When you are as disorganized as I am, it’s hard to make firm decisions. About anything. But I’ve got to do it, because when you are self-published, there is no one to make the decisions for you.
The first issue has to do with poetry publications. I have two poetry books out. One is print-only and the other is a chapbook-length ebook. Since I haven’t been very effective in promotion either book, my sales are dismal and I lack reviews. I also have had my next poetry publication in mind for some time— I even gave it a name (‘Waiting for the Poison Shot’) and have a book cover made.
I have been torn between getting ‘Poison Shot’ published and doing more with the other two. First book needs an ebook version, second one needs a print version. After a lot of back-and-forthing I have come to a decision: the second book, ‘surly petunia’, is what I should work with.
Getting a print book (or booklet, it’s a chapbook) for ‘surly petunia’ I think is a priority. I think maybe I can get some reviews of it by giving away print booklets to select writer friends. Or blog readers. The ebook version of it has been free on SmashWords and 99 cents on Amazon.com. I will be looking in to whether it is possible to do a revised version without cracking the universe.
If I can only get ‘surly petunia’ out in print and get a few reviews for it, then I will be ready to get ‘Poison Shot’ out. At this point I’m still undecided if it is going to be a larger book of 72 or so pages like the first poetry book of mine, or if it is going to be another chapbook. But that is something I’m going to put aside until I’m done with ‘surly petunia.’
My other self-publishing project will be my first prose project— a short story called ‘The Skin Shirt’, set in a city where people change their skin color by donning a new ‘skin shirt.’ How does a person decide which skin color to pick this time? The story will follow one man’s decision about a skin shirt— and about his life. This project will be a short e-book. If the print chapbook for ‘surly petunia’ works out well, I may do one for ‘The Skin Shirt’ as well. (If you want to read the current draft of ‘The Skin Shirt’ it is still up on my FB author page: https://www.facebook.com/nissalovescats/. I will be taking it down at some point as I work on a final draft of the story, so look it up while you can.)
When I think about my writing projects sometimes I feel very down. I feel like very few people will read my work no matter what I do, and no one will be moved by it. But I’m stubborn and plan to publish anyway. Whether people want to read it or not. After all, when I first started writing poetry I never though any of it would even be able to get published in the kind of literary magazine that pays in copies, but I did manage to get some poems published. Someone must have liked the poems. Perhaps there are some ‘someones’ who might like the books too.
Readers, have you ever self-published? Did you ever feel some insecurities over your efforts?
Poem of the Day
“Shut up, you crickets!
How can I hear what my wife
Is saying to me?”
by Richard Wright (1908-1960)
Wright was an African-American, Communist author. His book ‘Native Son’, published in 1940, established his career as an author. During the last 18 months of Wright’s life, he devoted himself to writing haiku by the thousands. Over 800 of his best haiku were collected into the book ‘Haiku: The Last Poems of an American Icon.” This poem is #8 in the collection.
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