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the self-pub world

It's been a week since my novel came out and I've been thinking. It's truly shown me what my favorite parts are about writing. I love the creation. The early parts of writing a book. Right now, I'm currently sitting on another novel entitled Free Dom and working on another installment in the Reintegration world. I didn't think I'd be ready to work on the next book but after vigorously preparing Reintegration it got my mind working on the aspects I still wanted to touch on. So, I bought a new whiteboard and got to work. Somehow, I've already got 14,000 words in and I'm thrilled about what I've got. At the same time, I'm embarrassed and irritated about the other side of the process.

In the self-publishing world, one must be everything for their book launch. You are not only the writer but the editor, the formatter, cover design planner, marketer and distrubtion finder. It's exhausting. I hate having to post on my social media a bunch and sometimes it feels pointless and annoying. But at the same time, it appears it's what your supposed to do in the journey to getting your books more well-known. You need readers, ratings and reviews. These are hard to get if no one knows about your book. And no one can know about your book unless you tell them. Which makes you feel like a rather disgusting salesman--especially when what you're selling is a product of your own making.

I suppose this is the giant benefit of having a publisher and agent. They do this work for you and you do what you love most: writing. But I do not have that benefit right now. I even paid for a review, which turned out really well. I received five stars and a great blurb from the reviewer. But it's tainted with the fact that I paid for a reader. Now, it boosted my confidence a bit but of course, the doubts invade in. Is this website legit? Is the reader real? Do they only give out positive reviews so dumb, narcissitic writers looking for praise keep coming back shelling out dollars to get a pat on the back? Possibly.

There's hope, though. Steve Lapenotiere. He's a random Goodreads reader who somehow found my book and is currently reading it. I'm hoping for a rating or review from him becuase it would be the first unbiased, random and completely legit reader. I hope he enjoys the book.

As I think about prepping Free Dom for release, I'm excited. Excited to read through it after not thinking about it for some time. Excited to make edits and changes, to format and design the layout, to create a sweet cover and eventually hold it in my hands as a finished project. (Especially excited because I decided I'm going to make this one a Mass Market Paperback size, my favorite! And of course, a hardcover for another option.) Although I'm ten times more excited about this release than Reintegration, I know on the other side I'm going to be back in this state of anxiety and stress. It's always more fun on this side of publishing. The craft, the creation. The constant thinking about what should happen next in the book. That's where I'm at in Rehabilitation. It's a story told from three different perspectives and it's been so much fun so far. It's different than what I've done before and I'm enjoying the challenge.

I sold another story to Ahoy Comics which should be coming out soon. I'm excited about that because it has the stamp of verification by someone more established than me in the writing world. And I don't have to worry about trying to sell it or promote it too much. Self-publishing is harder becuase there is no stamp but your own. The idea of hiding behind a big publisher sounds appealing in many ways. But putting something out on your own is frightening because it's all one big reflection on you. And it feels that way now, with the small amount of people reading my book. I can't imagine what actually selling a ton of copies would feel like.

Anyways, I'm not even sure what my goal was in writing this post but wanted to get some thoughts out about the release and what's going on now. If you've read the book or started to, I hope you are enjoying it. I can't wait to release Free Dom and am hoping to finish this draft of Rehabilitation by the time my daughter arrives in March. But we shall see how things play out.

I can hear my son waking up right now and we are going to get ready to try a new church out. I haven't been to church in some years, so it should be an interesting experience. Next week I might write a post about my thoughts on everything. There is currently a hit podcast out by Christianity Today detailing the fall of my last church which I've been listening to. The Rise and Fall of Mars Hill has been interesting, alarming, nostalgic and upsetting. But more on all that later.

Thanks for reading.

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