Posts Tagged "novella"

The case for self-publishing

Posted by on May 19, 2017 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

  Self-publishing is a bit of a polarizing topic. It does certainly have some shortcomings, but I feel that a lot of good writing gets overlooked due to its perceived stigma. I self-published my novella Hub City Survival six years ago. Would I have done things a little differently today? Absolutely–I don’t think anyone can say they didn’t make mistakes in their time, especially with a six-year gap in between. There are scenes I would have re-written altogether, there’s dialogue I would have scrapped and I certainly would hired someone to smash it down with a hammer. But I didn’t, and I’m okay with that. Here’s why: Hub City Survival wasn’t even supposed to get published. In fact, it just kind of popped out one day. I started writing it on DeviantArt and quickly gained a small following. It was a short project. As it gained popularity and reached its conclusion, I decided I wasn’t done with it, so I decided to compile it and sell it. Self-publishing Hub City Survival was never intended to be anything but a limited print run. But, luckily for me, it turned out to be a bit more than that. And, in fact, I keep telling myself I’ll do “one final order” of a batch of books… but every so often there’s a demand, and I end up ordering more! In the wake of the surprising amount of attention the novella got, I decided to try and gently nudge it in the direction of a few media outlets. One of these outlets was a small newspaper with a focus on independent music, local events, and some literature, so I figured I’d be a shoe-in–but I was surprised when I was met with “we don’t really do self-published books”. Of course, this is fine–they can write about whatever they please, and my book didn’t fit their criteria. But I found the focus on independent music and local arts contrasted with their rejection. Independent creators in other media were fine, but apparently writing can only be good if it’s pre-approved by an industry professional. If you post your stories online, nobody thinks twice. If you write a blog post, nobody thinks less of you. But when you decide to put them into print of your own volition? The conversation changes. For those of us whose ideas don’t direct toward a conventional reading audience, self-publishing is a viable option. For those of us who are niche writers, self-publishing is an excellent option. For those of us who don’t want their ideas to direct toward a specific audience, self-publishing is, arguably, the best option. And some people just like the freedom they’re allowed through self-publishing. Why is there such a difference between self-marketing written work versus other forms of craft or art? Please don’t get me wrong! I am extremely appreciative of all the reception Hub City Survival has gotten over the years, and I wouldn’t change anything–rejections included. These are merely questions I ask when I see the reactions when self-publishing is mentioned. I understand minor skepticism that surrounds self-publishing, especially when it comes to editing and re-writing. But, I also feel the self-publishing market has gotten a bad reputation, needlessly. My next book, Mushroom and Anchovy, is being crowdfunded through Inkshares which, essentially, is a self-publishing platform. If it reaches a certain amount of pre-orders, the book will be published through a professional publishing house, but I’m still the one directing the progress. I have developed an audience through Hub City Survival, which will help me with my campaign, and, in my opinion, can be a useful way for other writers to gauge interest in their projects. It is my hope that one day I will be able to professionally publish one of my books through a well-known house, but I don’t want to treat my little “misfit” projects like they’re inferior. They’re still projects I worked hard on and poured a lot of myself into. They still mean a lot to me. That’s Mushroom and Anchovy, that’s Hub City Survival. And that’s why they get self-published...

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Next project

Posted by on Aug 2, 2011 in Life in Writing | 1 comment

I’m starting work now on my next project, which will be the spiritual successor to Hub City Survival. There will be no zombies in this one, however there will be a great mystery to unravel, and it will take place again in Canada, this time in the fictional town of Cullingville. I, again, plan on releasing this chapter-by-chapter online, probably through my deviantArt account. This one, however, I plan to be a little different. If you recall, a few posts back I embedded a brief short film/trailer I shot back in April. If you don’t recall, here it is: I’ve decided to use this as a trailer for the project, and my plan for it is to become an online, episodic writing project, akin to what Hub City Survival was, only with a twist: I want people to be involved! Ideally, this story will be semi-interactive, giving the readers a chance to involve themselves in it. My ideal would be to have people give clues by comments in deviantArt to serve as letters or hints, and also to help decide what the main character, Dahlia, is to do through polls. I hope to get started on the project soon, but I’d like some opinions first! Feel free to go and join the discussion on my deviantArt page or to start a separate discussion...

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Survival of the Fittest

Posted by on Oct 10, 2010 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

On 10/10/10, the dead will walk again. This is World Zombie Day’s tagline on their website. This is a day for zombie walks across the world. United, the undead will lurch through various streets in various cities and probably scare the daylights out of any passersby. As I noted in a previous blog entry, this is also the day that my novella, Hub City Survival, is to be published. In the wee hours of this morning, the book was completed. The editing was finished, the formatting done, the information compiled and all acknowledgments written. I am now considered published. That feels pretty good. I went to bed at 4 AM, feeling almost too excited to sleep. I managed anyway, and despite my late sleep, I got up at around 9:30 and took a look at the page, ready to start spreading the word of the book’s release. To my surprise, I had already sold two copies! Today also marks Canada’s Thanksgiving, and how better to celebrate it than by giving thanks for being able to live to accomplish a dream of mine? I may not be an established author, and this may be one of the only journeys in the realm of self-publishing that I take. But this is definitely a good start in the direction of my lifelong goal. I hope to one day have an actual publisher and distributor, but I decided to self-publish Hub City Survival for a few reasons. For the first, it is a novella. For the second, regional horror fiction is somewhat of a niche market, and I really think I’d have a lot of difficulty finding a publisher for it. For the third, I already have an established audience from publishing the story online as it was written. I would hate to make any audience members feel as though they had to purchase the book in order to finish reading the story, so I decided to add a few things at the end of the book as a bonus, rather than stopping the story online and stabbing my readers in the back for the sake of money. I don’t expect this book to become a sensation. The fact that two people have purchased my book already means more to me than I could even say. For those of you who are interested, you can purchase the book here. The book contains artwork by fans and a bonus side-story that I didn’t publish anywhere online. I wanted to make readers feel as though they were getting something extra. Until next time. Thanks for reading, and happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians. To the rest of you, I hope you have an enjoyable World Zombie Day. Try not to get bitten!...

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Hub City Survival

Posted by on Oct 3, 2010 in Life in Writing | 0 comments

This past week, I’ve finished the writing project I’ve been working on for the past year, entitled Hub City Survival. It revolves around a young woman from Moncton NB who finds herself very suddenly thrown into the middle of the apocalypse. As a NaNoWriMo participant, I find writing to be a difficult thing to give up even after spending an entire month writing roughly 2,500 words a day. Last year, after it was over, was when I started this project. It began on deviantArt with just a single entry. Then, a few people actually thought it was real! That hooked them, and I was able to get a small following of people reading every installment. Finishing the story was of utmost importance since I had such a following. I have kept the entire thing online, but I hope to be self-publishing it very very soon. I know that many people will not purchase the book since it is all online, so I threw in a couple of extras. There is a side-story with brand new characters, set in the same time line, and I will be including some fanart from deviantArt fans! If you’re curious to read the story, I have collected all of the parts onto a single journal on deviantArt so they can be accessed easily. You can access them all here. The side-story will not be made available online. I wouldn’t quite consider this story to be a novel; I believe it is likely too short. It holds a very special place in my heart, however, and I believe the ending to be melancholy but faithful to the story. The date I have planned for release is Oct. 10, 2010, which is International Zombie Day. I have everything finished but need to compile it all together and do a final read-through. If you’re interested, I hope you’ll check out the story!...

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