No, I'm not teaching Remedial English to Chainsaw and Dave, but I am facing a "Summer School" type situation, in the sense that I wasn't planning on spending the next few months doing this, and it's gonna be a heck of a learning experience. Plus it'll most likely delay the next couple of installments of my Jonah Hex history project (as you probably surmised, being the first of the month and you're watching Mark Harmon search for his car keys instead of getting your Hex-fix). What's going on that could derail me for so long, you ask? Easy: I'm finally going to be publishing my novel.
Okay, I'll start from the beginning. Over the past few years, I've sent my manuscript out to about 20 agents and publishers, and aside from a nibble here and there, no one's taken a chance on me -- I actually spent most of last year in a funk regarding this. Then this past April, my husband and I went to Motor City Nightmares, a local horror con, and one of the guests there was Michael Aloisi, who not only co-wrote Kane Hodder's autobiography, but also has his own publishing company. Being of the opinion that, if Jason Voorhees likes working with the guy, maybe I should approach him with my own work, I talked with him for a few minutes (during which I got ridiculously tongue-tied!) and he told me to submit through the site. We're still talking back-and-forth via email, so there's nothing concrete there yet, but at least I got my foot in the door. Then later on at the same show, I got to talking with a local self-published author, and he laid a piece of info on me that made my jaw drop open: going the DIY route is nowhere near as expensive as I thought.
Around the same time I began sending my manuscript out, Amazon launched CreateSpace, which offers an ala carte service for writers, meaning you only pay for the help you need (most other publishing services require you to buy packages, whether you need everything included or not). When you go through CreateSpace, you get automatic listing on Amazon, plus they can do Kindle, and they only print the books when they're ordered, so no overhead. There's still some fees, of course, especially since I'd want the book to have an ISBN that I own in case (God forbid!) a large-scale publisher eventually becomes interested, but overall, this looks like a pretty feasible route if Aloisi decides to pass on my work. I hope he doesn't pass on it, because if I have to go with self-publishing, I'd be handling all the promotion myself, which is a lot harder these days with the way bookstores keep going out of business. Amazon listings only do so much, y'know.
So that's what my summer's shaping up to be. If I finally get a publishing deal, then the Jonah Hex project shouldn't be affected too badly, as other folks will be taking care of many of the nuts-and-bolts details that go into publishing a book. If I go with self-publishing, however, I'll be busier than Mr. Shoop with a roomful of rowdy underachievers, because nearly every decision will be in my hands, and taking time out to make posts about ugly bounty hunters will be the furthest thing from my mind.
Stay tuned for updates, kids. As soon as I know something, I'll let you know. In the meantime, practice your obscene gestures so you don't disturb the bloggers next door.