After discovering that self-publishing was a valid and attainable way to release books the world opened up to me. Suddenly it was a matter of WHEN and HOW I wanted to put work out. There were several options out there but the one I went with was Amazon’s Create Space, a self-pub platform that put you in control – with some guidance and restrictions – and would list your on the site when you were done. They took a cut of your sales, but considering that I was at a point of no other choice I could afford or achieve, it was as good as I could hope to get.
The process proved as frustrating as it was exciting and even after using it for over ten years I still find myself shaking my head at some of its quirks. It’s not a perfect system, and I’d love to be able to do things on a more independent level – I get it, Amazon is the big, nasty gorilla in the room and indie bookstores and dealers don’t have a lot of chance against them – but I am not at a point where I can afford that. Writing, as serious as I am about it, is still a hobby. It’s not my job. I have a day job that pays my bills and once in a while allows me to do shows. I am sure one can say – well then you NEED to find other ways to do it without Amazon. Maybe so. I certainly won’t pretend I am better than other folks because I go through them but I won’t just shrink when called out. It’s a decent platform, and for someone who has been desperate to get their work out to a wider audience they are an amazing asset. Through them I have been able to do the books, get them on their ‘shelves’, get them to other distro points, and create Kindle editions. I still wanna try another place at some point but I need to figure out when and how. I’ll do it though one of these days to see what happens.
After This Beautiful Darkness came out it felt like I was renewed and I started looking at What’s Next instead of What Now? What next was another collection. This one would collect my newer stories and would give me a chance to start playing with things more. There were templates for the books, which I use now, but I was still flailing at this point and my girlfriend at the time (that’s MRS. to you now, haha) was familiar enough with the Adobe suite to help me get a layout together to move things forward. This one took a little while to collect and get together but before the end of 2010 I would have a new book out. This time there were fifteen stories of darkness and strangeness to show some of my range and of all my books this was the one that always sells the best. I think that’s in part due to the cover, which was done with the help of my wife. I had drawn the covers for my first two books but changed things up by deciding to do a photo this time. It’s a strange sort of magic, the inspiration for the stories, and the books, but it’s even stranger how I have been able to see how I want the covers to look. This time I imagined a bloody hand, and it worked. It’s not an image I could have drawn well enough to be compelling so the photo pulls people in and makes them wonder what lies inside. It’s a classic looking cover that looks washed out like the paperbacks of the ’80’s. This wasn’t intentional but works wonderfully.
Red Dreams was my second release for 2010, but the third book of horror stories. I will talk about what my third book was next, as that’s a longer story and one that will encapsulate three books so stay tuned.
Red Dreams now made my third book of horror to be released but it was far from my last.