Downtown Dandelions in Print

Now that I’ve finished my novel, I’m thinking about what happens next. Today is the first day in 21 days when I haven’t written at least a page of text. It’s kind of weird. Not sure I like it.

My novel writing experience has been good enough that I will consider editing my novel and seeing what happens with it. I don’t really know anything about the world of novel publishing, but I’d love to see if mine has what it takes. Eventually I’ll solicit feedback from everyone who’s read the thing and see what I can do with it. I’m not expecting miracles, not expecting much really, but it seems worth a try. That kind of hardcore editing probably won’t happen right away.

Immediately, though, I am considering doing a cheap form of self-publishing through Cafepress. It’s basically print-on-demand, and would enable me to put my novel in quasi-professional paperback format for around $15 per copy. Yes, it does seem a bit pretentious, but hey, it’s my first novel. I’m allowed to be pretentious. I could also make these rough draft versions available to the public, though that would strictly be for those who want to curl up and read my novel but find a laptop to be a bit cold and sterile.

Such a self-publishing venture would probably require a small bit of editing (can’t let all those typos and missed words get through, can we?). There’s a few scenes I’m not happy with (or at least embarrassed enough to want to change for a rough draft printing) so I might spend the remaining days of November fine-tuning the draft. It wouldn’t be a real editing job, but enough to iron out the wrinkles and not thorougly embarrass myself if I find this paperback 20 years from now.

It would also require designing a cover. The image at the top right is a potential design I whipped up tonight. I could spend weeks perfecting a cover design and still not be happy, so I’ll probably end up settling for something. And I doubt Cafepress’s printing is anything worth getting excited about, so it’s probably not worth hours and hours of design time.

Basically a self-publishing deal would fulfill that tiny, prideful spark inside that wants to see my name on the cover of a book. After all, publishing is shit. I’m just happy I made it.

And what comes next? I don’t know. I definitely think I should write more. I should definitely do this novel in a month thing again, and I might not want to wait a year.

In the meantime I’ll be reading the adventures of Charlie Parker.

4 thoughts on “Downtown Dandelions in Print”

  1. Congratulations on finishing! I thoroughly enjoyed your novel, I’m extremely sad that it’s over. Every evening around bedtime I’d poke my head in to see what you were up to and read the latest and now I really miss that!

    I deffinitely think you should use your remaining November days to do an edit of it. Oh, and I’d buy a copy for fifteen bucks if you published it.

    Out of curiosity, why exactly aren’t you up for doing a real editing job on it? You’ve gotten this far- why not complete it? Of course, this is coming from the english major who edits her papers three or four times before she turns them in and wants to edit papers for a living- so, I can understand if you don’t have the same love of the brutal editing process that I do. I just think that as promising as your novel is in its current state, a decent editing would be rather like a dandelion. When dandelions are yellow they’re pretty, I’ll admit. However, I much prefer them when they are “dead.” You know, all white, fluffy and perfect for wishing on.

    Which brings me to another question- Did Sedgwick draw a yellow dandelion or the kind of dandelions you can make wishes on?

  2. Don’t fear, I will give the novel a thorough editing job–eventually. For the rest of the month I’ll probably give it a meager editing job, fixing mistakes (like the name Gertrude–just not working for me; and that scene with Allison and her high school date Glen Allen? Ug. And Sedgewick’s stutter? Yeah, that needs a little help.), but I’ll leave the hardcore stuff for later.

    I’ll probably solicit feedback later on and give it a real editing job with the thought of submitting it for publication somewhere. That would be the goal well down the road somewhere. That real editing might come next month, and it might wait three or four months. We’ll just have to see what happens.

    Glad you enjoyed reading it though!

  3. Kevin,
    Congrats on finishing. I haven’t had time to read along, but I’m sure it’s ‘intensely medicore’ at thw worst and ‘pretty darn great’ in reality.

    As for CafePress print quality… assuming they use the same press for their posters and book covers, the print quality is pretty darn great IMHO.

    And, if you want to self-publish your book, give Bethany Press a call ;-)

    (Disclaimer: I work at Bethany Press)

  4. Kev, just let me know when you’re a bit more serious about editing, and I’ll read through it completely and give you some feedback. Or, I’ll just do it over Christmas break when I have a lot of free time.

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