So far I have written and self published two science fiction novels. The first, I Married a Psychic, was written in about a month, non-stop, without editing or rewriting until it was finished — about 30,000 words. The cover, based on my ideas, was done by a famous Sedona artist. A beautiful job . . . and not cheap.
One thousand copies were printed by a reliable printer, Sheridan Press. Hundreds of copies have been sold or given away to libraries and friends, but several boxes of them still remain in my garage.
About a year after publication, the book was acquired by a major sci-fi publisher and is for sale worldwide as a soft cover book, an e-book, and an audio book. I won’t get rich or famous from this novel, but that was never the idea. It was more of an experiment, more or less, to see if I could do it. I did it (!) and most people loved it. The reviews were fantastic. Best of all, I learned some valuable lessons.
Advice to first-time authors:
1. If you send your book to a printer and order five hundred or a thousand or more copies to get a good price, be sure you have a garage.
2. Don’t spend a lot of money on cover art. Best to order from one of the websites for stock photos or public domain images.
3. If you intend to self-publish, your best option is one of the print-on-demand services. Check the Links button under the “About” button for more information.
My second book, The Alien Manifesto, took more than a year to write, rewrite, and rewrite again (seven rewrites). It contains more than 90,000 words — the average length of most sci-fi novels (in the good old days!). I tried the “first-find-an-agent” route on this one, sending out carefully worded queries to over one hundred fifty agents via email. About a third emailed back with “thanks but no thanks.” Two-thirds never replied at all or said it might take up to six months to get a reply.
I then went to Create Space, and found them fantastic to deal with. They will do as much or as little as you want them to do. For Alien Manifesto, they did the interior formatting and the cover, based on my idea. I also had them do the formatting for an e-book, which is now for sale on Kindle.
I can help you write your book and get it published. I can give you ideas on how to market your book. You might get lucky and produce a best-seller that is turned into a blockbuster movie! One never knows; these are crazy, transitional days in publishing and media in general. E-books are the hottest thing going right now. Tomorrow…? Best advice: Keep your day job! Contact me today and let me know what you have in mind.