Hey everyone! You should really buy my book, Lemons on Venus. It’s awesome. It’s a book of short stories, five of them in total, some short and some the length of a novelette. There’s the haunting opening story After Momma Died Carrying The Jelly Baby, which is an award-winning short story. There’s also the disturbing story The Frustrations of Family 19, and a period piece called A Carnival in Dry Lands. One of the novelettes is The Spirit Grove Cemetery, which is my take on a ghost story. Finally, Lemons on Venus is frantic story from the point of view of a rather ADHD scientist who is furiously working to create crops that could survive on other planets, but really the story is about her difficult love life. They’re all character based stories, and I tend to stay in the realm of magical realism, but of course, I go wherever the story dictates. Seriously, go buy it.
Now, you’re thinking that I made an entire blog post to hock my book. Well, kinda, but more than that, don’t just buy my book, but buy self-published books. The indie market is so great these days, and it’s the world of breakout authors. You’re going to find stuff that’s cutting edge. I think in the past self-publishing was a bit of a dirty word. They even called it Vanity Press, which is just ugly, almost like they aren’t good enough for a real publisher so the author is publishing it for their own ego. I know of a number of self-published authors, such as Konn Lavery with the Mental Damnation series, or Chris Hawkins’ book Fear in the Blood, and they’re not self-publishing because they can’t find a publisher. No, they’re self-publishing because it’s a great way to get their stories out there, they retain more of the profits, and they retain creative control over their own work.
I didn’t send Lemons on Venus out to publishers. I made a conscious choice to self-publish. Now, I’m pretty used to self-publishing. I have a bunch of comics and graphic novels out, and have been going to printers for ages. I was once called the highest selling indie comic creator in Edmonton, and I did everything from photocopied ashcan comics to perfect bound graphic novels. Always indie. It’s my comfort zone. I liked that I decided on the order of the stories. I like that I got to hire my nephew, Gaelan Glenn, to photograph the cover.
Independent authors need support. There are still some bookstores stuck in the past that don’t acknowledge self-published books. They only take books that published by a professional publishing company, many of whom only accept manuscripts from literary agents. They’re missing out. I’ve always had a soft spot for the alternatives to mainstream, whether it be music, art, comics, or literature.
I’m not particularly anti-publisher, though. They definitely have their role. In fact, I’m thinking of submitting my newest novel, The Real World Monitor, to a publisher. I’m not entirely certain, but it might be an interesting experiment. I’ve also looked into finding a literary agent for the book. Again, I don’t know where this will lead, but I think it’s worth looking into. I’m a little worried about losing some creative control, but it might be worth it for a bit of added exposure. Plus, it might be nice to access some book stores that haven’t yet realized that the days of ‘Vanity Press’ have gone, and the days of ‘Self-Publishing’ have arrived.
So here’s your job. Buy self-published books and support the community of self-publishing authors. Read the books, review them, share them, and help push the self-publishing market a bit. There are great authors out here that could use your help.