The man, the myth, the legend.
Another Round of Jack (Squat)
About fourteen months ago, a webzine called Darwin’s Evolutions went on hiatus. That made me sad, mostly because I know Darwin and he’s a good guy. Also because at the time, before the explosion of ebooks into the mainstream, there were very few epublishers who were accepting unsolicited works. That, of course, has changed over time due to the emergence of Amazon’s Kindle and self-publishing line.
Darwin’s Evolutions is back and accepting novellette and novella-length submissions. Instead of going after the short story market like before, they are going to try to build anthologies in the neighborhood of 120,000 words (twelve 10K word stories.) and focus on novellas. This means that maybe, just maybe, Christian Cole might find a home.
I’ve wrestled with the self-publish/small press decision for Christian Cole for quite some time now. I’ve done the research and found that with the advent of Amazon’s self-publishing feature (and, to be honest, amazed at Amanda Hocking’s success), there’s only a smidgen of difference between self-publishing and a traditional small press publisher. For example…
Corruptor, as I may have mentioned (bajillions! it’s freaking bajillions!) a few times, was published by a small press publisher named Twilight Times Books. It’s a decent little publisher, one I’m not ashamed to pimp out occasionally (as long as baby brings daddy home some cash, we cool). However, their publishing system, I have discovered recently, is a print-on-demand format, which is why big bookstores like B&N have slapped Corruptor with a non-returnable label. Can’t return something which hasn’t been printed yet, right? Right. While TTB’s ebook section of their website is pretty solid (non-DRM, good rep for fast service, etc.), their print books are hit and miss at times. Now, to clear the air, I haven’t seen anything that might say they’re a bad print publisher. I’ve heard from third and fourth parties, though, that they’ve seen and heard issues with TTB. I take it with a grain of salt.
But the POD format… tells me much. First, that with the advent of Amazon’s self-publishing ebook and print-on-demand system, the only difference for me if I published Corruptor through one or the other is that TTB provides the cover art, as well as gets the book listed at B&N, Fictionwise, etc. Publicity, promotion, everything else under the sun falls onto me (which is cool, I like a challenge). Which brings me to the primary question: do I self-publish the sequel (already been denied by the publisher, who has first refusal) through Amazon, hire a cover artist and an editor and work my tail off , or do I rewrite it, send it to TTB and upon acceptance, work my tail off like I did with Corruptor?
The real difference, to me, lies in the paying for an editorial service as well as a cover artist. The good thing is that I’m becoming decent enough with PhotoShop that I can almost create my own cover. The bad part is the editing service, which doesn’t come cheap. A good editor charges upwards of $35 per hour. A great one in the neighborhood of $75 an hour, though those are hard to come by. Plus, do you have a cool grand to drop on editing alone? If you do, I have a bridge to sell you…
But the debate rages, as does my indecision.
What to do, what to do?