At 10pm last night, I decided to teach myself typesetting. Perhaps this skill will be quickly made irrelevant by the publishing deal that will sweep me off my feet, but I’m not the kind of girl who uses hope as a way of interfering with a good education.
It’s no secret to those who know me IRL and here on the blog that I’ve been researching my publishing options since I completed draft one of Inner Moonlight (then called Lunatic Fringe). Wading through the quagmire of advice, I came upon one nugget of advice I loved the most: Do it all.
There are three main options these days for authors: self-publishing (sometimes called “indie” publishing), small-house (e.g. Cleis Press, PYR, etc.), and big house (e.g. Harper Collins, Penguin, etc). There are pros and cons to each option, most of which have been explained thoroughly on various author blogs. Acknowledging that big house publishing isn’t a viable option for me right now (I’ve already gotten a few agent rejections along the lines of “love the concept, but I could never sell it.”) I’ve got my sights set on the other two.
I am eager to try self-publishing for all the right reasons: I know my market, I’ve got a lot of energy and enthusiasm, I want to control the final product, and I’m willing to invest cash up front to have a larger return on the back end.
I’m also eager to sell a book to a small house for the right reasons: I want physical books that look and feel good. I want a support staff that believes in me and my work. I’m willing to give up a big chunk of my percentage for spiffy copy-editing and marketing help.
The bottom line is, I’m a tinkerer. I’m an entrepreneur. I like to figure out how things are put together, and I like to make them work for me. So, what else is a young, independent author to do but get a copy of InDesign and get crackin? In those 3 and a half hours, I got my book set up and it’s already on its way to looking good. I’m getting excited adding small graphics to the chapter headings and making the book look exactly like I’ve dreamed it will.
And, unlike the last six months, where I’ve been sitting on my hands, figuring out what to do with myself while I wait for responses, I’m being proactive, and taking my book back into my own hands, and getting a kick ass education in the process. In the meantime, I’m waiting for agents to respond to my partials. If something happens there, I’ll have a killer program under my belt to self-publish another book in the future. It’s a win win.