Friday, April 2, 2010

Brave New World of Publishing Oneself - Indie Go! Revisit All Those Rejected Tiles w/an Eye to Publishing Them! by Rob Walker

In the past when an agent exhausted his or her avenues and contacts, a manuscript was put up on a shelf or in a drawer, and I would go onto another story. I have always come back to those orphaned tales, however—tales not altogether forgotten, tales that call out to find an audience, and I’d tinker and rewrite and re-submit, sure that someone somewhere would see the value in the story that I saw right along.

When I began writing at an early age, I wrote the kinds of books I liked, those boy’s adventure tales inspired by Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, stories set during historical moments with panoramic vistas as backdrop. But once turned down for the fiftieth or sixtieth time by editors, what happens to a good book shouldn’t happen to a good book. But as rejections pile up, you move from writing what does not appear to be profitable or marketable or currently in vogue or “does not fit our current publishing program” (designed to keep you out) –a program that would keep Mark Twain out if he were alive and writing today….

So I stopped doing YA books and moved into horror as everyone at the time had a program in search of the next Stephen King…and then I moved into mystery and suspense and police procedurals when I was not discovered to be the next Stephen King (aha, no one was ever destined to be the next King). Still on my shelves, always pleading with me to get back to them, were and are these many young adult historical novels as yet unpublished and UNread. And recently, I snatched an adult historical out of the mothballs, rewrote it again for the sixtieth time, and published Children of Salem myself after getting some tough love editing done on it from good readers. That book is my top grossing Kindle title today and has sold a total of 410 copies. That’s a LOT more readers of that not commercial enough manuscript than the number who were reading it when it slept in my desk.

So what to do with my YA historical novels calling out, yearning to be FREE…to find a readership? These titles listed in the order in which they were written are:

BattleStormer – a tale of a young Viking boy who must, when his father dies, become the navigator for the ship BattleStormer. It tells the tale of the first white men to set foot on the American continent and of a budding romance.

Animiki of the Fire Nation is a Pottowatomi Indian brave story. Young Animiki must use his head to outwit the ancient enemy of his people.

The Cannoneers is set at the time of the American Revolution and is in the tradition of Johnny Tremain, but it tells the tale of how America got its first artillery together and the man behind it.

Yukon Gold is set as the title suggest during the mad gold rush to Alaska. It is told through the eyes of a young boy.

Transcontinental is the tale of a young boy who helps build the first North American Transcontinental railroad and the obstacles he faces.

Will any of these titles do well as Kindle books? I dunno…but I do know that in the older world of publishing they were destined to be Oak Tree Publication hardcovers until shit happened. They would have been published by the San Diego publishers of YAs had the company not been run into the ground by a guy named “Lord” who bought it up for a write off? Well now with the Kindle books option, a new alternate book world/dimension has opened up, an alternate universe of publishing…and it gives me work to do that will fill my summer as I rewrite, polish, and Kindlize these titles. I also have plans to continue several series characters killed off in the other publishing universe, the one that killed off Dr. Jessica Coran, Detective Lucas Stonecoat, and Inspector Alastair Ransom. I am so sure that I can revive these characters cut off in their prime with hard work and determination in the Brave New World of the Indie Author, thanks to my blood, sweat, tears, and Amazon Kindle. No waiting for what a publisher suspects might be commercially viable. No publisher could ever keep up with me, but I can.

That’s all for now. Keep writing; do find me on Facebook where we have lively discussions and a lot of humor. And now all the titles are in for the Titanic book and you can vote for your choice by going to Google and searching out Dirty Deeds – Advice.

RoboWriter Rob


L. Diane Wolfe said...

Go for it! And don't forget the new iBookstore, too.

Anonymous said...

Rob, I'm astounded by your list of YA books. They sound like perfect reading for young adults. Heck, I'd like to read them myself. Get them onto Kindle and/or a POD site and promote them as a group, not one by one. There's a whole shelf of good reading there. Best of luck!
Pat Browning

Chris Verstraete said...

They sound good Rob.. but do you sleep? Or are these written by you doppelganger as you doze?

Morgan Mandel said...

Once it's all set up, you can sit back and watch the money roll in, right?

Morgan Mandel