Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A little behind Death by Numbers

Want to know a little secret? A little secret about my novel, Death by Numbers, that I'm so feverishly pumping info about via social media?

I never intended to like it. My real focus had been on my book baby, my first novel that I felt a calling to write and share the story of, which is at the opposite end of the genre spectrum from DbN. It was (and still fairly is) my primary focus when it comes to my novels. I finished writing it back in January, and had completed the editing by mid-February. It wasn't until I had sent queries out to about 300 publishers and agents that I started to get curious about self-publishing. I'd read about it and though it seemed interesting, I was hell bent on the fact that traditional was the way to go for me, mainly since I had no clue in hell how I could do all the work on the publishing side. After a little research I began to realize that regardless of whether I tried the traditional route or the indie, self-pubbed route, I'd have to put the marketing on my shoulders.

The main interest in my first novel that I've gotten back so far has been from small publishers, or those who are self-proclaimed publishers, but when they send you the contract info they also tack on a fee for 'editing and marketing'. What the heck? No seriously, that's called vanity press, guys. I may be fresh, but I didn't just exit my mother's birth canal last night. Even the other small traditional publishers offer little for the money they take. Do they do the editing for you? Yes. Do they handle the book covers, regardless of their bad tastes? Oh yes. Personally, I was so weirded out by the fact that I'd be handing over at least 80 percent of my royalties (without a measly advance may I remind you) to a publishing company who would have me doing just as much of the work as if I'd self published, that I began to wonder about self publishing. Of course, I wanted to keep my other novel in circulation. That book is my prime steak. The one that is a story that I felt necessary to tell. Even a snarky small press took the time to tell me how good of a story it was even though they were up to their eyeballs in this and that and had little time to do anything, but they were interested even though my grammar 'should have me out the door'.  As well as my foul language that I allowed one of the characters to display...when he was going through a dark moment....that they took out and sent back to me with the language removed. Needless to say, what the hell asshole?

I digress.

I was beyond curious about self publishing, to the point where I decided I'd create a little series of novellas to test the waters, because I wanted to give my main book the chance it deserves floating through various in-boxes. There are tons of short stories online available via Amazon who have a great following and there was nothing like my books that were floating around as a mini series (mostly romance or erotica with gorgeous eye candy on the cover). Each short I'd publish would be one story in the 'Death by Numbers' series, and even though they wouldn't have a direct connection, they would cross paths in some way or another. As I continued writing I began to fall in love with the characters and even though they were only around for a brief moment, I still felt they shined and connect into the next so well. Then it hit me that I'd be doing a disservice to my stories if I didn't let them shine a little brighter. So instead of the original idea that I had for them to be ten separated  shorts, I decided to let them all chain together in the same book and cross each others paths a little bit more.

About half way through the book I realized that there was something larger at hand for the characters, regardless of if they knew it or not. They hadn't just crossed paths by happenstance, but that there was a bigger issue at play that in the end takes the book in a totally different direction than I had planned. Thus, my novellas have turned into a story where they vaguely intertwine together at the very end of the book to give light on an even larger concept than simply their deaths.

Even though I planned for this book to only be an experiment, I've really fallen in love with it.

Enter gushy meme face here.

-C.B. Burdette

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