Can there be anything more delusional than the ‘ease’ of self-publication?
I realize this has happened now, but realize I started this process before there were ebooks. In fact, I was debating whether I would use the new ebook format for publication, or simply take my chances elsewhere (I actually read some of the development docs on the ebook standard, mostly with regards security and whatnot).
To be clear, even Print on Demand (POD) was even new (to me, at least) by this point. New enough that the novelty of going to an airport, requesting an open domain work (like Of Mice and Men), and get a hard copy to read on the flight was awesome! And you can get the latest novels from (insert name of 2000s awesome author)! Wow!
But before we get into all the format choices and availability, let’s consider what self-publishing was when I sought this out in the early 2000s. One entity that lives on in infamy is PublishAmerica.com. The site still exists, strangely enough, but doesn’t appear to have been updated in a while. Of course, when I started down the path of self-publication, they were the go-to site.
I don’t want you to think I didn’t trust anything on the internet.
I realize many sites were exactly what they appeared to be, and often were very useful. One site I found particularly useful (and fun to order from) was Cyberianoutpost.com. At the time, they had the nerve to suggest if you ordered anything on their site by some ridiculously late hour (11pm CT sticks out in my mind) they would ship it next day. With free shipping (yes, thank you very much). When I needed a computer with all the works, I was bad about testing this near midnight ordering, but they never disappointed. The next morning, my stuff was always right there under the portico.
They were later absorbed my somebody and my midnight orders came to a screeching halt (come on; do you really think they were going to get away with free overnight shipping forever?). The internet had earned my trust.
Websites, on the other hand, were prone to being beautiful, and misleading. Publish America was one of those fine examples.
I can’t say what was actually involved in using their services, but everything on the site made me more cautious about giving them anything. I don’t think they said anything that was false. I think they did misrepresent the opportunity they made available to you by getting published, and what the potential results from their efforts was likely to be.
The problem with their model is that while it required nothing (but your manuscript) up front, you did have a reduced commission from the sales of your book. Now, if you looked into the pay system (like I did), as you sold more, you did make more, but given what people were saying about the nature of business (questionable edits, if any; poorly designed covers; book layouts that looked ‘homemade,’ etc.), I had my doubts.
What stopped me from working through them was how aggressively they pursued getting me to send my manuscript, and how unwilling they were to explain their process for preparing my book for publication.
I chose not to go this route. But, I wasn’t left with many others, and once again, I needed ‘work.’ My new chosen field would take me away from writing for much longer, for good reason.
I have worked in a variety of fields. But the one I’ve never done is construction. In this case, plumbing, pipefitting, welding, and everything in between. In this field, I spent a number of years, in school and at work, learning this trade one building at a time. The end result was a skill that has served me well, kept me from starving to death, or going without running (or hot) water.
Today, it has helped me even bring this book to you: The Silent Invader.
I’ve spent the past few weeks sharing a little about how this book came to be. Next week, let’s turn the page, and learn a little about the book itself.
Thanks for visiting! Please like my Facebook Page (and follow!) and you can read excerpts from The Silent Invader @RB_Thurman (and follow!) If you prefer, you can also read my posts on Goodreads (Maybe even win a book!) For my overseas readers, you can win a book here!
For #Indiethursday, I will be publishing a portion of my book each month, starting with the Prologue on Dec. 21, 2017. Look for it this Thursday!
I would also like to thank Bookfuel for their help in getting my book edited and prepped for publication. They were supportive and patient with me despite my doubts (see Near Completion), and came through in splendid fashion. Thank you ladies and gents of Bookfuel for your hard work!