Monday, October 8, 2012

Here and Now

I've got this book I wrote. And what I'm doing with it, it wouldn't have worked 100 years ago. Hell, it wouldn't have worked 10 years ago. Self-publication, vanity publication, was a sticky and expensive process at best, and there wasn't necessarily much respect accorded to any of it. I've talked about this before. Yes, there are Eragon-shaped exceptions, but for the most part, it hasn't been the most dignified way to get your work out there.

And then the kindle showed up. And the nook. And the other 5000 e-readers. And the landscape is changing drastically. E.L. James drastically. [editor's note: no, I have no intention to be E. L. James. I'm a much better proofreader than that.]

So I've got this book I wrote. It's a book of short pieces - some full-out short stories, some poetry, some flash fiction (a page or less) - and I'm very proud of it. But it's a book I don't think I'd be able to sell to the middlemen of publishing - agents and publishing houses. It's too strange a shape for that. And that's fine. I've got this book I wrote and I'm digitally self-publishing, and I'm so glad I live now, here, in this time and place. This is the time for self-publication.

And - to all you out there contemplating your own self-publication - you are not alone. Dianne L. Durante has a marvelous how-to book called Step-by-Step Kindle Publishing which is proving invaluable in formatting and prepping my book for all you nice people out there to read and enjoy. She'd been self-publishing her own work, making notes on what needs to be done, and thought she might as well make a guide to help anyone else out there. It's easy to read, hyperlinks to other sections for easy reference, and even includes her email address for any questions and clarifications.

Technology is awesome. This is a good time.

I live in New York City. There are a lot of people here. An overwhelming amount. To keep your sanity, you have to pretend most of them don't exist. Wash them into indistinct watercolor backdrop as you hustle down the sidewalk. You only meet whom you meet. Except for sometimes: Space on White is an artists' space - they host art shows and display work, as well as provide rooms of varying sizes for rehearsals, auditions, meetings, workshops. This is the space The Shakespeare Forum currently uses for its weekly free Tuesday workshop. And one Tuesday as I was milling about I saw a postcard with a striking design. I picked it up, thinking to just pocket it as an interesting and appealing image. Then I noticed the artist's website and contact information on the back.

So now Danielle Rose Fisher is designing the cover for this book I wrote. She's been sending me mock ups and designs and they're just beyond gorgeous. I can't wait for everyone to see. This is a very New York City story - artists finding each other randomly and networking and the world grows slightly smaller, one more connection made.

This is a good place.

I am here and now. And I've got this book I wrote.

Stay tuned.

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