Monday, 29 March 2010


I've wanted to self-publish since 2005. At the time I hung around a lot on Scribes, a forum at Runboard. I'm not linking to it because it's gone now. I mentioned there that I wanted to self publish, and I was shot down by so many voices.

Under their advice, I decided to concentrate on "real" publishing. My book died and has to date not been resurrected.

A guy called Alan Baxter joined Scribes, and he went on to self-publish. His books are out under his own imprint, Blade Red Press. He was doing all the things I'd wanted to do, using all the ideas I'd come up with on my own.

I thought about self-publishing again.

For a while I yoyoed between the two, never realizing that every time I considered "real" publishing my books would die. I've written this book with the goal of self-publishing from the start. The book is the story I want to tell.

I have a character no mainstream publisher will touch: a 72 year old woman dying from consumption. Which might not be a problem if this wasn't a sword and sorcery styled story. But it is. Actually, genre is my second problem. My book is sword and sorcery, in a steampunk alternate Edwardian London. I've taken to calling it a steam and sorcery book. Publishers tend to get nervous when you go around inventing your own genre.

And for a third thing, I love designing covers. Okay, so I can't draw, but I'm handy with a digital camera and I'm learning my way around photoshop.

But the main reason is this... with a self-publishing goal in mind I've written more than I ever managed before. The very idea of sending out to publishers makes me feel ill, and not with nerves. Well, yes, nerves - but not rejection nerves. Trust me, I know how good my writing is. It makes me feel ill with mismanagement nerves. Publishers still have their heads in the past. It wouldn't take much to shake up the publishing world, to make things happen.

But publishers are too interested in their profit margins. It keeps being parroted over the net, publishing is a business. Well, writing is an artform. And without writers, there would be no need for publishers.

I went way off on a tangent there, did you see that? Cool.


  1. LOL I love "steam and sorcery" It sounds sexy haha.

    How dare you invent your own genre! Who do you think you are? :P

    And you sound like me. It took me forever to realize I just couldn't write when I was on the "I want to get trad published" train. I had no motivation. I couldn't bring myself to do it. It was like soul death or something. Then when I decided to self-publish suddenly I was free, the creative side of me opened up again and I could write again.

    There is something amazingly liberating in the thought: "This will be released to readers when it's ready"

    instead of: "In several years this MIGHT be released to readers if I'm deemed marketable enough and am willing to make my books more "accessible."

  2. I'm calling copyright on Soul Death - that sounds like an awesome book title.


    Ha, yes, I keep trying to write in traditional genres and then end up with something new or different or weird.

    Baa baa - I just don't get the lets be a sheep thing. It's like you with your sex scenes. Romance should be about love, slowly building over time. And if the sex doesn't happen this book or doesn't happen graphically on the page, so what?

    In fact, you'll probably find you have more male readers if you have less graphic sex scenes. Guys feel uncomfy reading things like that, especially when a woman wrote them.

    Sexist as Hell, but that's life.

    And it's cool that you're being true to yourself and not contorting to fit the perceived needs of a genre.

    I sometimes read supernatural romance, and wish it was more supernatural and less romance. LOL.