One of my biggest regrets as a writer is that I started doing it before I had any earthly idea how to do it well. I know as a former writing teacher that you have to start by starting and you learn to write better by writing. There is no substitute for that redundantly repetitive redundancy of practice. And that is the mistake I made with the first novel… not the first one I ever wrote… the first one I ever tried to get published. I finished slapping the stupid thing together in primarily superfluous paragraphs and short chapters, and then sent it off to a publisher before I lost all willpower to try. The mistake was in choosing a publisher that was revolutionizing the publishing industry with cheap-o flim-flam tricks. If you have ever considered Publish America as an option… don’t. They work well as a way to get your students published and excite them about writing, but you can send them a bag full of grocery lists and they will publish it, telling you they have no intention of changing your unique style… all editing is left up to you. It is a crap guarantee that guarantees crap, no matter how good a writer you are. If I had wasted one of my good babies on the venture, they would own the rights to it for seven years. They do diddly-do-dah to promote or market your book. Everything is up to the author. They don’t even read the book. They make some effort to contact your family and people who know you and hawk the book at ridiculous prices that I wouldn’t pay for Hemingway and are satisfied with the profits they make selling a dozen copies.
Now that the term of my contract is up, I have to decide what to do with this novel. It is a hog-slop mish-mash of words and weirdness that no one could every truly appreciate as literature. It is juvenile blather that I would be truly ashamed of if more people had bought it and wasted their time reading it. (I don’t regret my friends and relatives reading it. They deserve that fate for one thing or another over the years. No one is without sin.)
You can see that I have made some attempts already to adapt it into something somewhat more-or-less interesting by using my rights to adaptation to make it into a graphic novel (These panels are merely rough draft form. If I do this, it will end up in a much more finished, web-comic form.) I am able to reclaim the entire book as of October of 2014. I just haven’t decided yet if it is worth the effort.
It was a learning experience to do this Aeroquest book-like thing. I learned a lot about what not to do. But I did end up $12 dollars in the black from the experience. The second book was a much more expensive proposition. I paid I-Universe for editing, proofreading, and training in marketing and promotion. They took the time to teach me all the proper steps and how to work towards eventual success. They even set up this blog for me and trained me how to do it. But I had to pay them. At this point, three years later, I am still in the red with this book. And they never mention that to be a success as an Indie novelist, you have to write more than one of these danged novel-things. Hoo-boy! But I am on it. I will write to my last breath, and I guarantee you that I will tell some stories.