It’s official. My first self published book is coming out on May 30th. “The River City Chronicles” has been in the works for two and a half years. I will soon be a “hybrid” author – one with stories published both traditionally and by myself.
When I first sat down to write “River City,” the story of a bunch of friends in Sacramento as a serial tale on my blog, I had no idea where they’d end up a hundred and two chapters later… or that I’d end up here. with “River City” as my first self publication. I’ve always wanted to be a published author, and for nearly as long, I’ve dreamed about being able to publish a book myself.
I first started my career in publishing in 1985 – the year that our English teacher in High School, Mrs. Jeanne Brondino (now Jeanne Rana – we’re still FB friends) first assigned a series of essay topics on parents and teenagers. Somewhere during the series, she made a startling announcement to the class. She knew a publisher, and he wanted to turn our papers into a book for parents and teens.
She asked for volunteers, and five of us responded and stuck it out – it was an amazing process, including a week-long workshop at her beautiful home over the summer. Ironically, two of the five student authors would later come out as gay and lesbian.
After three years of hard work, “Raising Each Other” was born, illustrated with comics drawn by yours truly and complete with a (now) embarrassing “what they looked like then” group photo. The book sold out its first printing and part of a second, and launched me into the world of publishing.
I took a job as the marketing, promotions, and customer service manager at Hunter House, the press that published the book. It was a small place LOL…
From there, I moved on to Publisher’s Group West, taking a job in customer service, and later worked part-time at Barnes & Noble, too.
The whole time, I dreamed of being a published author, and of someday taking the publishing reins myself.
Now, here I am. Technology has reached the point where this is possible, and even (almost) easy. Looking back, it’s hard to believe it all began 33 years ago – how old does that make me?
I have finally achieved both of my dreams, and in a couple days will hold my first self published book in my hands, and will put it up on “The Shelf.”
I’m still really uncertain about the whole self pub thing – will it work out? Will anyone buy the damned thing? Did I make any grave mistakes along the way that will come back to haunt me?
But that’s okay. This is a learning process. Whatever I get wrong about this book, I’ll get right the next time.
So I close my eyes, take a deep breath, and smile.
To my hybrid author friends – how did you feel when your first self-published book came out? Did you make any big mistakes along the way? What did you learn?