Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The Release of Vampire Vacation

Sometimes things line up and you have to sit up and pay attention. Yesterday, I was exchanging emails with Liz, my Monday counterpart, and she told me she was working on her post for next week. It never occurred to me to stop and think, to realize she was scheduled for yesterday and not next week. I posted in multiple spots and places last week with the same post, so I was a little out of it.

Next, I exchanged emails with my agent who was disappointed we hadn't heard back from the last three publishers yet and she didn't blame me that I was going to start the ball rolling on getting my book self-published for December. Why December? Well, I didn't want it to be November when we're planning our big 40th birthday trip for me -- a weekend in New Orleans followed by a seven day cruise.

Releasing it when we returned would conflict with Thanksgiving and all the associated hoopla, so the first week of December seemed like a safer choice. Then I read this excellent article on self publishing sent to me by Rolando Ray, a neighbor and friend, whom I stole his name for a character in my book because I loved the way Rolando sounded when pronounced.

After reading that article, it hit me: I've done everything right and then some. If I'm going to succeed in self-publishing there is really no reason to wait. The industry has changed so much just in this year alone. The lower cost of Kindles combined with the higher revenue rate on ebooks across all major platforms is a no brainer for a lot of authors with the techno savvy I've got.

Establishing myself as a publisher enables me to approach printers-- like Dorchester will be doing with Lightning Source, a POD printer under Ingram Publishing. I'll be launching my book via digital, print, and possibly audio formats, on 10-10-10. I was going to wait til Friday to announce it, but with today's free blog topic it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

I'm excited. I'm scared. I'm going to be working my ass off non-stop for the next few weeks to try and make this thing fly. I love the control I'm able to have doing things this way, and I love the idea of it all happening now over getting a contract and waiting 18-24 months for a release date.

I've got email campaigns to design with my marketing guru husband, beta readers to beg for written reviews, and some final touches (like a glossary, acknowledgement and contributor page) to finish... oh, and remember to breathe.

Deep, soul-cleansing breaths which will calm my frantic beating heart and help me get through the biggest moment so far in my 39-years on the planet. Yes, even a 35-hour labor doesn't compare. Heck, that was only a day and half when you think about it. The real work has been in the years since!

Will it be a good choice or will I land flat on my face? Time will tell. And if I fail, at least I'll have tried my damnedest.


  1. You are so brave, CJ, but, as I've told you before, if anyone can make it work, you can. I can't wait to hear the story of how all this happens. I want to hear it now, while I have your attention. After you go big time, you'll be communing with the "stars" of the literary world. It will be an exciting ride, my friend. And I know it will be successful.

  2. You have a much kinder outlook than I do! I'm sure it's the right choice for my book, but in the end it will be the readers who make or break me -- and trying to reach them as a virtual unknown is the hardest part! And probably the biggest reason most writers wait for years to finally make it with a big publisher (or so I keep telling myself).

    I'm nervous. I'm high. I feel like I want to hurl.

    Time to start planning. Or I'll never sleep at night from now til 10-10!!

  3. Glad I could help!

    BTW, who's Roland Ray? ;-)

  4. You rock, Rolando!! Pete and I read it last night and he was nodding his head the whole time. It was like we both had an epiphany: "Why wait?"

    Sorry about my typo - I was typing so fast this morning and rushing around I didn't proof it well. Will go add that "o" right now!!

  5. Know what you want then get busy getting it. You go for it.

  6. Hi, CJ. I'm glad you found the article useful. Feel free to ask if you have any questions.

    I hope you don't feel like you're "settling" for self-publishing. This is something writers are going to have to get past. There's still a mentality that if you self-publish, you aren't really published. That might have been true with the vanity presses of the past, but with the digital publishing platforms that are available today, there's no reason for most writers not to publish themselves.

    I wish you the best of luck, and I look forward to hearing about how it goes.

  7. Best of luck to you C.J. I know that I, for one, will definitely purchase a copy to see how the editing went and whether anything was re-written or changed from the draft copy that I read last year. I wish you much success!!!

  8. Thank you for your article, Christian! I gained some insights where potential pitfalls might be and I was reassured when I read it, that yes, I have been taking the right steps.

    I hadn't thought of my choice as settling, but perhaps my nervousness and excitement conveyed as such. When I consider all the feedback I've received from agents and publishers, while listening closest to my own agent, I realize that self-publishing is the best bet for my cross-genre book.

    The world is ready for what I've written, but unfortunately the publishing industry doesn't quite know how to make my book "fit". A novel doesn't need to be crammed into a perfect cookie-cutter shape to be a good book. And I intend to try my hardest to prove it.

    Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and for stopping by the blog today. I wish you the best in your own writing as well!

  9. Ah... one of my dear friends I plan to beg for a review. ;-) You know I wouldn't have made it this far without you -- thanks for your unfailing support and belief. It's meant the world to me!

  10. You are inspiration to all us butt-junkies!! Go .... I'm going to work to follow in your awesome footsteps!! You are the best!

  11. I'm so excited for you! I'm glad you're going for it! I know you can make it work! I can't wait for it to actually happen! I don't know what else to say. I'm just so excited for you!

  12. Hey, CJ. I think if anybody in this world can make it work, it's you. You have the drive, and the smarts, and the business savvy to do it. I'll certainly be in line to buy a copy! I hope you'll keep us all posted as you go through the process because it's something I think all of us need to be taking seriously.

  13. And once you finish your book send it to me! I'll be a pro at this publishing business by then ;-)

  14. I feel the same way - super excited and not sure what to say!! Too funny. Thanks so much for sharing your enthusiasm and support with me, Helena. Always good to hear from you!

  15. Appreciate that Suzanne, I'm all aflutter with this decision and hardly able to contain myself. It's so hard when you want something so badly, as I'm sure you very well know!

    I'll gladly give you a copy for free if you'd be kind enough to review it on Amazon -- I need all the help I can get spreading the word! ;-)

  16. I have all the faith in the world that you'll do great with your book, CJ. No doubt in my mind. You are breaking trail for other authors in a publishing world that is changing as quickly as the weather. Best of luck.