Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

"Billion Dollar Ball$": why self-publish an e-novel? The market has changed.

   Why would I self-publish my e-novel, Billion Dollar Ball$?

   I started undergrad at DePauw with plans to become a lawyer. Along the course to my bachelor of arts degree in political science—aren’t those two terms contradictory?—the liberal arts aspect of my education kicked in and I learned about being a human being. I no longer wanted to be a lawyer.

   I took two courses in English at DePauw, but always had read and decided I wanted to write. My last year at DPU I met Darel Lindquist, an alum who is a songwriter and screenwriter, who gave me advice on how to write and how to go about being a writer.

   I have read accounts of veterans of World War II that their plans for life were interrupted by that conflict. Family matters arose and, after commencement in the spring of 1978, I moved back to Kokomo to help with my family’s construction business.

   I kept a journal, wrote some short stories, and started a novel. I moved to West Lafayette and some of my short stories and some poems were published by The Independent, the monthly put out by the Off-Campus Student Association.

   A move to Chicago put a stopper in publication of things I wrote. I moved back to West Lafayette. I had (roughly) ten short stories and two dozen poems published and three novels written. Nothing had sold. I had writer’s block, too.

   I decided to go to law school. And I took to law school. I enjoyed the study of the law and the issues that such study embraced. There were people who needed help in a system skewed to the benefit of others with political and economic power.

   The thing was, I got a chance to write—every day. The format and content of legal briefs and memoranda differ from a novel. (I suppose one could write a novel in the format of a legal brief with contents fictionalized. Some would claim there are legal briefs filed each day that are works of fiction.) I was able to use words. I enjoyed that aspect of my legal work greatly.

   I started my fourth novel in 1991. I finished the third draft in 1999. I sent out 186 query packages to publishers and publishing agents. When—finally—I got a publisher interested, the result was my loss. Nineteen Seventy-Five received good reviews, but received little publicity and sales were few. (I have copies for sale if anyone is interested.)

   In 2006 I finished my eighth novel (several in between were written but did not meet my standards to be published) and sought to get it published. I realized all the publisher before had done was go to Lightning Source, an arm of Ingram, and run copies of my book. I cut out the "middle man"—the publisher—and did that myself. I saved money. I spent money on a PR firm that got me onto a radio show and into one review of Crime Pay$. I lost less money on the PR thing than I had the previous go-round with the publisher, but the outcome was the same.

   Billion Dollar Ball$ is my tenth novel, third that I will have published. It is an e-novel and will be available for $2.99. E-publishing means less overhead and greater ease of publication. Self-publishing means I have joined the great numbers of writers who have abandoned conventional publishing in which large corporations pass on the risk of previously unpublished writers.

   We will have a launch party on Thursday, January 31 from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Broad Ripple Tavern. All (21 years of age or older) are invited.


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