To (self-)publish or not to (self-)publish….

(Wikipedia photo)

I finally made it past the programs and other materials I’ve been working on all March. And I managed to squeak over the finish line in a class I took on self-publishing.

I’ve grown up imagining seeing my books on the library shelf. “The” library was always the one in my home town, the one where I spent a lot of my spare time as a kid, the one where I got my first job.

But my first full time job — at my hometown newspaper — conditioned me to expect to hear presses run minutes after the last story landed on the last page. Not an ideal expectation for someone seeking a traditional book publishing experience, where the day you type “the end” can be years before the day you open the box with the finished copies of the book from the publisher.

I know more than most, I suppose, about the printing process. I even took a printing class when I was in college. I loved setting type and working hand-fed presses. But that’s another story.

I’ve waited so long to devote time to writing fiction, that I have my doubts about being able to wait patiently for that traditional book publishing cycle. And I haven’t even looked for an agent yet (although I’ve had a couple encourage me to send them something when I finish the book).

So, the class in self-publishing was led by Jim Jackson, a past president and past member of the Sisters in Crime Guppy Chapter. The Guppies are “the great unpublished,” although the name is a misnomer since many members stay in the chapter after they’re published, sharing what they’ve learned with the rest of us who haven’t reached that lofty stage yet.

Jim taught a great class on revisions last year. It was intense, but amazingly organized and detailed. I loved it.

When I heard he was teaching one on self-publishing, I new it, too, would be well-planned, well-researched and, well, amazing. I figured it would be the ideal way to get all the facts so I could make a good decision about whether to keep trying for a traditional contract or just go it alone.

I haven’t made my final decision yet, but I do feel well-prepared to make it in the next few months.

I’ll keep you posted.


‘She just doesn’t get me!’

What happens when someone who really understands people has to deal with someone who doesn’t? This article is about working with people who have low “emotional intelligence.” But it also describes some of their traits and those of high “EQ” folks, all of which can be used in character develpment.

How to Work with People Who Aren’t Good at Working with People – HBR.

Authentic vs. pedantic

I’m working on a story set in the 1840s and I want the setting to be authentic. I’ve been thinking about how to do that without sounding like a history book. This post considers the same question. How much backstory is too much? (You may need to scroll past a bunch of menu items to get to the post.)

Research: Keeping the Backstory in the Back | Indies Unlimited