I’ve spent a lot of thought about how I’m going to publish my books, which might seem odd since I haven’t actually started writing one yet. But I like to think ahead (often at the expense of the present), so onwards.
I know I’m going to self-publish. This is for ideological reasons, mostly. Self-publishing satisfies my lefty side. I am glad that at last, writers are no longer at the mercy of gatekeepers. They can tell their stories however and whenever they want. Sure, much of that creative output is nonsense; Sturgeon’s law, and all that. But to be in control of your writing career is a great thing.
This is especially true for writers whose work falls outside the mainstream, or who themselves fall out of the mainstream. Persons of color, gender non-conforming people, political radicals, etc. Before, such people had to depend on a largely white establishment to give them their big break. Now, they can take matters into their own hands. Who knows how many amazing writers we missed out on because publishers were not interested in telling their stories. This is why I have no patience for the “gatekeepers” argument some use to defend traditional publishing. I would much rather go through self-published story after self-published story looking for a diamond in the rough than go back to the old days, when the amount of outsider voices we were exposed to was miniscule.
Anyway, my plan is to have my books available for free and give people the option to pay what they’d like to. Perhaps I’ll set up a Patreon account to connect with any future fans (damn, this sounds presumptuous) and release chapters on a bi-weekly or monthly basis. I’m not interested in Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and the like. I just want to have my work available on the web. It’s the simplest method I can think of, and a good choice for someone whose anxiety would make heavy-duty self-promotion unlikely.
I haven’t completely ruled out Amazon and other large venues, though. This is especially the case if I end up going the POD route. Physical books are not a priority for me, but if I end up with some folks who want them, I might change my mind.
Above everything else, I want to tell and publish my stories my way, whatever that ends up being.