reader? Check.

Editorial Assessment? Check.

Currently with editor for the complete works – copy, line, structural, proof-reading.

I can’t say I’m not nervous. I really am, for a couple of reasons: 1. What if she discovers some appalling plot-hole (or holes!) that I’ve overlooked? 2. It’s costing me money that, in all likelihood, I’ll never make back on sales.

How To Workshop N-Words - The Rumpus.net

I have previously self-published on Amazon, both collections of short stories which you can find here and here, before I had any real idea of what I was about. This time I want a ‘real’ publisher. This time I want someone else to do all the work. This time I want to get it right (whatever that means).

Now this isn’t to say that other folks who have self-published haven’t got it right, many have. I have seen some exceedingly professionally produced books, well formatted, attention to interior, solid cover and sound back blurb. I have also seen titles produced by actual, real life, proper publishing companies that I haven’t been totally bowled over by.

How To Workshop N-Words - The Rumpus.net

Personally, I’m terrible at querying, I’m terrible at writing cover blurb, a synopsis, a pitch etc. I’m a creative writer, creative being the operative word. I want the idea written, complete and done so I can move onto the next one. I seriously resent the time spent on ‘Learning How to Write the Best Query Letter’ and similar. Why does self-publishing hold a lesser place in the eyes of others than publishing houses? Isn’t it the writing that ultimately matters?

I’ve spent the morning looking at domain names, cost of said domain names, how to have an imprint, how to register your imprint, how to…yadda, yadda, yadda. It goes on indefinitely – and I think this is my issue, I know that, given time, I could produce a decent product for the book market – because regardless of what the saying is, we DO judge a book by it’s cover.

How To Workshop N-Words - The Rumpus.net

But I don’t want to spend the time doing all that. I want to write, just write. I want to be able to be creative and develop my skill. I’m not interested in producing a trilogy to satisfy mass market appeal. I’m not particularly interested in becoming the next top selling author (of course it would be nice should anyone want to promote the shit out of my upcoming novella!), but that’s not what I write for.

I’ve read variously that a self-published author needs to spend anything form 50% to 70% of their time doing marketing, which leaves only 30% to 50% on writing. I want to be a writer, not a marketer. I spent too many years after leaving uni with my B.A in Fine Art, hoping that I would be magically discovered by some agent or art dealer – we were simply taught NOTHING about how to make a living from our art – I imagined in some airy-fairy, I’m a Bohemian kind of way that something would just fall into my lap – I didn’t have a clue! Seriously.

I am aware that talent alone does not get the work sold. It doesn’t matter if you’re the best author/painter/sculptor in the world, if it’s not out there in the public domain, it isn’t going to earn you anything. (If you create purely for yourself, that’s another thing, but there’s also the argument that art isn’t complete until viewed by an audience.)

How To Workshop N-Words - The Rumpus.net

So my bind is this, after the editor has done her job, do I go to self-publish, or attempt to get it professionally published? Can I bear the repeated individually written pitches and synopsis, as each agent/publisher will have slightly different criteria. Do I want to spend all that time asking, pitching, selling it to someone else to sell, or go indie?

Watch this space.

Actually, no don’t… you could be here for eons!

Sticks & Stones

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You can find my work at: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Alexandra-Peel/e/B0180332YY/ref=dp_byline_cont_pop_ebooks_1

Pointing Finger Left And Right Hand, HD Png Download - kindpng

The Floating Churchwill be coming to a ‘bookshop’ near you soon.

The Singularity

Those lovely people at The Singularity magazine have accepted a second story of mine for publication. This is fantastic news, for me anyway, getting 2016 off to a wonderful start as far as writing goes.

Recently I have been taking the scattergun approach, partially by choice and partially because I don’t want to miss out on anything. I read J.G Ballard’s ‘The Drowned World’ a while ago,( after I had written a 60 odd thousand word novel) and at the end was a little Q and A session. I don’t know who was asking the questions, but one thing Ballard said about writing was that, at the beginning of a writing career, a person should write many short stories in different genres to see which fits best – for how can one know what genre is the correct one if you haven’t tried them? I’m not quoting him correctly and I suggest if you want the real thing, then get a copy of The Drowned World – just read it anyway, it’s a fabulous book. Anyhow, I set about writing; horror stories, a romance(of sorts), Steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, more horror, and some stuff that I don’t know what on earth genre they fit into. I submitted left, right and centre to online magazines; there are a lot out there and they all want different things, so it’s a good idea to keep trawling.

I like the look of The Singularity, there is something tells me that this is going to be a success. By the way, if you’re an avid reader of sci-fi, not a writer, you might wish to contribute as a patron to this new online magazine. Just go to their webpage and follow the directions on the Updates page.

http://www.thesingularitymagazine.com/#!updates/c1ppg