A story about self-publishing
A book takes a long time to write. I did not intend to write a book, I just started telling myself a story about a girl who wakes up and is a vampire and had no recollection of the night previous, when it (evidently) occurred. I started writing it — I like writing, although I am mostly known as a visual artist — and I kept writing. I gave it to friends to read on Google Drive as I was typing it. They kept asking for more. For the rest. I think it kept me going when I hit points where I couldn’t seem to articulate properly what I saw in my brain.
Then one day, it was done.
I typed “The End”. It felt strange, and gleeful, and a little prideful, and a little scary that I had written A Book. In fact, A Novel.
My belovedest, jk, made the cover as a surprise for me from one of his photographs of me, his Art Girl Series. It was very sweet and wonderful and perfect.
I thought about self publishing immediately, but decided to send it out to some publishers first. After all, they know how to get books out to people and they will print real physical books and distribute them and help organize a tour. Which would be awesome. I have always wanted to tour. I have always traveled. They are different things, I think. So, I sent it out to several dozen publishers and agents. I wrote and rewrote synopsis with the help of my friends and readers. I chose publishers that seemed sympatico in some way, something about their wording or their site or their selection connected with me. I received, over the course of the next year, rejection letters from about 2/3 of them. The rest just didn’t respond. It made me sad. It made me waver in my belief that I had written a good book. Told a good story. I did not look at it again for a few years.
And then I did.
I had a day in the midst of busy weeks of scenic painting and stagehand work I had A WHOLE DAY OFF. it was early spring and I dragged my laptop into a tunnel I cut in the pine trees with a coffee, bunch of hand rolled cigarettes, some water and crackers, and I opened the long dormant file.
It wasn’t bad. It wasn’t bad at all. It kept me wanting to read it and I realized how much of the story I had forgotten over the past few years. Before I knew it, I was changing a word here and there, correcting errors, and writing new paragraphs to make it make more sense. It became my “free moment” project. Reading and editing a few pages.
And then I reached “The End” again. I thought about sending it to more publishers. Naw. I thought about self publishing. I looked into it. I downloaded a style guide to format it for epub and just about cried. (I may have actually cried.) I would have to reformat the whole thing! Make sure the indent for every paragraph was standard format and not using tab. It would get rid of all my neat chapter and divider graphics. All my fonts. (The story is told from different perspectives)
I put it away again.
Weeks and months past. I worked on a book cover for J Pierre Reville’s Birding in the Face of Terror (a great philosophical book. The publisher is very cool and we connected well, but AWAKE isn’t really her genre and she is in the middle of making a baby. I told her that she has first option and figured: The time will come.
The time came when Just Imagine it Ink asked me to come on to their podcast and radio show Get Behind Me, Now Stay There, but I had not recently released anything and had nothing upcoming but theatrical shows which — while excellent, interesting, and fascinating — are regional and their show goes out nationally from the other side of the continent.
I decided to look at self publishing again and started looking at self-distribution and other options. I discovered Draft2Digital. They only needed a Word file. Their system reformatted it. You make changes to the Word file and reupload it. It was simple. It was free but for their cut of sales. They let me set the price, including free. (It is $1. I am hoping it will pay for me to run a print edition) At the same time, I discovered Gumroad, a site that lets me give and sell digital files with a pay-what-you-will option.
After I set the date, Halloween, to release it, I got an email from the producer of an indie horror flick I had been in that filmed a few years ago. The film is premiering on Oct 16. I could not believe it, the horror film and the vampire book both releasing this Halloween month.
Here we are. I believe there are folks out there that would enjoy reading this book. Fans of vampires that do not sparkle and folks who read epic fantasy and urban fantasy and dark fantasy and paranormal books. There are elements of history and details about Seattle and love stories within it. It has tragedy, it has hope. I am not quite sure how to get it to those people, but I am trying.
So, if that describes you or your beloved one or your mom or your neighbor or a guy you play on xbox live with or a buddy in Seattle or a best friend anywhere or a lady you know that reviews books on her blog, the links and information is below. Thank you for getting it out there with me.
All the Links and Info for AWAKE: A Vampire Tale
by AmarA * cover by jk
AWAKE releases on HALLOWEEN, 31 oct 2015
The blurb is: She is awake, she is alone, and she doesn’t know how she became a vampire. Her quest to piece together that lost night will take her on a journey centuries into the past, reveal her own vital inner-strength, the importance of friendship, and the workings of destiny.
You can read an excerpt from it at http://amaraart.weebly.com/excerpt-from-awake.html
It is available for $1 to preorder on Kindle, Nook, Ibooks, Kobo, Page Foundry, Tolino, and Scribed. It is also releasing in the Authors Preferred Format for $1 + pay-what-you-want as a pdf on Gumroad at https://gumroad.com/l/awakenovel
It is is character driven fantasy, urban horror, a little punk, a little goth, somewhat erotic in a vampire way, more of a thriller than a horror (though I encourage debate)