This post turned out a little longer than I expected, so I apologize to any who were looking for a quick read.
When diving into the world of self-publishing, which is what my wife and I did for any who didn’t know that, you can come across many helpful hints that conflict with one another. Some will also conflict with your own sensibilities and those are the ones I wanted to write about today.
Very recently I came across an Amazon preview of the first ten pages of a “Do What I’m Writing About and Become A Self-Published Rock Star!” or something like that. I won’t name the author or book, but chances are that if you are trying to find any advice that you can to help you self or Indie Publish, you may have come across it as well. It has one of those titles that is awesome because it reaches out and grabs a hold of you. Then you read the little bit that Amazon will allow and realize this person doesn’t really know what they are talking about, they just want to sell another self-help book.
Anyway, the part that bugged me wasn’t what was different about the book. What bugged me was the part that was the same across so many other books and blogs and articles that want to ‘help’ Indie Authors. So many have said that the key to becoming successful is to write what is already popular and capitalize by ‘riding the wave’.
We all know that phrase, the one at the top of this post. ‘Great Minds Think Alike!’. I call bullshit to that. As one of my childhood cartoon buddies once said, ‘Great Minds Think For Themselves’. I heard that line when I was 8 and in the past 21 years it is still there, ringing true every time I sit down to type.
Sure, I’d love to be able to put a finished book out there and have it sell millions so I can quit my day job, my wife can quit her’s and neither of us would ever have to have a ‘boss’ again. But, it just doesn’t feel right to try and bend my style, my outlook on the world to what people feel is ‘popular’. My wife and I write what sounds good to us and what makes us ‘feel’. Twilight makes me want to stab myself in the eye with a pencil, just so I can stop reading it. I refuse, flat out not gonna happen, to type something like that. I don’t care that ‘sensitive’ vampires are the big thing right now. If, and that is a very big if, I write a story about a vampire or even a story that has a vampire as a minor character, that soulless, undead creature that feeds on the blood of the living is going to stay true to what vampires really are. The creature would also be kick-ass, not a wimp that sparkles in the sunlight.
It seems odd that I would pick on that series since when it came out, it was among the first of its kind. Twilight did break the mold, but from what I saw, it didn’t do it in a good way. But I’ve stayed on that topic too long, sorry.
The reason I pick on Twilight is because it is the big thing for Paranormal fantasy right now. And because Full Moon Rising has a werewolf in it people have tried to drop it into that category, which I hate. Full Moon Rising is not Paranormal, its old school Fantasy, with a bend toward Dark Fantasy because of the way it ends. One of my co-workers could not believe we ended the book the way we did, as have many others, but they all told us that it was an amazing book.
So, I take pride in that. Even if it never hits the best seller list, I’m proud of what I wrote. Every time someone tells me they can’t wait for the next book in the series I beam with pride. Full Moon Rising is not your normal story, not even your normal Fantasy since the use of magic is minimal, but people like it, I like it and I can honestly say that there isn’t another story out there like it. I write what sounds interesting to me, whether or not it sells, and I don’t care. It would be awesome to be able to live off of what I write, but I will not sacrifice my individuality to do it. Our stories will take you on an adventure and not let go. When the dust settles in the last few pages of the book you’ll love the journey, smile about the memories and mourn the friends you lost. But then, you can always turn back to page one and begin again.
You can hit the Sample Chapter tab at the top of this page and read the whole first chapter of Full Moon Rising. It will introduce you to many of the characters and set you along an unforgettable journey. And if you feel like you want to read the whole thing you can go here to purchase it. I dare you to read and not like it.