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We Interrupt Your Regularly Scheduled Programming

The last few weeks, I have been doing a series of posts about my experiences during my internships at Farm Sanctuary, but I’m going to take a break from those this week to tell you about my new book. I just released the second volume of my Black Magick Series. It’s called Myths & Music, and it picks up where Sigils & Secrets left off.

I went through an independent publisher for my first book, but this one I published myself, with an enormous amount of help from my sister, Caty. When I wrote Sigils & Secrets, I really didn’t know anything about book publishing, or book promotion. I really thought that, if I could find a publisher who would accept my book, that all I would have to do was write, that they would do all the promotional stuff. It turns out that’s not the case. After doing a bit of research, I found out that, these days, all of the marketing pretty much falls on the author. I was disappointed, to say the least.

I love writing. It’s one of the few things in life that I genuinely enjoy, and that makes me feel halfway competent. I hate self-promotion. I’m terrible at trying to convince people to care about what I do. It always makes me feel like an arrogant ass, and annoying as well. To do marketing properly you have to 1-convince people that your work is good, and 2-talk about it often, and in many different places. That’s not who I am. I hate the idea of seeming like I’m full of myself, or of bombarding people who don’t care with ads for my work. I just want to write.

However, if I am going to have to do promotional stuff anyway, I figured I might as well just handle the publication myself as well. I assume it’s probably like this for any author, or anyone who does any kind of artistic work really, but I have a very clear idea of how I want everything to be. I know what I want the cover to look like, I know what I think the text should look like, and I definitely know how I want it to be written. Going through a publisher for my first book ended up being rather difficult for me, because she didn’t have the same vision for my book that I did. Don’t get me wrong, she was nice, and very helpful with some of the things I didn’t understand about the process, but it was a struggle for me to have to change my idea about what I wanted my book to be, even in the most minor ways.

So, this time I decided to just do the whole thing myself, with (as I mentioned) a great deal of help from my sister. She helped me figure out the formatting to turn a Word document into an actual book. She helped me with all the little things that always turn out to be much more of a hassle than they should be; things like page numbers, headers, footers, etc. Most importantly, she designed a cover that looked exactly like what I had pictured in my head.

My first book cover was . . . fine, but it didn’t have the vibe that I wanted to convey to my potential readers. This one looks exactly the way I think it should. I feel like people who see it will have a decent idea of the way the story will feel. That was huge for me. There’s that saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” but everyone does. I believe this one will help them to make an accurate judgement.

As of this writing, I haven’t received a print copy of my new book yet, so we’ll see what it looks like in person. I may live to regret not using a publisher this time, but I don’t think so. I think I would rather learn through trial and error, in an attempt to get exactly what I want, than to resign myself to compromising on something so very personal to me.

Whitney


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