“The reason my early books are so bad is because I never had the time or the money to afford constant revisions.” -Gore Vidal
How true. Contemplating this reinvention process of mine and the state of my book, I thoroughly appreciate Mr. Vidal’s perspective. This is a perspective I find perplexing as well. Constant revision is time and money. I have spent approximately three years working on Devil’s Gut. The first draft came in at a whopping 204,000 words of pretentious drivel. Subsequent passes narrowed the focus and the length, coming in at 82,000 words; 80,000 was the goal.
A thorough researching of the self-publishing world has produced feelings of ambivalence. In some cases the investment is hefty. The issue obviously is not so much making an investment as availability of funds to do so.
Popularsoda.com is a website for epublishing. A recent post entitled Three Serious Questions About Self-Promotion Strategy, brought into focus one of the most basic questions about self-publishing. “Is the book worthy?”
A Necessary Evil?
Every self-publishing company offers a plethora of editing and development options for the self-publishing author – all for a fee, obviously. Within my circle of friends, several could certainly do a spelling and grammatical line edit. I would also trust their commentary regarding story, too. Still, one wonders about the real quality of the story. Stories of fine books rejected by the gatekeepers are widely celebrated; the filtering system is not perfect, but I suspect largely successful. This is arguable from the standpoint of the unpublished author seeking representation, the scribe swimming upstream one among millions of wannabe writers.
Revisions are the stuff of writing and Vidal’s mention of constant revision is telling. How much constant is enough? That’s a tough question, one which ultimately comes down to when is it ready – or worthy.
My gut feeling is that the query process should be revisited one more time. If nothing happens then I shall epublish since it is the most economical of choices. The critical criteria are: (1) Maintaining control (2) copyright (3) An ISBN number.
Publish and Perish?
Is that the end of Devil’s Gut? Unless the epublishing response is overwhelming, that’s likely end of the Devil’s Gut journey and time to move on to the next project – a prequel, which is already rumbling around my head.
Giving up one’s child is a terrible thing. Letting go is always traumatic.
If you have experienced this dilemma as a writer, please let me know.