I just finished publishing the Smashwords edition of Preparing for the Fiscal Cliff. Smashwords allows you to download books in multiple formats, including the Kindle format and PDF. If you didn't get the book that Darling and I wrote back in October, now's a good time. It's free, and according to my research, Amazon will eventually match the price, so it will become free on that site as well (though I have no time frame for that). So far about thirty people viewed the book and a half dozen downloaded it.
Although I wanted to make the book free for quite a while, the impetus was really a learning step for my second book.
I need to bring you up to date on my second book, right? I mean, I've babbled about it for a half dozen posts, so you should at least be able to follow my exploits.
I'll go through the self-publishing steps in the next post, but let's talk about FEAR. I've been writing for decades, literally since I was about five years old. I have finished very few things I've started, and tried to publish even less. In the last decade I finally figured out that it is simple fear that keeps me from trying to publish. It's the fear that I will pour my heart into writing something (which I do, or I wouldn't write) and others would read it and consider it crap. It's the fear that the opinions of others would crush me in this case.
It's scary. If you're a writer, or want to be a writer, then you know this fear. The fear intensified when I received rejection letters from potential publishers. I did my due diligence. I sent the right kind of material to the right magazines. They just didn't like my submissions. I'm not made of the stern stuff that Stephen King and John Grisham are made of. They persevered. I'm more of a Margaret Mitchell and hide my writing in the closet after a rejection.
So the world changed and it is now possible to self-publish. Let me tell you, self-publishing is guaranteed to get your book listed and available to the public. It is certainly not guaranteed to make you a success. It absolutely is not the easiest way to get published!
The easiest way to get published is to write something so amazing that every publishing house in the country will look at it and offer you huge sums of money to do the work for you. Then you get to talk to Oprah, who loved your book.
That probably won't happen to most of us. You can go to a vanity press, or you can self-publish. It doesn’t eliminate the fear factor, but it can get your book to the public.
Then you can be really afraid.