How much do I believe in myself as a writer – how serious am I about this?

The Illuminated Crowd

The crowd has gathered facing a light, an illumination brought about by a fire, an event, an ideology – or an ideal. The strong light casts shadows, and as the light moves toward the back and diminishes, the mood degenerates; rowdiness, disorder and violence occur showing the fragile nature of man (sic). Illumination, hope, involvement, hilarity, irritation, fear, illness, violence, murder and death – the flow of man’s (sic) emotions through space

I asked a friend the other day, “Could you believe in your work so much you’d be willing to invest up to $3000.00 in it? The friend groaned and said if I ever finished anything I’d believe in it enough to open my veins right over the sink. OK then . . .

I’ve been exploring and researching all sorts of avenues for publishing and it seems like every step I take into this world equals at least two hours of tossing and turning per night in worried confusion. Of course no one wants to make the wrong step just out of the gate but how is one to know?

Three sites – each representing a different path popped up this week in the research. I looked into about a dozen BC Book Publishers – these focus on works by British Columbian authors – some of them even requiring that the work be set in BC. A lot of these places publish at tops 4 or 5 books of fiction per year and get upwards of a 1000 submissions – hard to get to the top of that pile! I did really enjoy the website for Now or Never Publishing. ( First off the name appealed to me and their site is really upbeat and their words to authors will give you a chuckle. They are the only place I’ve encountered that will take email submissions and want your whole manuscript up front. But they warn it could take months before they even get a chance to look at it.

I went back to re-explore 52-Books: An E-Book Design Company. ( ) For a relatively small fee (a few hundred dollars) they can have your book formatted for the e-reader world but it looks as though I would then have to put it up to the various sites – not sure how much of a hassle that would be. They do come highly recommended by author and popular blogger on e-reader publishing, J. A Konrath. ( ) His blog is fast becoming my bible for e-publishing.

Next I explored Friesen Press. ( ) They have a real dedication to customer service (or the more cynical of my readers may say – wow – they really want your business!) You have to give contact information when you ask to download a 15-page pdf of their author information and I was contacted by phone within two days of providing this information by a very nice, informative representative. For a fee (which can get very pricy!) they will do a lot for you in terms of helping you self-publish – not only to the e-reader world but also putting your book on many on-line sites in the on-demand hardcover and paperback market. Of course they retain a portion of any income generated as does the on-line venue that sells the book. I am still trying to get clear on what author royalties would actually amount to so won’t speak to that, not today at any rate.

So – the way I see the dilemma right now is this: pay nothing and wait, wait, wait with little chance of coming to the attention of a traditional publisher or pay a bit to go into the e-reader realm or pay a lot to open up all kinds of options. It’s tough to figure out what to do and I’ll keep you posted on how the wind blows after more research.

Half-way through all my research I smacked right up against a bias I’ve had for some time. You’ll understand what I mean when I say the words – vanity press. I’ve always felt prejudiced against people who had to pay money to have their own work published. To be honest I thought the work must not be that great. Oh how humbling is it to live to be of an age where you become the kind of person you used to look down upon. I suppose this bias has dogged me in other areas of my life as well. For years I thought that if someone wanted my work enough they could come and ask for it. No doubt the reason I haven’t had a lot of paying jobs. I looked upon self-promotion as anathema – sort of the way I view people who try too hard at cards. Is winning that important to you? Well – now that I want something really badly, self-promotion has taken on a new perspective.

Can I take myself as a writer and my work this seriously? Can I believe in myself this much? How brave am I? How much do I want this? Only time will tell.

I chose the image above because I definitely feel as though I am drifting  to the back of the Illuminated crowd as I delve deeper into the world of publishing  – violence is not necessarily off the table!

2 comments on “How much do I believe in myself as a writer – how serious am I about this?

  1. Louise Butcher says:

    Remember, you are already an author. Even now, your book is being read by those of us who have been allowed a preview. I know you will find a way to get the novel published. It’s just a matter of time before it will be available to a wider audience. By then you will know how the publishing process works and your blog will mean that others like you can benefit from your research. Keep digging, Fran!

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