Small steps. That’s what writing novels has been about for me. On the surface it may look like I’m one big mess of contradictions: deep focus on ideas but extremely haphazard drafts; some really tight writing balanced out with a handful of ‘screw it, I’ll fix it later’ placeholders; things that pretty much every writer needs to go through. We create a hell of a lot more than what ends up in the final version, and a lot of it does tend to be directionless wriggling, trying to figure out where the hell we want the story to go. A lot of small steps. Missteps, steps into slippery mud, and blind kicks into the air, with the hopes that the end result is instead a well-choreographed saunter down a red carpet, fans cheering at the sidelines.
And one giant leap, making the decision to publish.
Last week, I made the decision that I was going to work with one of the indie self-publishers and finally release the Bridgetown Trilogy into the big bad world.
This past week I’ve begun preparing myself for an early September drop date. Starting one final line edit of A Division of Souls, making various business decisions, starting a detailed spreadsheet for the accounting…and everything else that goes into releasing a book on one’s own. I’m even making my own covers, with the help and feedback from others.
The one thing I did not expect during this process? I’m enjoying the hell out of it.
The research into what publishing services would work for me? The images I’d want for the covers? What kind of expenses I’d be expecting to shoulder? That is, the business side of all of this? I’m really enjoying this part of it. Never thought I’d admit that. Certainly back in my early writing days, I was that writer who was all about the creative spark and saw the economic side of it as the death knell to creativity. [Thankfully I got rid of that mindset right quick.] Now? I’m finding the ‘behind-the-scenes’ work just as fascinating as the writing.
I think it’s because I’ve made myself see it similar to the music business, of which I have a decent basic knowledge and a keen interest. Bands rarely if ever go into the studio and slap down a perfect and complete album straight out. There’s a lot of working parts, a lot of outtakes, presales boosting, word of mouth and other bits and bobs that may not be obvious to the passive listener, but are quite important to the end result. Writing and publishing is very similar in that respect. I’m fascinated not just by the creative process, but the amount of work it takes to make it professional level, making all the pieces fit perfectly. I’ve not only been actively participating in all the levels, but I’m learning from them.
Am I going to be blogging about it as I go? Of course I am!
This is the part of the business not many writers and blog readers get to see…and more often than not, this is also part of the business that writers tend to want to ignore (often for good and legitimate reasons). In the process I hope these upcoming posts will also help others who are thinking of following a similar path.
So yeah. Here we go. One Giant Leap.