where the writers are
On Self-Publishing: Getting My Novel to the Masses, Part 1

Tomorrow I will be meeting with my manuscript evaluator to go over any final tweaks or content revisions that need to take place before moving forward with a production schedule for my first novel.

Writing is a vulnerable art. It exposes you utterly and completely to your audience. Your mastery of the craft, your intelligence, your operating vocabulary, your beliefs – it’s all there. You can’t hide behind it.

I have many members of the blogging community who support my writing, and previous to that I have often received praise and positive feedback for my work. Still, there is the shitty committee that whispers “you’re a fraud with no talent” in my ears as fight for a good night’s sleep.

So it was with a bit of trepidation that I turned my novel manuscript over to an impartial third party – my hired gun editor and publishing guru. This was a key step. Indie and self-publishing suffers from a lack of professional eyes on the material and if you want to have a successful book, it is paramount that you pay for service. DO NOT edit your own work. For blogging, yeah whatevs – put it out there. For the big show, get as much consultation that you can.

The emails that came back as she read the book were very encouraging, and I am ready to sit down and put the final polish and shine on this puppy. Fingers crossed, it will be a very empowering conversation.

But there are questions, and these questions will benefit any of you out there who are on the same path. Here are some things that I must address:

Who is my target audience?
So here’s the thing…I didn’t write a nice genre piece. It’s a slippery thing that I’ve got. Who would enjoy it? Let’s see:

  • Gamers
  • Comic book readers
  • Humorous Sci-fi peeps
  • Literary, I’m-cooler-than-you kids (SLAM DUNK WITH THESE FOLKS)
  • People who like pop culture references
  • People sitting in waiting rooms for a long time
  • The disenfranchised
  • The 99%
  • Old Punk Rockers (the DIY crowd)

Ok, not exactly the YA crowd. Or the straight Sci-fi fantasy crowd. Or thriller, romance, mystery, etc.

Pretty much a Kurt Vonnegut and Phillip K. Dick have a baby book. It’s going to be tough to market. Apparently I like things to be difficult.

Competitive Titles:
Is it a good or bad thing that I can’t think of too many books that I will be competing with? At least nothing that was published recently? When I cruise the stacks, everything seems so neatly bundled up by category and type. Makes me wonder if I had any plan at all when I started writing this thing.

Marketing and Promotion:
Yes, I have Twitter, a blog, Facebook, Google +, and other building contacts. The amount of approaches and strategies that are available are overwhelming. As I have a history of doing incredible amounts of research and then making the wrong choice, I have no doubt I am going to screw this up. I need some serious help here. More than likely, the book will take a few years to build up momentum as I think that word of mouth is ultimately going to be my best bet. Good thing I’m patient.

I have some other things to consider such as the purpose for writing this book. That’s an easy one. I want to burn the palaces down. The goal for the book? To give everyone that is as frustrated as me a chance to laugh a bit. I think much of the world sucks, that people and human nature have ruined so much of it. As I am not a member of the Star Chamber, my only option is to satirize it to the ground.

So I’ll have the meeting tomorrow. Let you know how it goes.