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The End Draweth Nigh
The Danger of Being Me has official release date: July 16th, 2012.

I took off a full third of a year from this project, which is four times as much time as I really wanted to take. I wanted to get into my second draft in January of 2012, but being the capricious Libra that I am, I let myself get distracted by other projects that ultimately never materialized. So it goes.

But if I allow myself to put this off any longer, I will end up putting it off indefinitely, and I'll end up right back in the same cycle of bad habits that caused my first draft to drag on for more than thirteen years. So as the second quarter of 2012 gets started, I am climbing back on this horse and focusing my attention on completing my novel for self-publication, and I'm doing it with a scorched-earth approach.

I have scrapped the entire first 40% of the manuscript in order to redraft that portion of the story virtually from scratch. Some of the changes will affect the latter 60% of the novel, and some of it will have to be rewritten accordingly, but that will come later. I am therefore setting myself a series of goals related to the Danger of Being Me. The first is to have a second draft completed by the end of May, which is actually quite a bit longer than I think I'm going to need. But I'm being generous, so May it is. Fifty-eight days to rewrite 30,000 words.

My second goal is to get that second draft into the hands of my First Readers by the beginning of June, and to get back their notes and opinions by the middle of June. My third goal is to touch up my second draft and fix any glaring problems with the narrative in order to produce a final publishable draft by the beginning of July. Because my ultimate goal is to publish the ebook version of the Danger of Being Me on July 16th of this year, with a paperback from CreateSpace to follow shortly after that.

The end is in sight. And it's a beautiful thing to behold.

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Just curious - have you tried to submit your manuscript to agents or publishers, or is there a reason why you're going with self-publishing? My understanding is that of all the genres, literary fiction is one of the hardest to do well in with SP.

(And I have been meaning to check out one of your books - I'm just trying to thin out my existing TBR list first!)

The problem is that I've been working on this particular project for so long as this point that once I get a final manuscript together, I don't want to have to deal with it for one moment longer. I don't want to put together synopses or query letters for it, and I don't want to send out a dozen manuscripts in the hopes that one publisher might take a bite, and I don't want to wait a year or more for the book to be released. I know that comes off as impatient, but I really do just want to move to the next project, and I feel like the best way to do that is to self-pub the book and be done with it.

It's also my understanding that self-publishing doesn't necessarily preclude a print deal down the line from a publisher (though I'm sure that in some cases, editors may be more leery of a self-pubbed submission than a pre-pubbed manuscript), and that e-books can actually be submitted to editor as a completed package for consideration. Everything I've read about the entire agent industry has effectively scared me off of ever considering paying a total stranger 15% of my income in exchange for acting as a middleman. If I do pursue a print deal with a publisher, I'll probably just hire an intellectual property attorney to negotiate on my behalf.

Do yourself a favor, though: steer clear of "The Angels Are Crying." It's a bit of a mess. I published it just to get it out of my system, but I periodically consider unpublishing it, and will therefore probably end up doing just that. I just haven't done much with Smashwords since January, so I haven't gotten around to blowing that story up yet.

Edited at 2012-04-04 02:18 am (UTC)

Oy. Have you been reading Konrath and Dean Wesley Smith?

So, regarding getting a print deal: once you self-publish (and that includes putting it online for free), you've lost your first publishing rights. No agent or publisher will touch it. Yes, there are some rare exceptions, like Amanda Hocking or the recent 50 Shades of Grey, but that only happens when the self-published book has already been proven to have a massive readership.

It is true that, unlike in the past, self-publishing is no longer such a stigma that it will be hard for you to get a publishing deal in the future, but not with anything you have already published yourself.

As for agents: a good agent negotiates a better deal than you'd get on your own. That's why most authors keep them, even once they are successful enough that they don't need an agent just to get published. IP attorneys aren't negotiators and they don't have the industry contacts.

I read DWS's "Think Like a Publisher" series back when I was in the final stages of my first draft. I haven't read any of Konrath's writing, but I'm given to understand that he's even more militantly anti-traditional than Smith. If I'm honest, I sipped the Kool-Aid, and I confess that it was tasty.

My affinity for self-publishing is really more a result of laziness than principle. The process of writing is so labored for me that I cringe when I think that all of the time I spent writing a novel is only a fraction of the total amount of work I have to do to see it fully realized. The hard truth may be simply that the challenge of finding a good, trustworthy agent and letting that agent negotiate with publishers and waiting for a book to hit the shelf is all part of the arduous journey of being a writer. That skipping steps to achieve instant gratification is really just a cheat.

I don't know. But I genuinely do appreciate your ability to sober me up when I start getting too high on the idea of self-publishing. You seem to have a greater knowledge of the subject than I do, and I take your opinion on that matter seriously.

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