The Lingering Doubt About Publishing

Lots going on tonight, a lot of family issues and concerns but I managed to do what I always do when my mind is swamped with bigger concerns: I wrote a creepy little flash piece. It got me to thinking about my other writing. I’ve had marginal success in non-paying markets selling my short stories and a mediocre run with my two flash collections for sale on Amazon. As I continued to troll through some of my recent work as well as some sites with insight into markets looking for horror or speculative fiction, I started to wonder about my strategy. Namely, the fact that I don’t really have a strategy. Like everything else in my life, I just sort of fly by the seat of my pants, make decisions on the fly and try to keep myself moving forward. It works well about half the time. For the other half, I have to do some planning which is not my strong suit. 

So, my thoughts are to continuing struggling away with a heavy saturation of my work into paying and non-paying ezines and electronic markets which has yet to net me more than a contributor’s copy and a thanks for submission (which is awesome but I really do want to make a career out of this) or to start marketing myself and this blog like a cheap whore on a busy street corner. Both have their merits and their drawbacks. Continuous submissions to other sites and zines would eventually (likely) pay off and would get my work out to a wider audience. It would also result in an avalanche of rejection letters and be a very, very difficult and grueling process.

On the other hand, advertising my site and continuing with the whole self publishing route would instantly make me my own boss and, with the right marketing skills on the right websites would grow my readership and make my dream come true.The down side is that it’s an equally, if not more gruelling and difficult road to hoe. On top of that, “legitimate” publishers won’t touch a self published work if God came from heaven and commanded it so anything original that I post here would end up here now and forever.

There are more pros and cons to both but those are the major sticking points that keep snagging me in the end. For now, it’s status quo as I continue to decide which path to choose. As long as I’m still writing, I know I’ll be happy either way. I’d be happier quitting my day job and becoming a professional author but I’m not the starving artist type. Anyway, enjoy what’s coming to the page in the coming weeks.


About Danno

Dan Lee is a freelance writer, critic, independent author and publisher, as well as a horror culture correspondent. His articles, interviews, editorials, and fictional works continue to run on several sites and publications. He is also one of the resurrectionists behind the return of the Nashville Zombie Walk (2017).
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