Choosing the Road Less Traveled

We’re everywhere.  We write in basements and in attics, in closets and offices.  Stephen King used to take his typewriter into the bathroom of his trailer so that he could write in privacy.

Then he got published.

But we are the pre-published, the unpublished or the self-published.  We don’t have contracts and we don’t have agents.  We don’t have publishers. We belong to writers’ groups or we harass our spouses and friends to read our works of genius.

We’re told that if we follow the rules then our good work will out.  We’re told that if we write the perfect query letter, the perfect synopsis and the perfect novel, we will snag an agent, who will snag the publisher, who will snag the reading public.

But the publishing news gets worse every day.  Publishers and book chains are reeling, whining that no one reads anymore, that Amazon is the root of all evil, that e-publishing is just another format.

They’re standing there like a deer in the headlights, hoping everything will just go back to the way it was in the 20th century and new technology won’t hit.

I say enough.

In the last five years I’ve heard from published authors, my idols, that publishers will not promote your novel at all unless you’re one of the Big Names.  Major book chains will not give your novel prominent placement unless your publisher pays for it.  If you’re a newbie, that’s not going to happen.  Even if published, a writer may still wallow in obscurity.

If I have to market my own book (author-centric marketing is the new buzz) then what is the publishing industry doing for me?  Second rate distribution, apparently.  Editing?  More and more authors are hiring editors BEFORE they submit to a publisher or agent.  Your work must be print ready.

So I’m taking the plunge: e-publishing.  No print-on-demand self-publisher for me.  No boxes of books.  No trucks and no book chains.  I’m going all electronic, baby!

But it’s not a matter of just throwing up a text document, not if I want to sell anything.  So I’m going to share with you the pitfalls and successes, the secrets and the lies and all the adventures on my road to e-publishing.  It’s not for everyone.  You may not want to try this at home.

I’ll go first.

My name is Michael McPherson.  If I die in obscurity, I will be satisfied that I attained that after great effort.

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Mike is the author of the 1000 Souls series that includes: Sacrifice the Living, Generation Apocalypse, and Heretics Fall. Warning: they contain violence, adventure, fast-paced action and hopeless love.

6 comments, add yours.

Joan McPherson

Way to go, baby! We secret writers have to find other ways of getting readers. I’m all for it.

Personally, when I want to just comment or make suggestions and make sure I will be read I use snail mail. Send anyone a greeting card shaped envelope, mark it “Personal & Confidential”, tuck in the letter and results are amazing.

Keep the length to one page though, – especially if you want a reply.

p.s. (I love post scrips for personal mail). (They’re a bonus). Keep on blogging….please

Rebecca M. Senese

Don’t be too hasty to completely reject “traditional” publishing. Why not best of both worlds? Do one and then the other, give yourself all the options. This is what the new world of publishing is really offering us writers: options. And I say bring it on!

Looking forward to hearing about your exploits. I’m planning to put up a couple of short stories by year end. Now is the best time to be a writer!


    Well, I wouldn’t reject anyone who approached me with a reasonable book deal 🙂 I actually agree with you. Technology has made this a new and exciting time for authors. Old publishing models will have to change or die.

Vicki Delany

Great site. Good luck with the book, Michael. But I agree with Rebecca. Don’t throw out the ‘trad’ publishers. Want your book in libraries – and that can be thousands of sales? Even in the back shelves of bookstores you haven’t dropped into with cap in hand? Only a reputable publisher can get you there.


Come On

Have a nice day


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