Hi, everybody! Today we have a special guest post written by the fantastic Jeremy D. Brooks. He discusses self-publishing and also introduces us to his debut novel, Amity. Enjoy!
My name is Jeremy, and I’m a self-publisher.
This won’t come as a surprise to anyone who follows my blog, but I struggled with getting my debut novel “Amity” out to the world. As we all do with each and every one of our works. Publishing isn’t free or easy—nor should it be. You and I both want our bookshelves and Kindles filled with the highest quality, most engaging literature that we can get. That means different things for different people, but at its basest, it probably means a story that someone took care and time to polish as close to perfection as possible.
Once I had gotten Amity through a few solid beta readings and had done six drafts on my own, I sent her out into the world—crooked Dora the Explorer backpack on her shoulders, looking for a home. I waited months for the letter home that would announce her success. That letter never came.
Which wasn’t a great surprise. The few snippets of feedback I did receive mirrored my own opinion of the book: it’s probably too dark for a general audience, I can’t sell this, thanks for playing. I did not set out to write for a general audience; I set out to tell a specific story: the story of a man who becomes ensnared in a sinister online group; a man who has left his humanity behind to play with his online friends, but has to decide if he has enough humanity left to protect an innocent life from those very friends. (It is dark; and a bit heavy; and, at times, moody. But I tried hard not to make it gloomy. You’ll laugh at least once or twice. I hope.)
Let’s be frank: we all know the state of publishing. Big houses aren’t buying much; the economy is pushing more people into trying their luck at becoming professional writers (they may as well try becoming professional poker players) which has dramatically increased the number of agent submissions. The unstated rule to get even a four-digit advance deal seems to be that you have to have a proven back catalog already, or it has to be an out-of-the-box mindblowing book. Even established mid-listers aren’t getting paid on time. Large and small imprints are closing. Small indie shops are buying books with token royalties and runs of as low as 25 copies.
Which begs the question: will I have any better luck doing it on my own?
I don’t know. What I do know is that I was left with two alternatives, and one of those was accepting that Amity would never be published. The tools are out there to DIY, if you’re willing to do some research and put some muscle and time behind it.
And if I can’t sell any more than 25 copies out of the back of my car, I’ll eat my damn keyboard with a side of rice pilaf.
But, Amity is published, and I hope you’ll help me celebrate the 14 months of work it took to draw it all together by picking up a copy. And, just as much, I hope that maybe some of the work I’m doing will help others decide if this is the right path for their work.
Amity is available in paperback or Kindle on Amazon, and in most other electronic formats at Smashwords. Check out my website for details: http://jeremydbrooks.com