Why I’m Releasing a Print Version of My Self-Published Book

 

Boss

Because I want to, that’s why.

It’s much more cost efficient to simply release an Ebook because it is very unlikely that you will sell many print books. Still, it’s not about that. I’m not sure if I will ever publish a print version of any of my future books. But this one? This one’s gonna be a book that I can hold in my hands.

For the most part, I’m working hard to think like a businesswoman. When you self-publish, you are both the author and the publisher. You’re the creative talent and the business owner. The author is the one with the creative fire and passion. She’s the one that writes with her heart and fights for her characters and her story. She wants to love the cover. She wants to publish the book the way she always dreamed it would be.

The publisher’s job is to publish a book that readers will want to buy and read. She demands that the story be perfectly edited and that it will have a marketable concept. The cover should grab attention, yet still be easily identifiable by genre. Her job is to be analytical and to make solid business decisions.

Releasing a self-published print book is probably not a wise business decision. Very few books are likely to sell, and it costs far more to pay a printer than it does to simply publish an Ebook.

Right now, I’ve got the businesswoman side tied up and gagged in the closet. She can come out once I have a print copy of Queen Henry. I know it’s a business decision that I’m making with my heart instead of my head, but I don’t care!

I’m the boss.

I make the rules.

I’ve been a writer for almost two decades.

This is my favorite book and i want to see it in print.

Any questions, businesswoman??

I didn’t think so.

I promise I won’t always make poor business decisions, but they say pick your battles and I chose this one.

I promise that seeing Queen Henry in print and being able to flip through the pages will be worth it, whatever the cost.

So there.

–          Linda Fausnet

P.S. Since writing this article, I’ve decided to publish ALL of my books in paperback. Because I want to. So Nyahhh.

 

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Birth of a Gay Author

Today, please welcome guest blogger Brad Windhauser!

 

Writer

In 1995, I was a college junior creative writing major. I was also newly out but unclear to the extent I should let this impact my work.

I was really looking forward to taking a screenwriting course. Not only was I happy to get a crack at something besides fiction and nonfiction, but I had an awesome idea for a comedy about what it was like to work in a restaurant. Inspired by several viewings of Clerks, I knew I had a winner.

On my workshop day, I read my first ten pages to the class, inserting chuckles where I deemed appropriate. When I finished, I couldn’t wait for the positive feedback to flow. Crickets. My professor cleared her throat and asked across the conference table, “So, you’re a writing major?”

This is the type of feedback squashes a young writer, and I was devastated. My teacher told me to take a few days and then call her over the weekend. We’d get at some better ideas.

I wasn’t all that comfortable talking with professors over the phone—it seemed really personal and I didn’t know this professor at all. But while we talked, she asked what I was passionate about. I rattled off the usual: music, books, drinking, etc. I was waiting for her to start snoring on the other end of the line. She asked again: “No, really, what matters to you?”

I thought for a moment, took a deep breath and then said, “Well, I did just come out.”

I felt bold saying this to someone I didn’t know, and a bit confrontational, as I was somewhat daring her to take the point and run with it. Was I crossing a line by bringing this up? Did I have a right to explore this in my writing? The best thing I figured I had going for me in the moment was that she was my professor, and if she had a problem with it, I’m sure there was someone I could talk to. Still, I held my breath.

So I waited for her to maybe hang up, brush off the comment… I don’t know, do something incredibly dismissive. But instead, her voice perked up. “There, that’s a place to start.” The rest of the conversation she continued to probe how I felt about being young and gay at that time—Ellen had yet to come out on TV, so the culture was shifting but it was not exactly welcoming. Given this, taking on “gay” content was a risk—an artist might be embraced for being bold, brave but as equally shunned for pulling back the curtain on this slice of life people were not yet all that comfortable to discuss openly.

Eventually, I mentioned that I had this idea for a story, based on what I’d heard about this ex-gay ministry movement. I was incensed that these people were brainwashing gay people into being something they weren’t. I was over 21, so I felt safe from being carted off to one of these counselors or whatever they billed themselves as. But some people, either because they were too young to have a say in their own lives or because they were religious and the Bible was telling them that they way they were born (having same-sex attraction) was “wrong” were not so lucky. Someone had to speak up. What would happen if more people bought into this?

And so I gave this idea some thought—what if a group within a church was not getting the results they wanted from their “conversion therapy”? Would they try and find a researcher who was willing to probe and find the “gay gene”? And if they found such a person, would this person be able to find it? And if he did, what would people do with that information? And what if this researcher had a family, who would be impacted by his work? How would he be able to even carry out his experiments? I figured he’d have to be able to experiment on somebody, and so this group would find a way to seduce and then kill healthy subjects. But the subjects whose health made them unfit test subjects, they’d have to dump the bodies. This is when the cops would get involved. And the lead detective, what if he was gay?

That’s your story, she said.

And although the screenplay I eventually wrote was not good, it served as the basis for what became my first novel, Regret. In this novel I flushed out the three storylines—the religious group, the researcher and his family, and the lead detective and his failing relationship with his partner. Through these characters and storylines, I developed themes that I knew weren’t just of interest to me but also to the gay community in general. I crafted stories through this book that I hoped would shine a light on something that needed attention for the purpose of starting a conversation about these issues.

I will always be grateful to Jackie Apple for pushing me in her class to write towards things that mattered to me. She wasn’t the only one to ever do this but she was the first to get me to buy into it completely. I haven’t looked back since.

I was nervous that people would label me as a gay author then and still think about this at times now, but at the end of the day, if an author like me don’t tell our stories, no one will—or at least not well. I’m proud of the impact being gay has on my work.

In addition to Regret (which is available on Amazon HERE, you can follow my current blog where, as a gay author, I chronicle my experience reading the Bible for the first time. I was curious as to why this revered book is so often used to justify bigotry towards the LGBT community.

You can follow me on Twitter at @VirgoWriter.