Last year I promised Badge would be released in 2013 at the latest. My thinking was, if nothing else, I'll self-publish it, which is what I did with both Ghost Notes and Stuck Outside of Phoenix. I've proudly self-pubbed for about a decade now, and I believe deeply in it as a means of communicating from writer to reader. If you don't believe that, look at the subheading of this blog.
Still, I've decided I will not self-publish Badge.
There are a number of reasons for this, which you'll no doubt be reading about in future essays, but let me outline the main one for you.
Whenever a book goes out into the world, there are three basic tasks:
1) Writing the book (Writer)
2) Publishing the book (Publisher)
3) Promoting the book (Publicist)
As a DIY publisher, I've worn all three of these hats for both of my published novels, and by and large I've loved it. I've loved the challenge of trying to be a good publisher, which involves editing and proofreading and formatting the book. I've also loved booking readings and getting reviews and working social media, things ideally done by a publicity person. I've had some success, found some readers, won an award, sold some books. I don't regret any of it. It was an amazing way to learn the publishing industry.
But after a decade, I've come to realize that, while I did a good job for someone who is basically an writer wearing publisher and promoter hats, I'm really a writer who wears those other hats out of necessity. These past few months, as I've gotten closer and closer to having to address some of the publisher/promoter tasks associated with Badge, it's become clear I don't have the energy to wear all those hats anymore. I know exactly what it takes to make a self-published book go, and I'm past the point of being able to do it. (And short the $ to have others do it for me.)
So, what does that mean for the publication of Badge?
It means I have to find others to help me with these tasks. Finding these special folks could happen tomorrow, or it could happen years from now. Either way, it's my only real option at this point; I'd do Badge--a novel I've worked on for six years--a disservice if I didn't feel I could give it my all in every facet of the game. This novel (and every novel I write) means too much to me, so I'm not going to start shortchanging them now.
Know that I'm constantly looking for others to help me publish and promote Badge, and that I will loudly update you--here and elsewhere--when I know more about its eventual publication. Until then, know I'm searching.
Yours in laying down the law,
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