by Russell Dyer
published: october 21, 2008; revised: september 03, 2017; readers in past month: 91
About two years I finished writing my first novel. I’ve tried to find an agent to sell it to a publisher for me, but haven’t been able to: it’s too foreign to what they’re used to representing. It’s a story about a computer programmer who tangles with computer hackers. That notion alone reeks of being boring to them. So, I’ve been working on my second novel which has nothing to do with the computer world. I’ve told myself that the first couple of novels of many great writers went unpublished until they met with success years later.
Still, I like my first novel and would like people to read it and read it now. So, I decided to go the self-publishing route. In the past this method (previously known as vanity press), had a negative connotation. An author would have to front the cost of production. However, with new technology of on-demand publishing, it costs me nothing to self-publish my book. When a reader decides to buy a copy on-line, the publisher prints and binds the book ordered and mails it to them a few days later. There are no set up charges. As a result, there’s no longer a negative stigma to self-publishing.
What’s important to me as a writer is that I write and that what I write is read. Of course, a large publisher with their distribution network and marketing efforts would sell a few thousand copies, reaching many more readers for me. Whereas, by self-publishing I may only sell a few hundred copies. Nevertheless, until a publisher makes me an offer on this particular novel, a few hundred readers is better than none—which is where I am now if you don’t count me.
With all of this in mind, this past weekend I read through the whole book and gave it a good polishing. Also, in preparation for publishing, the editor of my MySQL books, Andy Oram has agreed to edit it for me. I’ve also begun setting up things with lulu.com (click on the image to see the cover thus far). In a few weeks it should be available for purchasing. At that time, I’ll add links on my web site if you’d like to order a copy. So, check back in late November.