This is a big month for me in my effort to make the most of the brave new realm of indy publishing. Beginning with a launch party at the Wisconsin Writers Institute, I will introduce to the world (or will have introduced, depending on when you read this), my new novel, Lucy in the Sky, in all its forms: ebook, paperback, and author-narrated audio. Those of you who have followed this blog will know that I employed the same three-format attack with my last novel, World Series of Murder, but the circumstances now are substantially different. WSOM was an experiment, my first effort to grasp the realities of the post-paper market. Lucy represents a new level of mastery of those realities. With this book, I’m playing for keeps. With this book, I will learn if my business model is viable, both in the sense of economics and in the sense of what soothes a writer’s soul.
I have already learned quite a lot.
I have learned, for example, that there’s more satisfaction than I ever imagined in controlling all the design elements of the work. When you hold in your hands the print version of Lucy in the Sky (as, naturally, I’m hoping that some of you will), you’ll have a product 100 percent created by me. I did the cover art, designed the layout, chose the typeface, even created the publishing company (Bafflegab Books – ta da!) under whose imprint to release it. With total control over every aspect of the book’s look-and-feel, I enjoyed an even more fulfilling artistic experience than even writing the darn thing. In a nutshell, this book is all me, and I’m a bit thrilled by that.
With the publication of Lucy also, I have undergone a crucial psychological and semantic shift, one I commend to your attention. This book is not self-published. Rather, it’s indy published, and as such it takes its place in popular culture alongside indy music, video and film. For someone who has long struggled with the stigma of “self-publishing equals vanity press equals crap,” I find this change of perspective to be nothing less than revelatory. Working within the indy publishing space, I’m like any other boutique entrepreneur, making his own creative choices and standing behind the choices he makes. In other words, I’m now not just an author but an artist as well.
The clouds have parted and the sky’s turned blue. [Read more…]