To Compose an eBook

The author’s dream is to touch a reader’s heart and mind with stories woven from the soul.  For the longest time, Publishers held the means to break apart the delicate relationship between artist and patron.  A world void of such middle men would be ruled by free-market and democracy.  This is why self-publishing as the next frontier of books.

Some fear a writer unhinged will only produce half-baked tales, literature ill-prepared for any capital gain.  The unfortunate truth, companies publish half-baked tales of their own.  Read books three through six of Frank Herbert’s Dune series for proof.  Better yet, for your own sake, read the first two and skip the rest!

It’s really a shame because Dune and Dune: Messiah got me into writing.

Frank Herbert set his tale in a grand universe, expanded over seven thousands years.  I really wanted to enjoy such a ride!  Unfortunately, the magic that made Dune so epic, dwindled in each book that followed.  Halfway through Children of Dune (book three), I found myself nodding off.

I still cannot fathom, how the best sci-fi book ever written preludes a series lost in a sea of plotless words.  Perhaps the editors ran out of red ink.

More likely the publishing company was unwilling to tell legendary Herbert that his books expanded, with plot-stopping monologues, while the storyline itself grew ever small.

What is more, before Mr. Herbert became a household name to nerds everywhere, Dune (best sci-fi book ever written mind you) was rejected by more than 20 publishers.  It was the small company Chilton Books, known for auto repair manuals, that gambled with Herbert’s ground-breaking story.

This raises a dooming question.  How many awe-inspiring books have never seen the light of day because an author gave up on their 19th rejection letter?

Self-publication places power in the hands of the public.  It is the audience’s delight to uncover the next Frank Herbert.

Yet, none can argue how, for hundreds of years, these same faulty publishers have produced every page-turning, trend-setting, best-selling classic we know and love.

We shouldn’t throw away everything that came before just to be different.  Aspiring authors can learn much from the process publishers have perfected.  This means that writers should not work alone in bringing their fiction to the public.

Where should a writer go then, without losing any freedom?

Once upon a time, publishing companies where the only solution.  This placed beginning author’s at the whims and fancies of executives, who held the power to change manuscripts for the sake of the bottom line.  This framework has worked out in some cases (everyone wants to make money), yet I believe many great stories have been marred by the bureaucracy of large publishing companies.

Huge cuts and forced deadlines are a detriment to well-paced, thrilling literature.  Sometimes too many people have looked at a book.  Put all of this together and you get a patchwork of failures.

Conventional wisdom has deemed the author incapable of figuring out how to do any of this on his or her own.  With the rise of self-publication through the Kindle, nook, and iPad, such sentiments are slowly dwindling.  Out of necessity, self-publishing authors must learn how to write and market their fiction.

Self-publication doesn’t mean working alone.  It simply means you are the publisher, in charge of finding as many people as it takes to bring quality fiction to the public.

Editors, cover artist, and marketers all have their role to play in publishing industries.  Indie writers must learn how to duplicate this.  Unless you can write, edit, and paint, all by yourself, you’re going to need some help.  Which brings me to how I will self-publish my own eBook.

Void Voyage 1, has been in the works for nearly a year.  The idea itself came much earlier.  For over 12 years I have perfected and matured it, honing it into a lean focused tale, very different from the simple musings of my teens.  Now I see it nearing the point of no return, when I place my dearest story in the fickle hands of the public.

This has not been a lonely trek for me.  Friends and family have played a crucial role in the development process, reading through its many dubious drafts.  I have gone out of my way to find and pay free-lancing editors and artists willing to add their professionalism to the table.  Over the next few weeks I will be highlighting these noble souls doing their best to help me write quality fiction.



Synopsis of Void Voyage: A good emperor inherits a corrupt empire that he must fix, planet by bleeding planet, before war consumes our Solar System.  The first episode is set on the Martian heights of Olympus Mons.  A beautiful clone, spawned to symbolize the sacrifice of perfection, must choose to live for peace, instead of die to it.

Current status: Book cover: nearly done.  Halfway through first edit.

Expected Sale’s Date: Due to editorial reasons, I have pushed the original March 31st date back to mid April…


8 thoughts on “To Compose an eBook

  1. Your book cover is stunning. But I wonder if you’ve looked at it at thumbnail size, which is how most people will see it first. I suspect that the lack of contrast is going to fade much of it into invisibility. I don’t judge books by their covers, but I seem to be alone in that, and I’ve become much more aware lately of the need to design for high visibility at very small sizes.

    And I agree with you about the Dune series. Dune is magnificent; the next two are far better than the average science fiction novel, but not great. For me, the rest are worth a read, but not memorable.

    • Yeah my roommate pointed out the same thing. I’m still working with my cover artist with that. In the nook at least the picture itself will look fine in thumbnail view. We do have to make the cover a little taller to match what most covers are doing.

      Glad we agree on the Dune series. The review I found of it, which I link to, had the same things to say about it that you did. Most other reviews I read were glowing praises for every single book… which is crazy.

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