Friday, September 2, 2016

Kindle Direct Publishing

I have filled out my Kindle Direct Publishing information so the million dollar royalty checks I will be receiving (for future publications of course) can be directly deposited into my account. Unrealistic expectations? Of course.

The Story

About 4-5 years ago my ex-wife and I took our daughter to Myrtle Beach where a swimmer was pulled out by a riptide and drowned. Partially to assuage my daughter with a scary yet fantastic tale and partially to satiate my need to write I started a story for her about this girl from Indiana who went to Myrtle Beach only to discover that her parents had been hiding a secret from her. The secret was that she was an adopted orphan who had been found, as a baby, on beach. Of course there was an even deeper secret that this girl didn't even know about herself.

Sharks and Mermaids are mortal enemies. It's almost as if it is impossible for them to coexist. So where do mermaids come from?

This book was inspired by my daughter and by the Ripley's Believe in or Not Aquarium, the likeness of which is described in the writing. My intention is to edit the manuscript about 5k words at a time and release it as a serial onto Kindle Direct Publishing. Why am I releasing it at all?
The Reasoning

First and foremost it is not for the money. Ultimately, yes, I want to make a good living publishing fiction but I do not have unrealistic expectations. Instead, releasing this as a serial will give me practice at quite a few skills I will need as a self-publisher.

1. Marketing
2. Consistency
3. Content Creation
4. Editing

An author who goes the normal route (presumably through an agent and then a publisher) must have all of these elements as well but in a very different way. They rely on a big publisher to allocate resources towards their novels and they have no control over digital and out-of-print books.  For a self-publisher, networking and resources put towards your project are all up to you. The royalties are greater per sale and your work isn't used to subsidize the marketing of a more preferred author within the publishing house.

Traditionally published authors must market themselves to agents who act as the gatekeeper to both the top agents and publishers. This is no small task.

Is self-publishing cheating? In many ways it might be considered a lazy approach because you're guaranteed to be published. It's kind of like publishing this blog. All I'm doing is hitting the publish button. However, getting sales is another story. Becoming "widely read" should be the goal of an author and not simply being published. After all, becoming widely read is not a matter of getting published by a big publishing house. There is still a lot of promotion and thus self-promotion involved in getting your work out there.

My writing, of course, has a libertarian tilt to them but they are not overt libertarian propaganda pieces. Within each story there are elements where the media paints a situation in a certain way, or war and violence is propagated by some government agency as a proper response to a situation.

Feedback Please!

So what are your thoughts? Is self-publishing a way to "cop-out" on trying to get published through the crucible of the traditional route? Or has entrepreneurship and marketing finally come to trump the traditional route. I've made my decision but I'm interested in hearing yours.

Read some of my Flash Fiction:
1.  The Ethics of the Murder of Sim Entities in a Sufficiently Complex Virtual Universe
2. The Traffic Stop

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