May 02

Seeing Things, Part 1: The Big Idea

Dear Blog Friends,

So here’s my big update.

I’m planning to epublish my first novel. If it goes well, I’m going to follow it with the second and third, to make a nice, neat trilogy.

This is the plan, and it’s one of the scariest things I’ve ever done.  Bear in mind that I’m not a coward. I’ve backpacked by myself across Poland without a guidebook, broken bricks with my hand, and hitchhiked in Japan,  I’ve played with fire (literally), I’ve ridden poorly trained horses, I’ve crashed parties at which I was the only American, I’ve tried very hard in this life to (as Weird Al Yankovic puts it) “grab life by the lips and yank as hard as [I] can.”

Epublishing my novels still scares me.  These aren’t the only novels I’ve written, but they’re my first, and they’re near and dear to my heart.  I keep thinking about everything that can go wrong, and how hard it is to undertake such a big project alone. But I’m not really alone, am I? I have you guys.

So here I am, asking for help.

I’m going to need several things. First of all, I’m going to need signal boost. Tell your friends, be they writers or readers, about this project.

Secondly, I’m going to need advice. If you’ve done this yourself, or know someone who has, please comment.  I’ll read all the comments, I promise. I won’t reply if I don’t have anything to add, but I will read them, and other people will read them.

Thirdly, I’m going to need money at some point, because I’m going to have to hire professionals to do some of the tasks.  (I’m also going to need references).

Fourth, and most importantly, I expect this to be a long journey, and I need to know that I’m not the only one who cares about this.  Some of you have read the Seabingen trilogy, and have encouraged me. Others have read my short stories and have asked to read more.

I read somewhere that what artists need to do is twofold:

  1. Make something good.
  2. Share it with the world.

I’m all about sharing.  For years I’ve shared my artwork, my comics, my essays, and my book reviews.  So far, my only available fiction has been my shorter pieces.  That’s going to change.  Come September 1st,  you’re going to be able to read the first Seabingen novel SEEING THINGS, an 80,000 word urban fantasy with a tight plot, wit, a kick-ass heroine, and a noir-mystery feel.

Stick around for blog posts that talk about why I wrote this, how I got my inspiration, and how I’m going to get this first book out in the big wide world where everyone can see it.

See you Wednesday.



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    • Beth on May 2, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Oftentimes the scariest things are the best and most exciting!

    • Shelley Martin on May 2, 2011 at 11:15 am

    Hey Kater,
    In order to e-publish you need to get it all in pdf format. A good (free)PDF editor if you don’t have one is PDFill (unless of course you have Adobe or other), the PDF creator on Open Office works to an extent but then has to be repaired. The layout is a bit of a cow. You can then get the ebook up on amazon through (which belongs to amazon) or of course on your website….

    Best of luck!


    • Kater on May 2, 2011 at 11:36 am

    Thanks, Shelley!

  1. Yay!!!

    The first piece of advice that leapt to mind is that you should join Broad Universe. A number of people there have epublished, short works and longer works, self-published and small publisher. I bet every single question you could come up with, someone on there knows the answer or has some advice about it.

    There will be a whole gaggle of Broads at Wiscon. BU has a reading, a table, and.. possibly a party. Not sure on that last one.

    And, let me repeat, yay!

    • Zargon on May 2, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    I wholeheartedly support this decision. I’ll talk to some of my reading friends and see If I can’t get some groundswell going for you! Good luck!

    • Janni on May 11, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    Good luck!

    My stray thoughts are to make sure you include excerpts everywhere you sell your books (an excerpt is crucial for me to even consider reading a self-pubbed book, and too often I have to dig to find one), and to (as it sounds like you already are) bring in professionals as appropriate and as you can–truly professional cover design, typography, and editing (developmental as well as copyediting) all matter more, I think, than many self-pubbing writers seem to understand.

    I’d also approach all the online advice about self-pubbing with a dose of skepticism. Too much of it seems to me to either distort how traditional publishing works, or else to act as if a handful of cases of lightning striking in self-publishing can serve as a model for everyone (when this is no more true for self-pubbing than for traditional publishing).

    • Kater on May 12, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    Thanks for commenting, Janni. These are some of the things I’ve worried about. I’m skeptical as well about all the hype about how easy self-publishing is, however, I’ve been pleasantly surprised at how straightforward Smashwords makes it seem.

    My original plan was to go with Smashwords, Kindle, and Nook. The Barnes and Noble site, however, doesn’t seem to support self publishing. Smashwords claims that their meatgrinder software converts your text to formats that almost all of the different venues can use. We’ll see if it’s that easy. I know that there will be unexpected snags along the way, and I know that I will make mistakes.

    For me my main motivation at this point is “I love my books. I want to share them with other people who will love them too.” Holding that over me like a flag is what keeps me going when this whole thing seems daunting.

    That, and the knowledge that my agent has two other manuscripts out on submission right now, so I’ve got money on more than one horse. 🙂

  2. Just read “Seeing Things” @ Smashwords and I loved it! This is my current favorite genre and I found you just cruising through new releases. Once I leave this message I’m back to Smashbooks to buy “Treemaker”. Will make sure to list you as a favorite author at my Columbus, Ohio Library blog list with description of books, review and link to Smashwords. Hope this will bring some new readers to you, there are alot of us who create list for this genre so I have hope. Not a writer or tech savey but most anyone who visits a site like Smashwords also belongs to a public library so we can spread the word!! Happy to find out this will be a trilogy. Ah, just hate to have a series I like end…

    • Kater on June 27, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Thanks, Aprile! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I’m hoping to have the third book DAYRUNNER up sometime in July.

  1. […] Come on over to my other blog to read the rest. […]

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