August 22nd, 2013

Beyond the Ocean's Edge

Inland Northwest Writers Guild Presentation

Last evening I had the honor of being the guest speaker at the August meeting of the Inland Northwest Writers Guild.  As usual, they met in the upstairs spaces of Auntie's Book Store in downtown Spokane.  I thought others might be interested in what I had so say, so I'll post the presentation notes that I had prepared here.  Unless I forget to do so, I will include the majority of it behind a cut.  In it's original form it ran to almost 3000 words.

I’ve been a reader since learning how in first grade.  I’ve probably been a writer for nearly as long, although it is only within the past decade that I’ve began thinking of myself as such.   When I assumed my current job duties a little over nine years ago and needed something to do on my lunch break, I started reading on a regular basis again.  As a result I dusted off something I’d written in high school and decided to do something with it.  I ended up with Beyond the Ocean’s Edge: A Stone Island Sea Story, and had enough left over from the original story for more.

         I liked what I had written and wanted to get it published.  I bought the appropriately entitled Idiot’s Guide to Getting Published and learned about literary agents, acquisition editors, editorial boards, query letters, pitches, and rejection notices.  I spent years sending out query letters, attending writers’ conferences and pitching to agents.  I made little progress with traditional publishing and began investigating self-publishing.  In July of 2011, I decided to go that route.

         Aside from the obvious drawbacks of paying to publish your own book and the stigma sometimes still attached to self-publishing, it offers some advantages.  When you decide to self-publish and commit to spending money, you are at the same point as the writer who has just signed a publishing contract.  However, you did not struggle through the process of finding an agent, waiting for the agent to entice an acquisition editor on board, and then hoping the editor could convince his editorial board that your book is one the company should publish.  Nor do you have to wait for a considerable amount of time before your book is produced and released.

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