Always. Be. Publishing.

The experiment continues.

Always Be Publishing is about the business and practical side of being a self-publishing writer.

I started writing in the mid-1990s as a blogger (before the word “blog” was coined). I moved on to writing short stories and novels in 1998. For nearly fifteen years, I busted my butt trying to find an agent and/or major publisher for my work. I had some success—mostly selling short stories—but also wound up with a large novel sitting in a directory on my computer that no one wanted to touch.

I won’t say I ever quit writing, but I came close.

In 2014, I attended AWP’s annual writers conference in Seattle, Washington. It was unlike any writers conference I’d attended before. There I was first exposed to the self-publishing revolution: e-books, print-on-demand, Amazon’s Kindle service, direct selling, and more. Not only were young writers publishing their novels without agents or established publishers, big-name writers were moving into this new model as well.

I thought I should at least try this new fad and see what happened.

So, over the summer of 2014, I jumped in with both feet. I decided to treat self-publishing as an experiment. If nothing came of it, well, at least I tried. If anything good came of it, though, then all the better.

Where I am today

After six years of running my experiment, I can now point to five published novels (with one more on the way), a running series, a novella, and a short story collection. One of my novels was selected by Amazon for publication. On Goodreads, my books have been rated nearly 400 times, with 80 written reviews and added to 1,500 user shelves. I even get the occasional email from readers I’ve never met asking, “Hey, when’s the next book coming out?”

No, I’m not world-famous, and I’m not a bestselling author. There are plenty of other authors who can top all of the above numbers. I’m proud of my work, though, and I have more quality writing in me to come.

I maintain a blog focusing on books I’ve read, the craft of writing, and announcing updates on my own novels. I’ve been reluctant to write there about the business side of self-publishing, though.

Part of my reluctance is due to wondering if I have much to offer other writers. Six years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamed about offering advice to anyone about self-publishing, other than “You might look into it.” Today, I feel more confident about what I know and what I don’t know. I’ve also learned from the various mistakes I’ve made.

That’s why I started Always Be Publishing. It’s for

  • people interested in the independent publishing revolution, but don’t know where to start,

  • writers already self-publishing and seeking perspectives on how to grow their readership,

  • and people who are looking for encouragement to keep writing and not give up, like I almost did six years ago.

Keep reading

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You can also check the archive, and read more about my novels on my web site.

In the meantime, tell your writer friends about Always Be Publishing. Thanks for reading.