So, I’ve set the first brick in the road to becoming a self published author: writing something to publish. Of course, I’ve written lots of things over the years–stories, poetry, novels–but nothing that’s gotten me moving. Today, however, I finished the fourth story in a collection of shorts which I plan to sell on the Kobo store (and via them, on iBooks, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble) in order to establish a presence and start some buzz. I haven’t decided on a price yet, but it’ll be low–and I plan to offer one of the stories separately for free as a teaser, which will hopefully generate some interest.
Why I am I going this route, instead of going straight for the novel-in-waiting?
There are several reasons. First of all, I need to experiment with this. I’ve never published before, and although it’s getting easier and easier for writers to get their work out there, there’s still a lot to learn. I figure it’s best to cut my teeth on something smaller and simpler, rather than going for broke with a large project–and potentially mucking it up.
Secondly, one thing I’ve read over and over again in my research on e-publishing is the importance of building an author platform. This is something I’ll concentrate on in a separate post, but suffice it to say it means developing an audience. You can’t sell books without having people to sell them too, and your readers will be your best source of advertising. It’ll be easier to start building that audience with a shorter introduction to my work, not to mention quicker.
Finally, and most importantly: I need to just get started. I’m not going to publish anything if I don’t start somewhere, and to be perfectly honest, starting small will keep me accountable. And, hopefully, once I get the ball rolling, it’ll be easier for me to keep rolling with it.
Next step: finding an editor. I’ll be writing more about that part of my journey in the coming weeks. If all goes well, I plan to have something published online by the end of September.