For the past couple months, along with maintaining this blog, I have been spending five to nine hours a day writing. Fiction, to be more specific. I have had some encouraging and positive feedback from my alpha readers, but have been frustrated in my attempts to take all these hours of work and make them more widely available.
A few days back, a member of church mentioned that she reads quite a lot of e-books from a self-publishing site called Smashwords. I visited the site, checked their catalog, style manual, marketing guide, and other material, then spent a good six hours reformatting two finished short stories, and uploaded them yesterday. I spent most of today tweaking the material so that it is potentially acceptable in the Smashwords Premium Catalog, which makes Smashwords-published books available to a far broader market.
I am happy to announce I am now a (self) published author! The book, From The Other Side: Two Stories, is available for purchase at $1.99. I thought a buck a story was reasonable, all things considered. I am pleased, thus far, with Smashwords, and am currently going through their marketing guide.
The stories in this little volume are "Drawing Down Dark", in which Christy Helms gets a little help reuniting with his Mom and Dad. The title story, "From The Other Side", is a send-up of all those paranormal investigation shows, told from the ghost's point of view. The themes in each are similar. Both are stories of the power of love to bridge the gap between the living and the dead. I suppose it goes without saying I am both excited and nervous about this. It's an experiment at the moment, one I'll be tracking over the ensuing months to see how this whole self-publishing world works.
The nice thing about Smashwords is they support any e-reading platform. Even if you don't have a Kindle or Nook or iPad, you can purchase, download, and read these - and many, many other - stories. I've made about 20% of the text available for free, allowing potential readers the opportunity to browse. I encourage you to use this feature.
So, if you're looking for a diversion, check out my little two-story collection. When you're finished, drop me a line to let me know what you thought.