Thursday, December 29, 2011

Decision Made! Work Yet to be Done.

Thanks for bearing with me as I've struggled with publishing Room 1515. Today, I've made that decision. Before I tell you what it is, let me tell you what I've done. First, I've researched. If you go on the net and type in the critical keys words, you can spend days reading about the pros and cons of traditional publishing, self-publishing, and the pay-to-publish houses. I will not say anything bad about any of them. The decision must be yours based on your individual circumstances.

Second, I've tested Room 1515 by submitting it to critique partners and to OWFI's Mystery, Suspense, Thriller Competition where it won 1st. place. The third step was and is the hardest--continuous proofreading and layering. I'm lucky to have a friend who is a great line-by-line editor. I also have a program on my wife's computer called Zoom Text, that is a text to speech reader. I'm using this as my last copy correction, and I'm finding a few errors, even after many revisions. But I will honestly be able to say I've submitted the best work I can.

Fourth, I've built a website using Word Press which I will link to my blog, my Facebook page, and the YouTube trailer I'm in the process of developing. I'm adding pages to website as I go and will open the site to the public a few weeks before Room 1515 comes out. I have many ideas on marketing, but not for this blog entry.

Now, Ta da, I've decided to publish with Book Country, a Division of Penguin Publishing. Room 1515 will come out as an ebook and a paperback approximately seven weeks after I submit the manuscript. The cost to me will be between $500 and $700, depending on what I let them do and what I decide to do myself. I've decide to submit Room 1515 January 9th.

I wish to thank Chuck Sasser, Gloria Teague, Amy Shojai, John Biggs, Lela Davidson, and Carla Stewart for their comments and support. And if I forgot someone. Thank you as well. I'll let you know how things progress.  If you have other suggestions of things I can do before submitting my manuscript, please let me know.

Friday, December 9, 2011

First Things First

I’ve received a volume of input from my blog friends on self-publishing. Some of you cautioned me on the downside of not going the traditional route. Others offered valuable comments on preparing to publish whichever road I choose. They suggest I put everything in place I’ll need to market my book whatever I choose to do.

So I’ve decided to put first things first. I need a website linked with my blog, my Facebook, and the YouTube trailer I intend to create—or have someone create for me. One of the challenges I have is a lack of technical savvy. But I am a natural born marketer, so I’ll be using those skills to develop a marketing plan before my first novel comes out.

Reading all your comments, I realize no one path is right for all people. If I was 25 again, I’d be pulling out all stops (cliché) to find an agent, but I’m not 25. Agents know this as well when they look up during pitch sessions and see my gray hair.

The last agent rejection letter read something like this: “I’ve given serious thought to your work. I admire your creative imagination. But I finally decided to pass. I look at the marketplace today and don’t think I can devote the time it would take to sell it.” This agent had my manuscript five months.

My next steps will be to try a small regional publisher, publish myself, or use a traditional house’s subsidy publisher. Many are buying or creating them, i.e. Writer’s Digest and Penguin. But I have this dilemma. Small regional publishers don’t have the broad scope I’m looking for. Self-publishing has the same problem, plus the time it takes and money. Going the route of a Penguin subsidiary has advantages, except for the back end percentage taken.

If you have personal experience with the above, please share your valuable insights.