I posted a few days ago about self-publishing an ebook for the Kindle. I was overwhelmed by the amount of support I received from fellow authors. I had a lot of reasons for publishing WEEDS AND FLOWERS, not the least of which was nobody else was going to do it for me. Seriously, if I could have found a publisher for my little story, I would have.
For two reasons:
1. Publishing a book in any format is not easy. Maybe it gets easier, but I struggled with it for several hours. I had to format and reformat and even though the instructions told me to format it one way, I found another way worked better. And then, after I published it, I found that there are still some bugs. So yeah, publishing ain’t easy. Even e-publishing.
2. Self-publishing still carries a stigma. Even now. Especially now. After all, anybody with some computer know-how, a completed manuscript and a few hours to spare can publish their book to the Kindle. Many of those stories have not been edited, and some of the formatting is even buggier than mine. (Hard as that is to believe!) But they’re out there in a published form, available to be read.
So how is mine any different? It wasn’t professionally edited, although it was peer-reviewed and I’m slightly better at self-editing than your average person. But really, it’s not any different. I’ve got two professionally edited and published ebooks under my belt. I have another on the horizon. Why would I choose the self-publishing route now?
Answer: WEEDS AND FLOWERS was my first novel, written from a lot of what’s true in me. I write fiction. I make up stuff. And yet, I put a little bit of myself in everything I write. It’s necessary. In fact, I think when I can get to the point where I put a whole lot of myself into what I write, I’ll have gotten the elusive “it”. That’s when people will really start paying attention, and you know why I think that is? Because at our hearts, we’re all basically the same, and what we’re really, really looking for is somebody else to acknowledge that.
My son has a book called “The Hoppameleon” by Paul Geraghty. It starts out with a “very odd-looking creature” who calls out for anyone like him. The book follows the creature through a journey in which he finds several other critters with similar characteristics to him, finally ending up (happily) finding another one just like him. The Hoppameleon’s journey is very similar to what I think we’re all seeking: someone like us.
I always felt I achieved something with WEEDS AND FLOWERS that I never have with my other books. I wrote that novel out of some childhood feelings I’d almost forgotten about but that came to the surface in the process. I reached out in a way and let other people know I’m at least a little bit like them. It’s true fiction in every sense of the word. Almost none of it ever happened, but it’s based on a smidgeon of fact. Go figure.
With all that said, WEEDS AND FLOWERS is available tomorrow only for free download from Amazon. Get your copy here: WEEDS AND FLOWERS. If you like it, leave me a comment here, or even better, a review on Amazon. You might even want to try out one of my other books. Just for comparison’s sake.
Wow, Michelle. That makes a lot of sense. The Hoppomeleon looking for one like him compared to the writers looking for those like them… I think in one way, though, the writers are looking for the like-minded readers. In my case, I’m just looking for folks who will like my work.
A.J., we’re all looking for the readers who like what we write, but I think we have to ask ourselves what our readers are looking for, too. BTW, I probably got a little “out there” with this post, but that happens sometimes!