Friday, 30 May 2014

Conversations about self-publishing for the serially challenged

It was a good week last week. I sent off two stories to publishers (with fingers tied in double-bows, sheep’s shanks and half-hitches) and am now in that lovely hiatus that opens up between sending a manuscript, and finding out it is not wanted.

When I started writing this was a period of breathless hope and anticipation for the post.  Now (having received my fair share of rejections), it is more a time of quiet pleasure: at having finished a project (an achievement in itself), and for celebrating the beginning of a story’s journey into the world, which is in fact what the initial submission is.

It’s also a time of excitement, because I get to start something new. While I always have a stew of ideas and story scraps milling around my writing desk, I find I have to focus on one story at a time if I am to get them out the door (and who wants a finished story hanging around? It’s like being hounded by a dog that wants a walk). So when one’s gone, I get to start the next. Wonderful!

Next up for me is The Bold Ship Phenomenal, a story that has been making circuitous journeys off my desk and onto the desks of publishers and back again for some years now, yet refuses to either find a home or lie down and die. It was shortlisted for the Kobo/NZ Society of Authors e-publishing prize last year, but didn’t win, so back, once again, it came.

Now I have decided to self-publish it (it is winking encouragingly up at me as I write). Being rather late off (or on) the bandwagon for most things, I have never self-published anything before, and other than a vague idea, am not even particularly sure how to do it.

So for the next few months, I’m going to record this particular journey in my blog, in the hope that what I find out may help, or at least amuse, some of you. It’s self-publishing for the serially challenged because it’s for people like me whose natural environment to date has been paper, who have large families (or even small ones) to care for, who work, who love to get out into the world and wonder and play (and frequently do), and who on top of that write…and now publish.

Looking at that list, all I can say is thank goodness for publishers who sometimes say yes. But thank goodness also for having options. I can’t wait to get started. I’ll let you know how I get on.  

And the picture? It's gorgeous Ngarunui beach in Whaingaroa Raglan where I live, but it's also where my little ship begins its journey. Not this beach, in particular, but any beach where the waves roll onto the sand, then retreat like beckoning fingers, leaving  behind treasures for sharp-eyed beachcombers to find...