Carl from America writes: Hey, man, how’d you get all them dang ol’ robots and explosions in my electronic book? I wanna do that with my pappy’s farm stories ‘fore the harvest come. Well, Carl, publishing your book of allegorical farm stories is actually pretty easy, if you know the true secret. But, can the true secret just be told to anyone, especially someone from America, a country that is not known for keeping secrets? My research says yes, yes it can. So, Carl, let’s take a look at the steps involved in publishing and maybe, just maybe, learn the true secret of publishing. Step 0: Finish Your Book Let’s assume you’ve already written your book, because like it or not, you can’t publish a book if you don’t have a book to publish (not the true secret). And when I say finish your book, I mean your book has been rewritten, revised, edited, and proofed. Alpha and Beta readers have all given feedback. You’ve pored over it for months or years, making it just as perfect as it can be. If it’s December 1st and you just finished your 50,000 words for NaNoWriMo, you don’t have a book to publish. Yet. Step 1: Talk Yourself Out of Traditional Publishing The first thing you’ll want to do is research publishing houses and literary agents. There are hundreds of websites on the world wide website collective that list where you can send your unsolicited manuscript. Visit enough and you’ll start seeing common requirements, like: a cover letter hyping the book and yourself a spoiler-filled synopsis of 1, 5, or N pages an outline of the story the first N chapters of the story, double-spaced, Times New Roman 12 or Courier, name and title at the top of every page, page numbers centered, no adjectives as the final word of any line, paper smelling vaguely of peaches, bound in human flesh the entire goddamn manuscript printed and mailed via “media mail” a self-addressed stamped envelope a self-addressed stamped postcard six to twelve months to allow for a response You may be tempted to actually start producing the above materials, especially the synopsis, because really how hard can it be to write a synopsis of your own story? Answer: rather difficult. Writing a synopsis is like writing technical documentation — there’s no soul in it and at the end you want to die. At this point in the process, just say to yourself: What’s the point? They’re just going to say no anyway. I should just skip this part, go straight to self-publishing, and get on with the next book. Congratulations! You’ve just learned the true secret, which is to lower your expectations. Step 2: Choose Your Format(s) If you’re old enough, you’d probably like nothing more than to hold your book in your hands and watch as your tears blot the pages. While there are many options for turning your Word doc into printed pages, you can save yourself some time by choosing between two on-demand publishing services: Createspace and Lulu. Before…
Great Read (but how the hell do you say the title?) Boy meets girl. Boy and girl fall in love. Girl falls out of love, so boy makes a digital copy of girl, who turns into a cyber god bent on revenge. Just your typical teenage romance for the digital age, right? Aside from the title (which, seriously, how the hell would you pronounce that?), I really loved this book once I got going with it. The characters are beautifully drawn, if slightly annoying sometimes with their obsessions, and the representation of what life could be like a few years from now is eerie and resonant. The novel gets slightly repetitive in places, with X constantly revisiting and reliving scenes of his time with C, but that seems to be a deliberate choice on the part of the author. With our entire lives available for replay, it’s easy to fall into a loop, living in the past. I also had a slight issue with how quickly everyone falls into obsessive, “I would die for you” love, but they are all teenagers, so I guess it’s not that strange. One thing I did dislike is that one of the main characters, typically represented as a good guy, gets disturbingly rapey at one point. It’s never addressed afterwards, and there are no consequences for him. I know that that’s how things often play out in real life, but I feel like the author could have taken a stronger stance against it. I read this after Veneer, a novel by the same author, and when I realized it partway through my enjoyment of it definitely increased. If possible, I definitely recommend reading Veneer first, even though this comes earlier chronologically.
Perion Synthetics is a great read. If you are not familiar with the author, then I would highly recommend checking out the latest addition to his collection. It is masterfully written, thoughtfully put together, and the chapter arrangement is a refreshing change from your standard “near future” fiction. I would eagerly recommend this to both new comers and die-hards alike, I won’t spoil anything for you, but let’s just say you’re in for a treat!