Okay! So! I am both excited and proud to announce that I’ve made the decision to self-publish my alt-history romantic urban fantasy series, which starts with JAGGED EMERALD CITY.
This has been such an interesting journey. At the beginning of the year, making this decision would have resulted in me fighting this lingering sense of “I gave up” on traditional publishing, that it just got “too hard” or I got “too impatient.” But this past six months has been such a discovery of realizing I don’t want to publish my Obsidian Divide series traditionally.
Why? Let me tell you:
- I have way too many ideas about covers and formatting and everything else that giving up that control is hard to swallow. I knew I’d make peace with it. But if I don’t have to, why?
- I… don’t actually know how the series ends. It could go a multitude of ways, and this series is so much an exploration of this world and these characters. Traditional publishing would balk at that to begin with, let alone having to cram this into “traditional” storytelling structure is just… icky. Again, if I don’t have to, why would I?
- This story is really personal. Yeah, yeah, I know, join the club. But there’s so much about mental health and trauma and dealing with crap that makes the story… not as tight as it “should be” but is really a bedrock of what it is.
So I’ve come to this glorious, freeing realization: I don’t want to cram my story into what’s expected or needed for the kind of publishing that I’d originally been aiming for. I can choose my covers. I can figure it out as I go. This series can be whatever it ends up being.
Do I need to hire experts (editors, designers, etc) so that I can be sure this isn’t just a hubris-filled exercise? Absolutely.
But in the teeter-totter relationship between “art” and “business” that is writing, this is where this series needs to sit. With more of the art and flexibility in there, and less of the concerns of business.
If the series flops [because it’s too weird or slow-build or whatever various issues that may conflict with what kind of structure sells]? Okay. Bring it. 🙂 This isn’t going to make or break my career and at least I’m doing something instead of just waiting around forever.
I made this romantic alt-history fantasy story my way and that’s how it needs to be.
(Don’t get me wrong, the reality of dealing with that will suck, but I’m on a high of confidence right now, don’t ruin it.)
I have books in the future that may be more right for traditional publishing. (I have a duo-logy in mind right now that I’ll probably position that way.) Because I am not one story, I am not one method, and this is all a journey to figure out what works for me as an artist and author.
Self-doubt will have it’s time later. Right now, I smile towards the future for the first time in a long time [and prepare to hire a copyeditor, cover designer, re-do my website, learn formatting, figure out how to get my book to readers through Amazon/B&N/Kobo/Apple/Google/Ingram Spark/etc, get my newsletter going, my social media plan nailed down, contact reviewers, buy ISBNs… and I’m sure there’s more to that list].
I’m so freaking excited.
Since I’m really doing this now, I’ve officially launched my own self-hosted website. RKBrainerd.com is going to be where I am from now on. This is a little sad to be moving on from awakedragon.wordpress.com, but it’s also really awesome. I feel like I’m leveling up into my next form. I hope you’ll go and check out my new website (which looking freaking spectacular, if I do say so myself). Also, if you’re interested, I did start a sign-up where you can get first look alerts directly in your inbox so you don’t miss anything.
Interested in reading this alt-history romantic urban fantasy that’s long and messy and seductive? You can subscribe here, and I’ll be rolling out sneak peaks, gifts, and goodies as I nail down a timeline.