Saturday, June 22, 2013

The long haul: why I chose to self publish

Thanks to years of work and Amazon, I am a published author.

In today’s world, publishing has become something most anyone can do, regardless of talent, merit, or originality. So a few months back, after another query letter that didn’t get a response, I had an important decision to make, would I insist on writing to publishing houses until I got someone to hear me out or would I self-publish?

The question may seem simple, but it’s not. It’s basically asking if you want to be taken seriously from the get go or do you want to work hard for people to take you seriously. I say this because self-publishing is often looked down upon as a step below large house publishing and I get why that is, there’s no filter and you didn’t have to pass any type of test or prove yourself.

When I made the decision to self publish, there were actually a lot of factors going into it. I won’t say not getting a reply from a publishing house wasn’t a reason, then again, the reality of the matter is that it’s quite likely my query and the book description fell off the edge of the email inbox because publishing houses receive hundreds if not thousands of manuscripts from people wanting to be the next J.K. Rowling. So I had the choice of insisting or going my own way.

That’s when I realized; I’ve spent too much time on the vision of what I want to write to have someone edit it (for good or bad). I’m not saying a book editor won’t help you get your book to a better level (they most definitely can), I’m just saying that to me, that would mean that the process becomes a collaborative effort and for once, I want to be selfish with what I release with my name on it. Did I spend years researching, writing, transcribing (I wrote Only Human by hand), formatting, editing and nurturing my novel to allow the possibility of one person chiming in. For other projects? Maybe? For another book? Quite possibly. But for Only Human and its two sequels in the Human Cycle? No way.

What you get when you read Only Human is my vision of a world I thought up in my head (and there’s many more). It’s a story that runs a gamut of emotions and writing styles, it can be sweet at one moment and macabre the next. It talks about humanity and how much we’re willing to sacrifice in order to help others, even if you’re expendable... even if you don’t matter. It sets up things that will be resolved in a second and third book. It has angels, demons, vampires, wraiths and therians (NOT werewolves). It has sex, it has death, it has dreams and challenges most of what you know, stating that’s it’s all BS. That there is more truth in books by Tolkien than history books. It’s something I could offer people who enjoyed Nightwatch or Constantine/Hellblazer. It’s a book I would read and that’s why I was comfortable enough to release it.

Some of my heroes are great do-it-yourself kind of people, Pearl Jam, Jack Johnson, Bill Hicks and Fugazi come to mind (JK Rowling’s perseverance does as well). Each has a moral barometer that is borderline brutal because each in their own way have walked their path without thinking of the consequences of their choices. They just stayed true to their vision and in my own little way, I self-published because of them.

The reality is that I want to write, and I want to write a lot so having to stop my brain long enough to deal with the uphill battle that is getting the attention of a publishing house is not in the cards right now. Creating is in the cards and enjoying the freedom I’ve NEVER been afforded in a typical job.

In addition, if you read my twitter page, you’ll see that when I talk about my book it’s me inviting people to read it. You will see a lot of content for the blog and a lot of tweets interacting with people around the world. My intention and my mission are to connect to other people. I firmly believe that and although I want my books to be successful and I’m working for this to be my career, my messages will always be an offer to connect with a work that is deeply personal, that grew with me, that wrote itself and corrected me when I thought I could control it, that made me smile and made me cry, that gave me grief as I edited out pages worth of words that weren’t necessary and that is 100% mine.

There are scars hidden between the lines, there are messages of hope embedded into the font and there are thousands of hours invested in a work you can acquire with a click. It’ll last a long while and it has vampire pirates, demons, a mid dimension and its trajectory will take you to places like Spain, Egypt, Eritrea, Sri Lanka and Myanmar.

Consider this another of many invitations... it is not a plea and it is not spam. It is an invitation because I believe in my work and I believe you will enjoy it.

I started by saying that I am a published author. Regardless of the level of success I achieve, that will always remain true and you can be part of my life story. You have been most cordially invited.




  1. I love the book and reading about the passion and determination that got you to the point of publication is brilliant. I think the problem with publishing houses is that you are at the mercy of one persons opinion and that's not always a good yard stick to measure anythings true worth. It would have been a tragedy if this book had never made it to print and I for one am grateful you had the courage to take matters into your own hands.

  2. It is a wonderful thing to hear that you love the book. Publishing houses are swamped with manuscripts and I completely understand if my book didn't get noticed amidst the other thousands of submissions. Still, I felt the need and urge, not to mention that I believe in my story so it was a choice I made and one I'm so happy I did. It's allowed me to meet people like you who give the strength to push past it all and insist on your dreams. Thanks, K.