Coming soon to a butcher shop, library, or pet store near you:
Timber Howligan, Secret Agent Cat!
That’s right, my debut novel will soon be available. I finished it two years ago. Since then, it’s been through many revisions and one professional edit. I’ve hired an illustrator, and the final artwork is almost done. It needs proofreading, a cover, and interior design. By the end of 2015 (hopefully sooner), Timber Howligan will be out in the world.
The decision to self-publish my first novel is not one that I’ve made lightly. The pros and cons between DIY and traditional publishing are as easy to find as cute cat pictures on the Internet. Here’s why the self-publishing model is the right choice for this book, for this author, at this time:
1. My health. Being an author is a full-time job, and with chronic headaches, I’m not ready for that. I need to do this at my own pace. Working for a publisher would mean having deadlines—someone else’s. Not to mention the diligence and effort it takes to pursue first getting an agent and then finding a publisher to begin with. All worthy goals. Just not for me, not now.
2. I think I can do it right. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t do it. There are so many resources available to educate and assist the author intent on publishing her own book, it’s silly not to take advantage of them. There’s no excuse for putting out an inferior product, and I don’t plan to.
3. My goals are…untraditional. I plan to donate any proceeds (notice I didn’t say profits—I realize there might not be any) to the American Humane Society. That’s right: Every book purchased will help an animal in need.
I might make more money publishing with a traditional publisher, but the risk is at this point that I might not ever FIND a traditional publisher. Also…my goal is not to make money. Timber’s quest is to save animals. Mine is to help them. That’s what this book is all about.
If you can sense a hint of my take-control personality leaking through, that’s fair. That’s also influencing my decision, and that’s definitely one of the advantages of self-publishing. But I’m not rushing into this—by the time this book hits the virtual shelves, it will be edited, formatted, and polished. It will be backed by a business plan and my best attempts at marketing. I LOVE this book, and I want to share it with the world. Like all the best things in life, it will be worth waiting for.