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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Adventures in Self Publishing

I knew I didn’t have time for this. I should have listened to myself.

After all, I have songs to finish, novels to finish, and just plain blogging to do. But what do I do instead? Work on publishing my short story.

Every aspect of this is laborious. Formatting the ebook. Creating a cover. Making sure the cover looks good once you format it in the ebook file. I mean, dang. I have 9 versions of this cover. Publishers do earn their pay, guys. Here’s the final version: I ended up using a picture that I took myself.

I went to five different stores before I found a metal funnel. They’re all plastic these days. And it still wasn’t the type of funnel I wanted, so I had to make do.

So, I’m taking this slow, just working on it when I feel like it. I’m almost done. For some reason, the cover’s not shrinking up well in the actual book file. I think it’s because the graphic program I’m using doesn’t convert to jpeg natively (huh???), so I’m converting it to png, then to jpeg in another program. I seem to be suffering from a loss of quality during these conversions. Frustrating.

When I do have it ready, I have to decide whether to take advantage of Amazon’s KDP Select program or not. From what I understand, authors can make some serious money doing this. The big drawback is you have to give Amazon an exclusive for 3 whole months. Not sure I want to do that.

Decisions, decisions!

A New Venture

So I have this short story that I’ve been sitting on for several years, one of my favorites, but which I have been unable to sell. I came close, according to the submission process over at Andromeda Spaceways, where it sat in the third submission round for three months before they let it go “with regrets”.

I knew it would be a hard sell, and I was right. I was channeling Mark Twain when I wrote it, and so it’s written in dialect. Dialect is tough, because you can’t always really spell it the way people will read it, and people will wonder why you spelled it that way. For example, one of my beta readers questioned why I spelled “family” as “famly” instead of “fambly”, which is something like what John Steinbeck used. I have tremendous respect for John Steinbeck, and I’ve read almost all of his novels, but I’ve never heard “fambly” pronounced in my life. I’m more accustomed to Georgia/Carolinas/Eastern Tennessee accents, and a blend of them is what I attempted to spell.

Still, I’ve always loved the story, so I decided to stop submitting it and self-publish. Since I sent it to all the pro markets and the top semipros, the only markets left are ones that would only pay me the equivalent of a dinner out. Alone. Plus, I have a feeling I could reach more people by myself.

It took me a while to put my plan into action, but I now have some basic epub and kindle formats ready. I’ll be doing a few more tweaks, but in the meantime I thought I’d make these versions available for reviewers.

It is a near-future dsytopian. The title is “Once Upon a Gas Tank”, with a subtitle of “A Fairy Tale in Reverse”.

Here’s the cover copy:

When their only family car is stolen, Ty and his kid brother Joel are aghast when Pa buys a horse-n-buggy instead of another car. But Pa has decided to accept the reality of a world where fuel is getting scarce. Ty and Joel must adapt to a life reminiscent of the 19th century while listening to their grandfather relive the good old days of the 21st, and while evading a gang that won’t leave them alone.

Then, Joel decides to join the gang and rips a hole right out of Ty’s heart. “Once Upon a Gas Tank” is a short tale about two brothers in a world where progress is stuck in reverse.

It runs about 5000 words. I have a book page for it here, including an excerpt. I also put a placeholder on Goodreads.

If you run a blog, or if you are an active Amazon or Goodreads reviewer, let me know if you’d like a review copy. My email address is tia . nevitt @ gmail . com (remove spaces).