Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Self-Publishing & the Brownies All Brownies Dream of Being

If you follow me on facebook and twitter, you know about a big announcement I made almost two weeks ago. But before I get into that I want to talk about something very important: Brownies. 

Several weeks back, my doctor put me on a low salt diet, which has been a tragedy to the world of baking. Or at least my coworkers and fellow gamers, who were getting used to the variety of exciting treats I literally cooked up. So I went on a quest to find recipes without a lot of salt in them, which excluded anything with peanut butter, marshmallows, baking powder, baking soda, buttermilk, candy pieces... Basically anything. But! Then I discovered that brownies had very little salt in them. And really, if you use unsalted butter and leave out the tiny bit of salt, Presto! You have delicious salt-free baked goods.

But I had this problem. You see, the Safeway near me used to make the most amazing brownies. They were amazing. I had to stop buying them because I'd eat them too fast. So when I went to make brownies, I wanted to find a recipe that was just as good, but it was hard. But I persevered. I combed the internet looking for pictures that looked like my beloved Safeway brownies, and eventually I found these. I was nervous about doing them for a while, because they require a makeshift double boiler, and that seems awfully fancy for my rudimentary skills, but I gave them a shot. I added half a cup of sugar, because the notes at the bottom seemed to suggest I would like that better, and OMG. They were amazing. The best homemade brownies I have ever had ever. I will probably now make them too much. I might even be a little bad and try them with peanut butter chips.

Okay, so now that we've gotten the important thing out of the way, let's talk about my upcoming book! The title is Catching a Man, and it's the first book in the Valeriel Investigations series. The story is about Kadin Stone, a female detective in a 1950s-esque monarchy where women are oppressed and the police force is a privatized series of for-profit companies. If that sounds a little "different" to you, that was my goal. I wanted to write something completely different than had ever been written before. To that end, I think it is very different from the Earthbound Angels series. But, then, I have seen many interviews with authors where they said their new books were big departures from their old work, and I couldn't see a stylistic difference. So I don't promise different, but if you liked Oracle and Chaos, that's all to the good.

So, self-publishing. I wrestled with the decision to do this for quite a long time. There's still a lot of stigma against self-publishing in the industry, and to do it professionally is costly. And I'm trying to do it as professionally as possible. I've hired the same cover artist and formatter who did Oracle and Chaos, so I know he's good. I have contracted with a professional editor who will be rigorous with my work. I'm looking into promotion opportunities now---Net Galley, blog tours, etc. Of course, with none of that is there any guarantee that I'll actually sell any books, but I'm actually okay with that. I mean, I definitely want to sell books, and I'm going to try my darnedest to do so. But the most important thing to me is to put out a product I can be proud of.

I've considered self-publishing from a lot of angles, including the state of the publishing industry, the marketability of Catching a Man, my own expectations and capabilities in terms of writing and publicity, and the time it would take to get into the hands of my readers. And I decided that self-publishing Catching a Man was the best choice for me and this book at this point in my life. And hopefully it will work out, because once I publish the first book, I'm going to have to write and publish all eight in the series.

"Hold up a minute!" I'm sure you are now saying. "Forget this self-pubbing or not self-pubbing. Tell us about this eight book series you have planned!" 

Sigh. Yes, my series do get to be on the long side. This week I came up with something awful to do to Carrie in the twelfth Earthbound Angels book. And I write slowly. (I'm working on Earthbound Angels 3, I promise! Just... slowly.) But I think Valeriel Investigations has a really great story arc that will unfold over the course of the 8 books. And unlike Earthbound Angels, I'm pretty sure the series will stop there and not stretch into infinity.

So when will Catching a Man hit the e-shelves? I'm hoping for November at this point, because I'd like to have it for Chessiecon, but I want to make sure I take the time to give it the editing it needs. I should have a cover later this summer, and I plan for it to be gorgeous enough to tide you over.

So. Yeah. New book. New series. Self-publishing. Wish me luck!

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to the world of indie publishers, Elizabeth! Sounds like you're taking the correct approach. The cardinal rule is: publish a professional and quality product. Makes all the rest much easier! Oh, and thanks for the brownie recipe! Best of luck!