A. L. Buehrer What I Write and Why

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

The Publishing Story

And what a long story it is. I started writing The Stardrift Trilogy way back in 2008. Back then, I wasn’t actually planning to publish. I didn’t expect anyone outside my family to read my story. I was fourteen then, so that seemed a little bit grandiose to me.

But here’s how I started my publishing adventures. For anybody who doesn’t know, there are three ways you can get a book published these days. You can try to sell it to a traditional publisher (traditional publishing), you can do the entire thing yourself (self-publishing), or you can buy the services of a publisher and keep the rights (subsidy-publishing.)

  I chose to subsidy publish a bit rashly, I suppose. I found a subsidy-publisher called Westbow Press that would produce my books and distribute them in four months—that was about two years ago. There were really two reasons I chose to subsidy-publish: it was faster than traditional, and I doubted that I could market my books successfully to a traditional press.

So what happened to the four months? A number of things. When I decided to publish, I had already written the whole trilogy. To cut expenses, I intended to have all three books produced as a single volume. So, when I submitted them to Westbow, the three were one document.

The books passed content evaluation, meaning they found no copyrighted material, nothing that was against their publishing standards, and that the manuscript was legible. But there was a problem: they didn’t have the equipment to bind a novel that thick. So, I had to divide the document into two volumes, and re-submit it.

  At this point, I think there was some kind of miscommunication, because they thought they had to run the whole evaluation over again, even though they had already seen everything the first time through. This set the time back again, and to make matters worse (and very confusing) it didn’t pass the second time.

Turns out Westbow, in the middle of my project, decided to tighten up their standards of violence in the books they produced—cutting it down to about a PG, or possibly even G level. There is some blood and violence in the trilogy, and after struggling with attempts at down-playing it in revision, I realized I couldn’t reduce it any further without disfiguring the story.

  So, we pulled out and went over to the secular Abbott Press. But time was set back again. We picked slowly through the process with multiple strange little setbacks. But, at long last, the project was finished.

  That was my rather awkward break into the publishing world. I’m eyeing out both self-publishing options and a small Christian traditional press called Enclave Press for my up-coming novels. My hope is to start to establish myself with the Stardrift Trilogy. If you have any interest, check out “books” page on this blog, or simply search for The Stardrift Trilogy by A. L. Buehrer on Amazon, Barns and Nobel, or the Abbott Press Bookstore.

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