Hello world! Welcome to my blog detailing my leap into self-published fiction.
Ever since I was a child, I wanted to be a writer. Big surprise. I wonder how many blogs of this type have some variation of that line in them? A precious few, however, include this: as proof of my youthful interest in writing, I can report that as a teenager I bought, read and enjoyed Isaac Asimov’s autobiography. Yes, you may assume that I pretty much had my pick of the ladies when I was in high school.
I’ve written on-and-off for years, and like many hopeful authors I have a collection of half-finished things collecting dust; the only thing I’ve ever had published, however, was an essay in Foreign Service Journal a few years ago, for which I received three contributor’s copies. Incidentally, as a teenager I sent a few things out and got a few rejection letters back; at the time, the idea of getting paid in copies seemed insulting. When I actually got mine, it seemed kind of sweet.
With a family and a full-time job, I had essentially resigned myself to not pursuing writing until retirement. It worked for Frank McCourt, didn’t it? Nevertheless, in 2010 I decided to start writing again and I began plotting out several stories. Sometime late in 2010—I don’t remember when—I happened to read JA Konrath’s blog, which I had first read a few years ago but had ignored for some time. By this time, Konrath was on the self-publishing bandwagon (hell, he pretty much WAS the bandwagon, it seemed) and the more I read, the more I began to think about doing the same. In December 2010, I first heard about Amanda Hocking, who hails from right next door to my native Wisconsin (and Konrath is from IL. The Midwest really is underrated). Hocking sold 100,000 books in December, and her story is really incredible. The more I read Konrath’s blog, the more convinced I was that this was something that I could do (er, self-publish, not match his or Hocking’s numbers).
I decided to really make an effort, but with a roundabout route. While I have a plan for a series of YA novels, I have not yet begun to assemble my stuff into anything publishable. I also didn’t want to miss out on the chance to learn as I went, but I did not want to put my “real” stuff through before I knew what I was doing. Thus I decided to begin publishing under a pen name so I could see how to do things. If it sells, great! If not, no big deal. I wrote a three-story collection in a genre I’d never even tried before, and as of today, my first book (which I’ll refer to as “Story Collection 1”, or SC1) is now live on Amazon. The process for uploading was actually amazingly easy; while I confess that this wasn’t how I imagined entering the publishing world, there is something absolutely thrilling about seeing my work out there on Amazon. If things go well with this first collection then I may do others, all the while working on my “real” fiction.