Some of you undoubtedly read my tweet yesterday:
"I just turned down a book offer. Why?"
As I tried to explain in the subsequent tweetage, it was an offer on my first book. I wasn't sure I wanted it "out there". But there's more, of course.
The offer was from an e-book company (a very solid e-book publisher, I might add). When I subbed the book in the summer of 2009, the poor dear had gone through massive edits--maybe twenty rounds or more. It is my oldest child, the one who faces the parental missteps and unintentional abuses. I just wasn't sure I wanted to let it leave the house just yet, and I'm pretty darn sure I don't want to sign a deal for e-rights only.
Not today. Not in 2010.
Because I can release it myself if I choose and keep the profit. Sure. Because I'm becoming a real sonuvabitch about creative control, too.
But what's the trade off?
Well, no "outside" editing, for one. While I'm fairly confident in my editing abilities (at least for my own stuff), I always miss something. I haven't touched The Last Days of the Springdale Saints in over a year. I'm going to give it another pass before making any final decisions.
Number two: the "stigma" of self-publishing. Yeah, well, whatever. I'm really not interested in hiding in the cave and waiting for the other dinosaurs to come home. I feel I've built a body of work I'm proud of, some of it published in nice, well-respected venues. I can write fairly well at times, at other times, my writing sucks. Hopefully I'll live long enough to spot the difference.
I don't know if I'm going to set The Last Days of the Springdale Saints free or not. I love the book as only a parent can love an oldest child. I've rewritten it a few times. I've edited it almost too many to count. It has taught me more than any of my subsequent novels. In its latest incarnation, a slim 67K, I've cut almost 30K words. The aforementioned e-publisher was the only one to see the slimmed down Saints. Maybe the book is ready.
Time will tell.