Okay, so the last few weeks I’ve been thinking a great deal about “self-publishing” and its definitions. Publishing has been radically altered because of the Internet, and so have the concepts of rights ownership and creative property. From the getgo, when I started The Aldersgate Cycle Blog, the idea was that I wanted to invite people into my creative process with no strings attached. Yes, technically podcasting my chapters is self-publishing, but it’s not the end-product. I don’t plan on going through Lulu or any of print-on-demand publishers at this space in time because, frankly, I haven’t even tried to get the book published. From the beginning I have referred to the work as a second-draft/second-edit, and have asked people to respond/comment, etc. on the progress of the book. In this way it’s like sharing proofs with close friends, except on a much larger scale.
Look, I think Creative Commons and the “Free” literature movement are awesome. I have licensed everything I’ve done as such–including all the music I compose for the podcasts–with the hope that it will be used, if someone desires. It’s not about making money for me, it’s about telling the story. And if and when someone picks up the book, I’m hoping they’ll see eye-to-eye with me, too. But that’s putting the proverbial cart before the horse, eh?
But I don’t think right now, from where I stand, that self-publication is the way to go for me. Besides, I am also not submitting the Aldersgate immediately. Why? Because it’s honkin’ huge. Even if I edit it down, it’s unlikely to be less than 140K or so. And no agent will touch that with a ten foot poll. Someone’s going to have to really really believe in me for that to happen, and though I have some confidence in my storytelling capabilities, I’m not that audacious. I have two other books (I love the way that looks when I type it…) that I’ll be circulating prior to the Aldersgate, both which I’m aiming to set free within the year.
Now, I know this seems a little backwards. And it probably is. But publishing is a business, just like anything else. And although sharing my novel has been a labor of love and creativity, my hope is that eventually I can make a living off of writing. While, in some ways, that’s a far-reaching goal, I know that the only way I can succeed is if I play the game. Granted, I’m not writing about vampires, shapeshifters, or highlanders, and that might be a problem, but judging by the quality of the majority of what’s on the bookshelves these days, a little grammatical know-how and minimal plot go a long way.
So that’s that. For the record.