Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I am about to do something that is either brilliant, hope-giving and encouraging, or completely and utterly stupid. Something that everyone I've talked to, who is a pro, has told me not to do, and yet something that my instincts tell me might, maybe, possibly, by a tiny tiny tiny chance, be the best thing I can do for my career.

Give me a minute. I need to get my guts up to do this.

*deep breath*

I'm going to try self publishing.

NOT WITH THE BOOK! NOT WITH THE BOOK! Jeez, calm down already. It's going to be five short stories, only two of which are related to the book. So I'm not completely throwing my career away. I'm just...trying something new.

And I have reasons. These are what they are:

1. I need to make money. Even tiny amounts of money is money I don't have right now.

2. I think I have the skill set to pull this off. Look up at the header, kids. I can do the artwork with one hand tied behind my back (given this hand is usually restraining a cat from keyboard-induced mayhem, that's not actually hard). I *think* I can pull off the marketing. If I have one weakness here, it'll be the actual writing, editing, and possibly marketing. Which brings me to...

3. No publisher is going to touch me if I can't do the writing, editing and marketing.They don't do any of that for you these days anyway. Unless they like you, but odds are they're not going to like you.

4. I can't find an e-publisher that fits my work. And I've been looking. An awful lot.

5. The turn around times suck. I don't mind waiting a year for an answer if I can send my work to more than one place. I do mind, however, if I can't.

And my final reason:

6. I just can't do it anymore.

Yes. Try hard and keep doing it and you will succeed. Everybody gets rejected. Winners never quit, ectera, ectera, if I get one more "HANG IN THERE SUNSHINE" tip, e-card or tricle laden cliche I am going to stab my eyes out. I have HEARD it before. Many times before. If rejection were my only issue I'd be blithely jogging along with query letters in hand. But it's not.

I'm a cutter. If you've read the blog, you know this. If you haven't read the blog before, welcome! Anyway, cutter. I am not actively into S/I but I have issues with it. I will always have issues with it. And over the course of the last two years I have discovered that rejection is one of my triggers. And that what was a small problem when I got my first form letter two years ago has become a big problem now.

Managing mental illness sometimes means avoiding unnecessary triggers and/or situations that will trigger you. Every time I see the a letter from an agent/publisher in my inbox, I am instantly back in a place that I don't want to be. I don't even have to open it to be flipped out of my skull. The last rejection I got was a huge deal. I don't want to mention how much I put into it, as it's a little embarrassing, but let's just say it was a lot more than a query letter, a few chapters and a synopsis. I spent the next couple of days so far out of my head, I considered asking my mother to hospitalize me.

I've tried managing this while submitting to the pros. I've taken long breaks from submitting, long breaks from the internet. I've avoided circumstances and situations that might make me think about rejections and writing when I feel kind of iffy about it. I've stopped listening to music that makes me think about it. And the result of this has been?

I can't go into bookstores anymore. They bring up too many issues.

And the thing is, if its this bad after just two years, where am I going to be in five? In ten? I can work on my issues, or I can work on my book, but it's become really apparent, I can't do both anymore.

Sorry. I'm just not strong enough to work until I'm good enough for the pros.

According to AA (not an alcoholic, just raised by a recovering one) the definition of insanity is to repeat the same action over and over, expecting a different result. So now, we're trying something different. And hopefully, something positive.

This is the plan: I have five short stories. Three are pretty random, and two are more or less prequels to the Novel that Never Was. They are in the process of being polished till they shine (as much as I can do on my own, anyway) and next month, sometime between the fifteenth and the twentieth, I am going to publish those five stories as one collection via the Kindle, the Nook, and wherever else I can find. And it is going to be a lot. Of Work. And two to three months from that publication date, I will release another group of short stories, probably five more. Some will have familiar characters in them, some will not.

I'm going to do this for one year. Release new stories (and artwork) as often as I can. And this time next year, I'm going to take a good, long look at where I am. If I've accomplished nothing, I'll either go back to seeking professional publication, or else gracefully retire from this whole writing thing.

What will I do if I'm successful at this? I have no idea.

P.S. Cover art. Cover art? Cover art: know. Probably.


  1. Congrats on making a decision that works for you! I know self-publishing gets a bad wrap because so much of what's shoved into the ebook world wouldn't ever make it to a publishing house. BUT not all self-pubbed books are created equal. I read a great self-pubbed YA title and the author features writing craft posts on her website that are really great. She knows her stuff and it shows. She went the self-pub route after a lot of research, she wanted to control all aspects of her work and it was the right choice for her.

    Best of luck with your stories. I think it sounds like a great idea to get some of your work out there.

    1. Thanks. I'm gonna give it my best shot. Hopefully, it'll work. Needless to say, I'm scared shitless of doing this.

  2. Also, that would be bad RAP not bad WRAP. Bad wraps come from Taco Hell.

  3. Seriously, this is the best news I've heard in months. Great idea.

    1. Well, I'll need all the support I can get...glad to know you're excited about it, at least. :D