Publishing My Novel– The False Start

After the early years—discussed in a previous blog—which ended in 2002, my writing career lay dormant. I thought about writing, even spent a couple minutes working on novel ideas occasionally, but that was it. My day job dominated my life, at least in my mind.

In 2005, I read an article in the regional paper about local authors who had published books through on-line publishers. I did some research and decided to give Mistaken Identity another shot. I converted the old manuscript file to my new computer software and brushed it up a bit, then sent the sample via email to PublishAmerica.com. They soon requested the full manuscript and subsequently offered me a contract for publication. Their only request:  to change the title to Suspect because there was already a Mistaken Identity in their catalog. I agreed and signed the contract.

PublishAmerica.com was basically a print-on-demand publisher. I didn’t know what that meant, but the terms of the contract seemed okay—I didn’t have to buy any books or pay for publication, I would get a royalty, and they would send an announcement about publication to my list of up to 100 people. Sounded really easy.

Once the book was released, I bought some books at wholesale cost. I did a few book store and library events and sold quite a few (emphasis on few) books, including to some of my friends and relatives.

Unfortunately, my job took a turn and became more demanding in 2006 and I was unable to continue marketing the book myself. PublishAmerica.com had completed their end of the bargain, so they were no help. Of course, the reality is that most publishers can do only so much for a writer, especially a new one. The bulk of the marketing and sales work is on the author.

Although I tried unsuccessfully to activate my writing career in 2008 and 2011, the efforts were short-lived. I’ve read about many individuals who have been able to carry off a demanding “day job” and a successful writing career. Alas, I was not one of them.

I set my eyes ahead and began strategizing toward a goal of “retiring” to write fulltime. More about that challenge in a future blog.

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