Friday, November 4, 2011

Digitally Self-Publishing the Right Way, Part Two: Mike Duran's "Winterland"

Before I go into this lock, stock, and barrel, here's this:  writing is a personal journey.  Something someone does for the love of it.  There are many avenues to publication.  Years ago, it was "right" to submit and absorb rejection after rejection through traditional publishing, and "WRONG" to self-publish. In fact, for a mind-twisting look about how original publishing was ALL self-publishing, read this article here.

Then, along came POD (print on demand) publishing.  It became easier to format your own manuscript, upload, and print copies of your book out.  Cover art and formatting became a lot easier. And, lo and behold, digital epublishing sent the whole thing "off the hook".

People write and publish for lots of different reasons.  If you've found your way to this blog and you're an avid self-publisher, please don't take offense.  Obviously, when I say in my blog title 'Digitally Self-Publishing the Right Way", I mean from my perspective, and for folks who may share my perspective.  

In the end, that writing belongs to you - your blood, sweat, and tears.  So what you do with it, in the end, is ultimately up to you.  My concerns in writing these posts come from a recent comment made by friend and colleague and subject of tomorrow's post, Richard Wright, about the state of publishing today:

"There are, after all, so many ways to get it wrong now, and no sure ways to get it right."

So, in essence, this is me looking around the publishing world, and offering up examples of what I think are smart, safe, and most importantly: WELL DONE examples.  Certainly not me telling everyone else what to do.

And with that, on to today's post, and another good example of what I consider to be a pretty legitimate reason to digitally self-publish, novelist Mike Duran's novella, Winterland.   Now, Mike is an excellent, excellent writer.  His debut novel, The Resurrection, was excellent, and I eagerly look forward to his next offering, The Telling (and, apparently, I really like the word 'excellent' this morning.  Excellent!)  His short work has been published in a variety of venues, as has his nonfiction - even one nonfiction article on Christian Horror in an issue of Rue Morgue.

Mike believes in traditional publishing.  He's blogged many times about how his positive interactions with the editors at Realms have only served to make his novels better.  He has an agent, and doesn't believe that model should go away.   And, even as Realms Fiction has reconfigured their publishing strategy to something not so advantageous to the writer, Mike is actively seeking out mainstream publishers, rather than throwing his hands into the sky, declaring the death of traditional publishing and self-publishing his novels willy-nilly one right after the other.

But he chose to self-publish his e-novella, Winterland, for several reasons.  One, most of all, being that it was a novella (and a really AWESOME one, I promise you. Also something you should read!), and in the CBA, there's no market for that, really.   And, it was very much a dark fairy tale, a little different from his usual speculative venue.

Also, because epublishing has become so easy, releasing Winterland on his own timetable serves to help his career: with The Resurrection a year in the bag, The Telling not due until 2012, this serves as a nice "Hey! I'm still here! Don't forget about me!" reminder to his readers and to potential readers (We'll come back to this in a few days).

But he most emphatically has NOT given up on traditional publishing.  And he's very careful about everything he does.  Meticulous, and he KNOWS - because he still believes in traditional publishing - that before anything he writes goes out to the public, folks MOST look it over first, pull it apart, show its faults first.   So, in my humble opinion, THIS is another example of self-publishing that is smartly and well done.

And that "Hey! I'm still here! Don't forget about me!" thing?

Pretty much the core of my great experiment, which I'll detail in a few days, after talking about my last example of smart self-digital publishing tomorrow, in Richard Wright.