I’m not going to bury the lead here. This is not an advice column. This is not a list of the 5 to infinity biggest mistakes self-published authors make. And contrary to the imagery, this will not be about how my four-colored pen or laptop is Excalibur, or how a best seller is the Holy Grail. This is my experience. I just wanted to make a bunch of memes and gifs from Excalibur (1981).
In all my years of writing, before I ever considered getting published, I had this idealized vision. I saw my book sitting on the shelf at a local bookstore among the greats; somewhere between Ellison and Heinlein. I saw my story connecting with happy readers. I saw my book’s spine smiling at me from my own bookcase. I saw a proud legacy.
Over the course of the last eleven years and three-and-a-half novels; I endeavored to make my dream a reality. You can read all those other articles about the mistakes first-time authors make. I made them all; multiple times.
Finally, this year, I gathered the means, opportunity, resources, support (especially RJT), and enthusiasm to self-publish. More articles. More mistakes. But I did it. On June 28th, 2019, I launched my first novel; Opposable- The Halteres Chronicles- Book One. My dream had become a reality.
A horrible, nightmarish reality.
I won’t go into the gory details, there’s enough of those in the book. I will tell you, my biggest mistake was not being prepared when I tore down the curtain. I liked the dream, the ideal of being a published author, but by pursuing it, I made it real. And no ideal can match the perfection of reality.
So what now? These are the times that test one’s mettle, scatter one’s resolve. I must strive for legitimacy, prove myself worthy, not rest on the fact that I simply published my own book. In Badass Sci Fi fashion, I plan to strap on whatever genitalia necessary to keep the dream (however altered) alive.
I still have several stories to tell. In fact, I have a free not-so-advanced review copy of Opposable waiting for you right now!
Why do I have 120 copies of a published paperback I can’t sell? See above, and rejoice! Michael Molinet, the graphic artist who designed the cover (one thing I did get right) warned me of the grammar gremlins sneaking in and changing shit around when I least expected it.
Until next time, don’t bother me. I’m perfecting a book.