Over a decade ago, I self-published a book called Sings With Stars. It was largely an unsuccessful endeavor. There are several reasons for this, but the most important is that my long history of working in visual art did not give me an understanding of the different types of editing or what that process entails. I’ve always had an abundance of DIY spirit and enthusiasm. This caused me to publish prematurely. My book lacked critical world and character building and served mainly as a foil for personal catharsis.
About three years ago, working with a university-level writing professor and editor, I re-wrote that book, changing its era, plotting, characters, narration, pov, etc. I spent a lot of time researching and world-building. Now that book is ready to be published.
After several months of submitting that book to agents and independent publishers, I’ve come to some conclusions. My book does not fit neatly into one category, and the subject matter is a bit too niche for many established publishers.
So, I began looking at self-publishing again. Initially, I wanted the credibility that traditional publishing offers, as many make assumptions about the quality of self-published books. But my Gen X ideals and DIY spirit bristle at the cumbersome and elitist process of traditional publishing,
Self-publishing has changed significantly in the last decade and is shedding its stigma. But I’m rarely satisfied with doing anything the way everybody else does. So, I decided to start something different.
My thoughts narrowed in on beginning a publishing company and inviting friends to join me in this venture. However, a better idea grew from this initial spark. I’ve invited a few trusted friends to form a Publishing Collective. It’s an idea gaining traction in different areas of the country as writers declare independence from the traditional publishing establishment, where their wishes and royalties take a back seat. The time for a more artist-centric way of publishing has come.
The obvious challenges of a group working together in a more egalitarian fashion toward common goals takes careful planning. The particulars of what this publishing collective will look like are still in the conceptual stage. I’m confident this group’s amazing hearts and minds will find innovative ways to surmount these challenges.
The first book Paradox Publishing Collective will release is my own, Heart of Ember, in late May 2023.
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