I think about it lots. Amanda Hocking was in the NYTimes Magazine today, the same day that Cat Valente appeared in the NYTimes Review of Books. I actually view them as opposite sides of the same coin–“Fairyland” as the award-winning, literary version of the Hocking phenomenon. Perhaps this is erroneous. But they both, to me anyway, look like our brave new e-pub overlords are upon us, and publishing will never be the same. And that excites me, because it means that unviable projects may magically become viable again.
One of my Clarion-mates is an e-pub zealot by most accounts, and I cannot wait to pick her brain. I have a novel (well, I’m a rewrite away, but very soon now I will have a novel) that I doubt can find an audience via traditional publishing, but that is kind of built for e-pub and self-marketing. One of Rhin’s older long-form fics recently got listed on a major fanfic recc site, and that is exactly the audience we want to find our novel (yes, this is the Rhin/me novel we keep returning to. Someday it will be done).
The plan, at mo: finish the novel post-Clarion. Rhin will be working on it while I’m away, and I may peck at it, time permitting. Neither of us are in any hurry, though, as he’s dissertating and it’s my exam year, so I imagine we’re on the 3-6 months plan, realistically. However, we’re three chapters in and going strong, with a shiny new outline to boot. The rewrite writes like buttah, too, so I am…cautiously optimistic?
Then. I wonder, can I copyedit my own work? I do not know. I’m actually considering hiring an editor friend I trust to do a pass-through before we start querying. If queries fail (as they likely will; it is a strange cross-genre book that I doubt can find a home), I have several designer friends I’d trust to do a cover, if I can come up with the $$. And I think I can teach myself basic layout? I have a decent Adobe program and a “For Dummies” guide, and I’m willing to shell out the $$ if necessary to take a basic design course if that fails. I’d rather learn how to do something myself than be continually paying others to do for me, but I get that cover=sells book, so it’s worth going pro for that.
All this to say, self-publishing, it excites me. Perhaps this is a terrible idea (it is certainly premature, until we complete the latest rewrite, and possible attempt to query). But the novel was never going to be something viable in terms of mattering for the academic half of my life. My nonfic pub(s)–and possibly some short story sales if I can swing them (and even those won’t matter if they’re genre)–are all that will count.
I remain split in three directions, trying to balance all the things I love with the finite quantity of time in the day. Now, to the gym, and then to revise a few short stories and write up the next novel chapter. Clarion is in a week. I want my writing muscles as buffed as I can get ’em in a hurry.