My Dad Self-Published His Novel

That headline shouldn’t be such a big deal, but if you knew my dad, it would be – and the fact that he self-published is a serious sign of the times.  Though he’s been totally supportive of my own self-publishing ventures, the idea was anathema to him for his own books until this point.  He was just too much of an old-schooler.  And this shows the revolution that Amanda Hocking has unleashed.  Not showing to the world that you can make a million dollars self-publishing, because most people realize that’s an aberration, but definitely making it seem like an everyday part of publishing.  And so if my father’s any measurement, old school writers are going to be doing this more and more.

Granted, I walked him through the process – but still, he finally took the plunge.  We basically published it together using Ebookit, which turns out to be a pretty good, user-friendly platform for self-publishing.  He uploaded two files, entered in some info, and Ebookit formatted the novel and began distributing it the next day.  On the Kindle, it looks like a clean copy.

A little about his writing career.  He started out as a novelist and then moved to movies/TV.  He’s written obscure children’s movies:

Carnival movies:

Teen movies:

Horror movies:

And TV series like The Hitchhiker, and Nightmare Cafe with Wes Craven.  In later years, he returned to writing fiction – had agents, did the whole submission thing.  One novel, Out of Body, was published and picked up as a People Magazine Beach Book of the Week.  His follow-ups  didn’t find a publisher and sat on his harddrive until now.

About the book:

The Memory Gene, a sci-fi thriller from the author of Out of Body (St. Martin’s Press; a People Magazine Beach Book of the Week), tells the harrowing story of Arky McAlister, a high-school student with an eye for women of all ages, a tendency toward violence, and several gifts he has trouble accounting for. He knows Spanish without ever having been exposed to it, could perform feats of carpentry when he was four years old, and played a complete tune on the guitar the first time he picked up the instrument. He’s haunted by memories of things that never happened to him—violent events that seem to have happened instead to his biological dad, Lloyd Yarbro, who deserted Arky’s mom when Arky was a baby.

Arky’s transcontinental search for Lloyd brings him face to face with his equally haunted half-siblings: Galen, a 10-year-old boy-wonder preacher born with total recall of the Bible; Kyle, a country rock musician who’s been invading Arky’s horrifying nightmares; and Maya, a high-school science whiz, whose bizarre and frightening pregnancy unleashes a government vendetta on the “genetic terrorism” represented by Arky and his fellow mutants.

Acclaim for Tom Baum’s Out of Body:

“A tour de force…an unforgettable novel powered by a searing and haunting narrative voice.” (Vanity Fair)

“A chilling, twilight-zone thriller.” (People Magazine)

“Immensely well-detailed storytelling, reminiscent of James M. Cain at his best.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“A rich and fascinating supernatural thriller.” (Booklist)

“A dynamic fusion of crime drama and dark fantasy.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Compelling, memorable, and one of the best reads I’ve had in years.” (Harry Crews)

Out of Body has the tingle of immediacy that makes Baum a crack screenwriter. Reading it is like being on board a speeding train, destination unknown.” (Pauline Kael)

The novel can be found at:



Barnes & Noble

Kobo, iBooks, and others forthcoming…

  • I had a parallel experience to your father’s. I turned to indie-authoring for the same reason. After having two nonfiction books published, my agent couldn’t find a publisher for my novels.
    I’ll be buying your father’s book on Kindle as soon as I sign off.
    All the best,]
    Ken Crowe

  • Ula

    Weird, when I clicked the link to Amazon, it kept me w/in your site. Didn’t realize it until I logged into Amazon and sent myself a sample. If I didn’t trust you so much, Henry, I’d be worried. 😀 Anyway, looking forward to checking out the sample and hopefully picking up a copy. It’s great to see all generations of writers moving foward into this new frontier.

    • Huh, that is weird. Links seem to work on this end. Anyway, thanks for checking it out!

  • Interesting story, Henry. Excuse my ignorance, but are you and your father, Tom Baum, related to L. Frank Baum (the creator of Oz and all that)? Just asking.