Mankind has taken to the stars; maintaining their empires through the belief in God. Peace and prosperity are kept through Church-appointed Templars: the police of the galaxy. But when the Distomos, a secret weapon from the Church falls into the hands of the enemy, two ex-Templars, Kieran Rhet and Normandie Jade, are hired to get it back.
With only a matter of time before interstellar war begins and the Distomos is used, friendships, courage, and faith will be tested when all seems lost.
For the quite some time, I’ve been butting heads on whether or not to find a publisher or self-publish.
I’ll admit though, it wasn’t as fun as watching Blitzwing and Astrotrain getting their heads butted together.
After some careful deliberation, I have decided to self-publish! It was a difficult decision to make. Let me write out my thought processes for both.
Why See a Publisher?
I obviously didn’t go this route. So why DID I consider it?
There were a few reasons why I personally thought to go this route. First and foremost, I knew it would give me the biggest distribution. Getting picked up by a publisher would obviously mean better sales and a mass market. It also would give me some pretty hefty credentials for future projects (which I will have) down the road.
Secondly, it’s good for the ego. Sure, that sounds selfish and greedy, but to be officially published by someone would be amazing. I definitely had a-many dreams about meeting with publishers and discussing my book in great length. It made me excited.
As weird as this one sounds: I wanted to get a rejection letter. I enjoy critical analysis of my work. While I know a rejection letter would not go into any detail at all, I personally take rejection as a sign of having to do better – which is something that motivates me. Albeit, I know it de-motivates others. But that’s how I work!
While I’m still not confident with royalties on self-publishing, I know a lot of the hassle and finances would be covered by the publisher. They want to make money, too. Seeing a publisher would take the financial strain off.
Why Stay Away From a Publisher?
I was still reluctant to see a publisher for a few reasons as well. The biggest reason was creative control. For example: I have an idea for my book cover which I know they won’t adhere to. However, it’s my novel, not theirs. It’s my artistic ideas. While this is arguably quite nit-picky for a first-time author, it’s still a big deal for my overall idea.
Money also isn’t everything. While I like the idea of making money from my novel, it’s not my ultimate goal. It’s not even a real desire. My desire is to write. Money comes second. While I know it’s not financially viable to continue a path of self-publishing (under the assumption my books suck and sales slump to zero forever and ever), money isn’t my driving force here. A publisher thinks otherwise, and that’s totally okay, but not what I want. I desire to write a novel. Sure, if my first novel did well and they’d pay me to write a second, that’d be great. But it’s not what I’d want. Let me be me.
My other big reason to stay away was just reading about trying to submit a book. Looking into many different publishers, some require a literary agent, while others require a book to meet certain criteria. For example, one publisher wants to publish science-fiction, but did not want religious overtones. Another was willing to publish fantasy and horror, but refused to take upon zombies books unless they were unique. While my book doesn’t include zombies, it does include religious overtones. Certain publishers want to market a book based on their image – which is totally fine – I just don’t have to send my book there. Other publishers I considered actually had their submissions closed until they decided to reopen again (seriously). However, if I were to send a copy of my manuscript in only to find out it’s “too religious” by their standards, or that their “not accepting submissions at this time,” then I’m out the money from getting my book printed, plus postage. (I figured it’d average around $60 per publisher submission).
Reading about it all made me feel as dizzy as Starscream after Gears spun him around for a bit.
In case I hadn’t said it enough, I’m big on creative control. With self-publishing, I get to control everything about my novel. From how the cover looks, to the price. It’s pretty freeing.
I can also get published faster. Most publishers were asking for at least three months to review the book. It’d take still another few months for it to get published after that. With self-publishing, the road can be paved right away and I can get started.
Challenges are fun. I really enjoy them, even if they’re super-stressful and nerve-racking as publishing a first novel. Especially if they’re financially stressful. I just enjoy being stressed I suppose? I’m a sick man.
But it’s also quite self-fulfilling. Being able to publish all on my own is quite an accomplishment. I accept all of the responsibility on whether the book succeeds or not. It’s exciting and strengthening. I hate asking for help, so I feel being able to do this on my own is what I need to do.
And I’m not in it for the money. I have to stress that again. Why? Because realistically, I won’t break even. At least I don’t expect to. I’d be surprised if I did. So that poses the question again: why self-publish?
The answer: because I want to do this for me.
And maybe Shockwave.
While my reasons for self-publishing may not be the “best” reasons in the world, they’re the best reasons for me.
It’s November and everyone is jumping on the NaNo bandwagon. Thousands of people from around the world get synced-up online on November 1st and start writing the first of 50,000 words to become an author!
But before we start, here’s a full disclosure: I totally did my own NaNoWriMo in January of 2012 (as I couldn’t partake in November). Later, I did something similar when writing my current novel. I did a Thirty-Day Challenge, where I didn’t force myself to have a word count. Instead, I would spend a part of the day to plan and organize my novel.
So what’s up here? I did NaNoWriMo (kinda) then I didn’t. So what?
Let me BLOW YOUR MIND
After getting over 54,000 words during my “JaNoWriMo,” and eventually reaching over 70,000 words a few months later, I SCRAPPED THE BOOK. Why? Because it was garbage, that’s why!
I can remember reading it over and just hating everything I had done. All of the characterization, plotting, the pacing, descriptions – oh, god, it was terrible. I still have a copy of it (unfinished) just to remind me how bad it was.
The problem with NaNoWriMo, which a buddy of mine, author Sean Munger, touches upon on his blog, is that it promotes bad habits. It promotes vomiting out word count over actual quality. While it may make a book, it doesn’t make a good one.
So when I did my Thirty-Day Challenge (which was for a different story), I took my knowledge from my JaNoWriMo and applied it to my busy lifestyle. I simply dedicated time to creating the project, rather than actually writing it. I would spend an hour or so getting 1,000 words of characterization down, rather than the novel itself. And I didn’t write every day (nor give myself a word count like 1,000 words a day for when I did). It made for a dramatic improvement to my story-telling and my skills of writing, pacing, and oh-so much more!
So NaNoWriMo is Bad?
There’s a silver lining to it all. I found that NaNoWriMo certainly didn’t make a good book, didn’t promote good writing, and didn’t promote good writing habits. What it DID do was get me to write and learn from my experiences. There’s a lot more to writing than just plugging yourself down and firing off words to reach a numerical goal.
I learned a lot about how to characterize and plot. My NaNo-Novel was a pale comparison to the newest one I wrote. The pacing in my newest novel is exciting and pulls the reader in – because I planned for it to do that.
Even if you plan out your novel before NaNoWriMo, you’d be surprised how many little things you will miss. Even with plotting out my novel like how I did, I had to go back multiple times and make sure things remained consistent and flowed together. NaNoWriMo doesn’t really give you time to pause or reflect. You’re just supposed to punch in a word count and call it a day. Coherent writing is important, but it’s not reflected in NaNoWriMo.
But as I said, NaNoWriMo got me writing. That’s important because it helps you hone your craft. You learn little tricks and the proper way to create sentences (And yes, I know this blog is littered with errors. Pot, meet Kettle).
The way I look at it is NaNoWriMo is the biggest Creative Writing Class you’ll take all year. It’s great writing practice, but terrible if you’re looking for quality.
And for all that is good in the world: if you do partake in NaNoWriMo, do NOT give your novel to publishers! You’re congesting them with a bunch of sub-par books! Stop it!
That’s my take on it. But have you participated in NaNoWriMo? What kind of learning experience was it for you? Did you go anywhere with it? Do my opinions sound ridiculous? Sound off below!
I’ve been writing a ton of them lately. While I do not find them hard to actually create, it’s the “actually writing them down” that has proven difficult. I’ve found when writing my action scenes, I tend to write faster and write ahead of myself. It’s as if the action is literally caught up in my fingers and having a duel with the keyboard.
The novel I’m writing, for the most part, is pretty action packed in the last third of the novel. In fact, every scene until the last two have some sort of intense action scene planned in it.
I wrote three different scenes today and all three were filled with a ton of action. While writing them however, I found that I was skipping words in sentences or actions all together! (Ie. Instead of “The man ran an punched a guy in the face,” I’d write, “The man punched him.”) I was so rilled up to get to the next action moment I’d just skip over details! It was both ridiculous and hilarious!
That being said, once I caught on, I did my best to pace myself properly.
I love writing. I really, really do enjoy it. I get a kick out of putting each word down on paper or a computer screen. To me, there’s nothing more satisfying than writing – and even more so if it’s something enjoyable.
However. . .
Writing my novel is one helluva fun experience. I really get to create my own worlds, people, societies, technology, politics, history, religion, and the like. I can do whatever I want, and it’s great.
When it comes to writing a novel though, you have to create ideas (surprise!). Sometimes though, a really good idea – and I mean REALLY good idea – springs up and becomes something which can add a lot of depth, excitement, and mystery in the novel.
In my last post I mentioned about being well-over the halfway point in my novel. While I’m still plugging away at it, last night I came up with an idea which really got me excited. It just came to me! I thought to myself, “Wow! That would be an awesome thing to have in my story!”
The catch is though, I’m well-over the point where I can casually add things in (such as a man checking the clock on the wall which is just assumed to be there). Adding this “idea” in would require some back story as it would feel out of place suddenly being placed where it would be.
Today, I began to brainstorm how I could incorporate the idea into my novel. Yes, it was that good of an idea.
Fortunately, I do have some moments in my story where I can go back and plug in the necessary plot points to make the “idea” come into fruition later and make it have a natural flow.
Now I know I’m not the only writer to do this. It’s certainly a pain in the butt to go back and edit pages of story which only delays the actual progress of finishing the story. But some things are worth the extra work, and I know this “idea” will pay off in the end.
To conclude: adding key events in your story before it’s even finished a lot of work.