A flurry of writing news this week, partly out of coincidence, partly by design.
I had announced awhile ago that my short story, Six Minutes, had been accepted for publication with Ayris Magazine. It was scheduled for their April edition but the print copy has yet to materialize. However, they have published it on their site, so there’s that.
The timing for that is coincidental because I will be attending the Philadelphia Writers’ Conference Friday through Saturday. I have been to one day writers’ conferences before but this will be my first multi-day experience. It’s nice to have that published story in my quiver going in, so I can make it sound like I know what I’m doing.
The grand experiment I refer to is that after spending too much time reading and thinking about self-publishing, I decided the best way to learn about it is to just dive in, so I did. I hope to write more in the near future about the process and the decisions I made along the way. The short version is that I decided to use my story, King’s Long Search as a test case. I chose that, in part, because it is an awkward length (about 17,000 words or 50+ printed pages). Too long for a short story too short for a conventionally published standalone piece. In my reading, I’ve come across many people who have rather adamant opinions about self-publishing vs. traditional publishing. I am not one of those people. I feel there is a place for both and my situation is a good example of this. I would have a devil of a time finding a home for King’s Long Search via traditional channels, so it seems like a good candidate for self-publishing.
I also chose this piece as my first foray into self-publishing because I don’t see it as something that has broad appeal. I worked a great deal of ambiguity into it, which I know will frustrate readers looking for a clear explanation about what is going on. This isn’t a story that would ever have a wide readership, so I feel like I can use it to test the waters. I feel like if I make mistakes with this, I won’t be as concerned as I would be with something that I think has a better chance of success.
I purposely timed the release of King’s Long Search to coincide with the conference. It is available now, but I’ll be running a promotion over the weekend (Friday, June 7 – Monday, June 10) where you will be able to download it for free. Self-publishing offers many distribution channels, but to start with, this will be available only for Kindle.