Guest Post by Jeremy D. Brooks

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!

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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

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9 thoughts on “Guest Post by Jeremy D. Brooks

  1. I know of several smaller publishers that publish the type of story you’ve described. I’m a fan of it so I made myself aware of a few places. Of course, they publish in limited quantities (200 – 300) but it does reach an audience of those fans I do know that shop from these publishers.

    http://exoccidente.com/ (This one is a tad more expensive to buy from but the quality of their print runs is unmatched).

    http://www.dedalusbooks.com/about.html

    http://chomupress.com/submissions/

    http://www.inkermenpress.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=2&Itemid=3

    I can easily give you a few other places, if you’re interested. Or if anyone else is interested. I don’t think any of these places are actually listed in Duotrope or other places that work in a similar vein.

  2. Great post. And as you and I have aleady discussed, you sure have me double-thinking my opinions on self publishing. Best of luck!

  3. Thanks Mercedes (and thanks Cate)!

    Shad: I’ll check those out…I did research some of those, and I still love small press (hell, I love big ones, too), it just didn’t seem to be in the cards for Amity. We’ll see how my experiment goes, I suppose. There may be a follow-up to Amity next year.

  4. Pingback: Guest Spots and a Halloween Preview « Jeremy D Brooks

  5. Dear Jeremy
    I’ll probably do like you did, because my fantasy is too adult even for fantasy readers, and can’t find a bigger niche… so I’ll probably have to self-publish!
    Hopping off to your site to check more…

  6. Barb: I did some snooping around on my fellow Createspace authors, and there are a lot of fantasy/adult/romance-type titles, and quite a few seemed to be doing well. I think that’s really a sweet spot (pardon the pun) for self-publishing. IMHO, that’s why Harlequin is getting so aggressive with new models around self-pub–they see the writing, and it ain’t between their covers.

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