Friday, 17 June 2011
Open House Day 18 - John Travis
Self Publishing. It needn’t be a bad thing.
A few weeks later, I finished that novel, The Designated Coconut – it had taken me 25 months to do and weighed in at 103,000 words. It was also (I felt) the best thing I’d ever written. That night to celebrate, I had ‘a few drinks’. The next morning I woke up with a headache and found three emails waiting for me – one each from Simon Strantzas, Gary McMahon and Tim Lebbon, all fellow Humdrumming authors, each commiserating with me on the sad demise of the company.
Enter stage left, Terry Grimwood.
Amazingly, that was over two years ago. I started writing again after about four months, and The Terror and the Tortoiseshell was published by Atomic Fez in March 2010. Of course, I could’ve waited at this point and knocked the collection on the head, and my first book would’ve been the novel. But at that point it wasn’t an option – putting the collection together was too much fun. I still think the right decision was made.
So, would I do it again? I would. Since the book was published, the stigma for self-publishing (half or otherwise) seems to have shrunk a little. Of course, I’d prefer some publisher to come along and sweep my and my fiction off my feet, but the way things are, the chances of that happening don’t look particularly good. And the thing is, now I’ve finally got books out there, I rather like it. Only one thing is certain: however you get a book of stories out there, either through a small press publisher or by doing it (half) yourself, you can be sure that your efforts are not going to be depleting the rainforests that much.
On that at least your conscience can be clear.
John Travis has had nearly 70 stories published in various books, magazines and journals in the UK, Canada and the US. His first collection of fiction, Mostly Monochrome Stories, was published by the Exaggerated Press, and his first novel, The Terror and the Tortoiseshell, was published by Atomic Fez. His work has been praised by TED Klein and David Renwick among others. One day he hopes to make a living out of writing this stuff.