Saturday, June 10, 2006

Why Self-publish?

For years, decades actually, I held tightly to the idea that the only legitimate market for my stories were the official magazines and book publishers. My beliefs have changed just slightly. I would still strongly advise old-fashioned publication for new writers. Nothing gives you instant recognition and feedback like a paying market putting your words out there on the shelf.

However, while I have a shelf of stories that have succeeded that way, there are many others. Just a moment ago, I received the following:

Dear Henry -

Thanks for letting us have a look at "The Green Tornado." This is a good, solid sf story and we enjoyed reading it, but in the end we had to decide it's not for us. We do wish you every success finding a good home for it, and we're happy you thought of XXXXX.

We look forward to seeing your next submission.

With the magazine title x-ed out, because I don't want to point fingers at any particular market. This happens to me all the time. They read the story. They like the story. But it doesn't match the magazine. After circulating a story to all the available markets, and getting similar responses everywhere, I get the feeling that it's just my voice. A Henry Melton story can be good, but just not match any of the current magazines.

Does this mean I give up? No, Green Tornado still has a list of markets I haven't tried yet, but if it should happen that the story doesn't match any of them, it still would fit nicely in another self-published chapbook, along with several published short stories all in the same universe.

Self-publishing gives me an additional option. And if for no other reason than the hope of getting orphan stories into the hands of readers, it is now on my list of viable options.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Absolutly. Also with the internet self publishing almost seems like the popular mode these days.