I finally published an ebook version of my first novel, “Between Boyfriends.” I finished this book 5 years ago and eagerly began sending it out to literary agents. I got a ton of responses, some form letters and a few criticisms. The personal feedback was very positive but suggested necessary changes. I spent maybe 1 year doing an major rewrite, then eagerly send the new version back out again. Nothing. After about 1 year of sitting on the book and trying to come up with some brilliant way to convince an agent or publisher to do the last thing they wanted to do, take a chance on a newbie, I decided to go a different route.
I read article after article on self-publishing and services. I read dozens of posts from Suite 101 writers in our forums about SmashWords.com. A writer friend of mine, and former literary agent, spoke highly of Smashwords. Most professional articles named Smashwords the best option for new writers. I noticed that other services charged obscene amounts of money to do pretty much what Smashwords does for free. It was really a no-brainer. I paid someone $35 to format my manuscript from MicroSoft Word and handed over $50 for a Photoshop expert to bring my cover design to life. I did also spend countless hours searching through stock images on ShutterStock.com and iStockPhoto.com to find just what my cover needed. Then I harassed all of my Facebook friends for feedback on the different cover ideas I had. They were very helpful. All and all, it was a relatively painless process compared to flipping through lists of literary agents, checking their web sites for their latest criteria and submission guidelines, and sending out a billion query letters. Self-publishing is the future. I hope it is a bright future.
“Talking to Nichole had drained Jan completely. She felt like she weighed three hundred pounds. Getting dressed seemed the logical move. She figured she could mope just as easily with her clothes on and she wouldn’t have to continue struggling with her towel.
Forty minutes later, thirty-six of which Jan spent staring into space, she had managed to drag herself, plus the additional 150 pounds, to her room. She put on a dark green cami and matching lace panties. She was just finishing putting one leg through a pair of jeans when the doorbell rang. Jan cursed. She was at that exact midpoint where you can choose to either hop about as you hastily try to jam your other limb through the ever-elusive second pant leg, or undo your hard work by hopping to somewhere where you can sit down, yanking off the first pant leg and subsequently starting over. Jan actually invented a third option whereby she fell over trying to do both simultaneously and landed with a loud “Oomph” on her bedroom floor.
At least I didn’t land on my face this time.”
-Excerpt, “Between Boyfriends” https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/90623