A few weeks ago I decided that instead of looking for a magazine or small press that would be interested in taking my 12000 (or so) word novelette (that has been residing on my hard drive for years), I would self-publish it instead.
I wasn’t sure about it at first, because I really had no idea if people would be interested in reading it. It started out as a short story for my Open University creative writing course, and then I added to it over the years so it became a longer read, not a novel or even a novella (which I know are getting more popular, especially for people who commute to work), just a long short story or, as I soon learned, a novelette.
So I sent it to my aunt, who has worked as a professional proofreader for many years and reads all the time, not for her to proof it, but just to see if there was anything of interest in it. If I published it, would the story be interesting enough for someone to enjoy?
You see, I usually write middle grade and young adult fantasy, but where this story was originally an assignment for a course on creative writing for adult audiences, I thought I’d try something different. So instead of my usual whimsical, magical worlds, this story is set in Victorian England and is also in diary form – the diary of a young professor, in fact. I did a lot of research for it to try an nail the style of the time period, and hoped that it would turn out okay.
Anyway, my aunt wrote back that she enjoyed it and thought it had potential (if I fixed a few grammatical errors, which she highlighted but didn’t explain what the problem was, in an effort to better my self-admitted appalling grammar). With new confidence, I decided to go ahead and begin the process of revising it ready for publishing. I also learned that for my nan’s 80th birthday, the whole family would be having a get together, and so instead of just preparing a kindle version, I thought it would be cool to make a paperback for her as a present. Hence the proof copies I’ve just received.
Now, I know that being a novelette, readers will probably only be interested in the ebook version (it will definitely be the cheaper option), but receiving a hard copy of my work was exciting. It felt good to feel the matte finish and crisp pages, and even though there are a few minor errors in it (what are proof copies for, anyway?) and the cover was made with Createspace’s own layout and picture options, I feel an incredible sense of achievement. It’s a neat, slim volume that I feel happy to give as a gift, and if there are a few people interested in buying a paperback, it’ll be there as an option once I give the ok. (The blurb is much clearer than the pic shows).