Wrote this yesterday, thought I’d put it on today for the start of the new decade. As a side-note, I find it auspicious that the new year starts on a Friday.
The sky in Seattle today is basically sludge—a gray slurry of clouds that spits rain and gives that quality of dull light that makes people want to sit around in dark rooms playing guitar and wearing flannel. Today I am doing neither. I am writing a post for this, my Professional Writing Blog What I Am Actually Doing Not Just Talking About, because I am determined to get a decent start on the blog before the decade ends.
I’ll admit it straight up. I feel a bit embarrassed about saying I self-published a science fiction novel. Not that I’m embarrassed about the “novel” or even “science fiction”…it’s the self-publishing that makes the little centipedes of self-doubt run around in my stomach. I talked to an editor friend of mine about the likelihood of me getting a press release in the Seattle Times. “As a policy [they] don’t do anything with self-published books,” he told me, “just because there are so many.” One of my iUniverse folks told me one out of every seven books published is from them and their affiliates. That doesn’t even cover the whole range of the self-publishing and print-on-demand market, and it’s taking up nearly 15% of the publishing industry! This tells me two things. First, people are hungry for words, so hungry that they’re putting out books left and right in any form possible. This is the optimistic thought. The pessimistic second thought is that there is little niche market for my book. I know “science fiction” doesn’t really cover what my book’s about, but I’m not sure what does. “Dystopian fiction” is not yet in vogue as a genre.
So I’m torn. I’m torn between the longing for traditional publishing and someone else to do all my marketing for me for free, and a desire to kick traditional publishing in the pants and go on a raging DIY rampage, freeing words from the confines of, well, professional editors, for one. Hmm. To that end, this year will be about indulging both desires. I will write shortish things to publish, and also create a monthly zine about food and gardening and vegetables, which has been an idea brewing in my head for a long time. I also plan to revise my NaNoWriMo novel, which is a fabulously rough piece of clay at the moment that I can shape in many different ways. But that is another story entirely, as it were.
Any thoughts on traditional versus self/other forms of publishing?