Thursday, June 14, 2012

Why I Held Out for the Publishing Deal

I’m finally living the dream! That’s right, as of this writing my supernatural techno-thriller, LILITH, will be published nationwide in hardcover, paperback and e-book by DarkFusePublishing in Jan. 2013.  

I have a lot of friends (yes, that’s right – I have friends!) that have suggested over the course of my writing career that I self-publish and keep all the money to myself. Well, here’s why I decided not to go that route.

For one thing, self-publishing ain’t cheap—it can run up into the $15,000 range, and while I’m not looking to get rich (though I wouldn’t complain if I did), I just don’t have that kind of bread. I realize that a confident writer should be willing to invest in their own talent, but I’m investing time, and lots of it.

Take my first novel, DIABLERO (check out my website). While working full-time, taking care of a family and going to college, I started writing DIABLERO just to see if I could do it. It took five years, but I did it. A year after I typed “The End,” I found a publisher. A year after that, it was published. So, from starting the book to publication: seven years. Was it worth it? It was to me. Here’s why: because someone believed in my book enough to put their own time, money and reputation behind it and believe me, that’s a great feeling. 

I finished my second novel LILITH, around April of 2011, about a year after I started it. As I did with my first novel, I began the search for an agent. Several nibbles and 75 or so rejections later, I decided to search for a publisher on my own. The publisher of my first novel had indicated interest, but already had a full line-up through 2012. Being of an impatient sort, I began looking at other publishers and found about a dozen or so that accepted submissions from authors without agents. More rejection.

Eventually, I gave up and started writing a young adult science fiction novel (which I am nearly half way done with). About that time, I got full manuscript requests from two publishers, one of them being DarkFuse Publishing. DarkFuse made an offer first and I accepted, mainly because I liked them best. I’ll have to say the experience has been exhilarating from day one. They are a great bunch of guys publishing high-quality books by world-class authors and I am excited to be working with them.

Along the way to publication I had the usual thoughts, like “Just self-publish it as an e-book,” “Maybe your writing really sucks” or “Get a real job,” but my family continues to support my dreams and my books continue to get published, so why stop now? I’m on a roll!

Another reason I decided to go with a traditional publisher is the fact that self-publishing is like being a soldier trying to go into battle without basic training: You may be gung-ho, but you’re just not ready for the real world and your writing can suffer for it. I’m saving that topic for next time.

Next week: Going Through the Gauntlet: The Editing Process