Friday, February 24, 2012

Toot toot

So, I wrote a book. A novella, really.  And I went ahead and published it straight to Kindle, going against every woe-betide-the-self-publisher lecture I heard in college (English major wutwut) during my literary journal internships and editing/publishing classes.  The thing is, though, that this level of self-publishing didn't exist then (way back in 2008).  Also, it's a novella that's comprised of intertwining short stories, and short stories don't sell unless you're already an established author, generally speaking.  So I almost feel -- do feel -- like I could a) maybe waste my time trying to do it the traditional way or b) maybe waste my time trying this way.  So, it's exclusively available via Kindle.  And it's freeeeeee all day today.

camp by Jillian Bogarde
Yes, I published it under a pseudonym -- and yes, depending on how you arrive at my blog, it's fairly (read: super-easy) to parse out my regular name.  But I like to have (the illusion of) a degree of separation where possible.

Native by The White Deer

Of course I'm a little scared of putting it out there.  What if readers hate it?  What it it gets all bad reviews?  What if people I know think less of me and my writing because they think it's shit?  What if nobody reads it?  What if it ends up being riddled with errors that I missed?  What if I could do better?  What if this is pure drivel and nobody likes it?  I spent over a year fiddling with this, though, and I think at some point you have to either put your art out there, or move on.  Stop obsessing.  Be open to failing.

Flag by Ashley K. Smith
So I've hit that point where I'm comfortable with failure.  That said, I don't want to fail.  (Yes, failure is good.  But it's hard to want to fail, even when you know in theory it might actually be good for you.)  But it's entirely possible that anyone who reads it will think it's didactic, overly cynical, trying too hard, angsty (but then, it's sort of upper-level YA), repetitive, unoriginal, or worst of all, boring*.  But maybe someone will like it.  Maybe.  And it's the little maybe that keeps me from hiding it away in Google Docs forever.  I have to be open to that maybe, and with the maybe of success comes the maybe of failure.

So there is it. Vespers: A Summer of Bible Camp, Bird Names & Being Bad

I have to leap off the metaphorical dock.

Camping Days by inthepaint
*see below the cut
*There are times I read through this thing and love it and want to buy it things on holidays and some random days thrown in (just because).  There are also times when I read through it and want to throw it across the room, then fetch it, shred it, and send it out to sea on its own Viking pyre, so great and complete is my loathing.  So I think I've completely passed the point of objectivity, and have moved into the wilderness of no longer knowing which way is up.

If you do read it and like it, Amazon reviews would be nice.  If you read it and hate it though, my plea is that you throw it across the room, then fetch it, shred it, and send it out to sea on its own Viking pyre.  ;)


(And yes, to those who grew up with me and know I went to a Bible camp that had bird names, there is a certain amount of initial inspiration from that particular concept, but the novella is absolutely fiction through and through. There are most certainly glimmers of experiences in my life, but they're fiction here, and those glimmers are only as glimmery as all other fiction reflects a life lived.  If that makes sense.  You can't write in a void, is I guess the idea I'm expressing.)

(And I made that book cover with an old photo of mine.  I'm not sure I'm a fan exactly, but it's the best I've been able to do, considering my lack of graphic design materials beyond this.  In other words, I will probably go ahead and do something better when I can.  Maybe when it's warm out and I can get a better summer camp-y sort of photo.  But it's okay for now, right Internet?  It's not, like, MS Paint quality...and it's not Papyrus....console me!  Also, I have no idea why the Amazon page won't update to the final version of the cover that I uploaded.  Perhaps it just needs time to switch over.  Hmm.  Ditto for why the Kindle free sample is the one without text that I thought I'd deleted when I uploaded the original version.  Grunt.  I'll hope that's the worst error on my part with this endeavor.  Fumble bumble.)


  1. I wanna read it! But I don't have a kindle - do I have any options?

  2. I think there are Kindle apps you can use (maybeIthinkso!):