Being an author in today’s environment is tough. Sure, self-publishing platforms like Amazon have made it easier for authors to get their work out there quickly, cheaply, and bypassing the middleman agent/publisher. However, this process has led to a number of issues. Too many books. Too many authors. Plenty of grammatical and formatting errors. Most of us indie authors can’t afford editors beyond a grammar nerd friend.
However, I’m not sour about being self-published. To be honest, I never tried very hard to get published traditionally. I’ve heard horror stories about traditional publishing and I also like to be in charge of my own art. After all, I never wrote to impress the industry with my writing. I never claimed to have my commas in a row or to be free of plot holes, and I certainly never claimed to be the author of the next great American novel.
My stories were never meant for all of that. To me, they’re fun and should be read that way. Sure, I may touch on some emotional topics like loss and abuse, but I always end on a positive note or have an uplifting message.
So I don’t comb over my work repeatedly until I’ve memorized every word before sending it to an editor for 3 grand to also pour over it, only to send it back to me wanting to change crucial plot lines. I don’t then ship it off to dozens of publishers, who may also want to change various things before they even consider publishing my book. Maybe, and that’s a big maybe, I get a deal two years later and then release my novel two years after that, only for the publisher to minimally promote my book that’s now probably unrecognizable as the story I had fun writing initially. Only now, I’m stressed with the industry and to realize that I’m still going to have to market the book myself.
I’m not as bitter as that paragraph sounds, but I’m being realistic. Do I want to be a better writer? Of course I do. But some of the so-called books everyone raves about that end up on best-sellers lists are just blah to me. Maybe I like my style of writing, even if no one else does… which I know isn’t true because I have made fans in my under the radar self-publishing career thus far.
As a self-published author, I’ve been facing different challenges. With there being so many options out there, it’s becoming harder to get noticed without putting a ton of money into advertising. That coupled with the fact that I get notified each week through Google Alerts of my novels being posted in FULL on various websites without my consent. I call these sites the Napster of Books. I used to contact them and ask for my books to be removed.
However, the more books I publish, the more sites seem to be stealing them, and the more difficult it is for me to track them all down.
All of this has led me to one decision… make my books available for FREE. Granted, my books will still be available on Amazon and possibly other platforms once my exclusivity with Kindle ends for those who want to have a book on their Kindle or iPad. But all of my books will also be available on my new online library BOOK ZINE.
What’s even cooler about Book Zine is that I’m allowing other writers, who might feel the same way as I do, also be able to post their books, short stories, or whatever else they want. Writers can post all of their work or just some of it. In return, I will offer free promotion on Book Zine of their purchase and social links as well as my book design services.
In order to prevent reproduction onto other sites, visitors will have to log-in to see full chapters. Interested in writing for Book Zine or getting access to future stories? Go to BookZine.net and register. I’m just getting started, but more content will be added in upcoming weeks.
I’m excited to start releasing all of my books in weekly chapters to people like I used to as a teenager. Even if you’ve read the “Dream Catchers” series or any of my books, you can re-live them and get in on our Book Club discussions on Facebook!
*Also, stay tuned for a brand new “Dream Catchers” book that will premiere exclusively on BookZine.net!