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Under the Radar

Internet storms again this week about publishing methods.

Yes, I self-publish. No, I don’t think everyone should. Yes, I’m traditionally published too. Yes, I send out novel submitions to agents. No, I have yet to impress an agent with my novels. No, that doesn’t bother me. No, I’m not a huge self-published success. No, that doesn’t bother me either.

Here’s my approach. It’s simple and only works for me.

I like to write. I have tons of ideas for books and short stories. In fact, I have more ideas than I have the time to write them. I also have a day job and a family. My family – raising two boys, my home life and my job take about 95% of my time. That last 5% of my time is reserved for writing. It’s not much time to do anything.

So I have to prioritize my time. Do I spend that time advertising myself and my books or do I spend that time looking for agents or do I spend that time writing? For now, I have chosen to just write. To learn my craft and to build a resume of books. I have now written 4 books. Are they totally awesome? No. Well, maybe one of them is. But mostly, they are stepping stones to honing my craft.

Each book has been critiqued by fellow writers, professionally edited and professionally compiled into ebooks. It takes me a full year to get a book from outline to Amazon. About five months on average are spent on writing, the rest is rewriting, editing and formatting. I can’t afford to pay top dollar for the best editors, but I can afford a decent editor. I can’t afford a great cover artist, but I can afford a decent artist. I don’t publish crap. My books may not be Nobel Peace Prize materiel, but they are most definitely not crap.

I don’t have much free time. So I must make the best use of that free time that I can. For now, I chose to just write and get better at writing. I read books on writing, I go to writing conferences and I read. But mostly, I write. Every year I publish one novel and spend a bit of that precious time doing interviews or otherwise pimping it online. But then it’s back to the keyboard and on to the next novel.

My online presence is growing but so slowly that my grass grows at a faster rate. But I don’t fret about it. I do tend to post about my writing more than anything else that interests me. That’s mostly because I like to present a different side of the Self-publishing story. I’m not a big success and I don’t dedicate huge amounts of time to becoming a success. I simply cruise along under the radar, doing my thing and hopefully getting better at it.




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