So I'm self-publishing a novella.

In my day job, I'm a children's book author with a major house, and I wanted to self-publish under a pen-name for a couple of reasons. For one thing, when you write children's books, it gets very difficult to write things not for children under your own name--the publisher mutters about branding, and more horrifyingly, you get e-mails from parents saying "My 9-year-old loves your books! I'm going to buy him everything you've ever written!" and then you're running in slow-motion toward the keyboard yelling "Nooooooo.....!"

Well, that may just be me. But anyway, pen name. In this case, the author T. Kingfisher has written "Nine Goblins."

My agent was cool with this--she loves this particular novella but couldn't place it for love or money and told me it'd be a good thing to self-pub, as long as I use a pen name and send her a copy. So with the blessing of all parties involved, off I went, and we'll see if this turns out to be a cool thing worth doing with future novellas or one of those "And let us never speak of this again" experiences.

I hired an editor, who made it better. As I happen to be an illustrator in my day job, I was able to do my own cover art, hopefully without bringing shame to my ancestors.

Formatting it for e-pub made me wail and gnash my teeth and scream at the heavens, so the less said about that the better. (Die, Scrivener. Die and be eaten by feral artichokes.)

The initial plan is release for 3.99 on Smashwords and Amazon. Depending on how it goes, I may add directly uploading to B&N in hypothetical future publications.

Annoying things I have noticed already: Amazon, while preparing to upload your book, apparently holds it in unalterable limbo. A fairly major formatting error came to light early in the process and I have to wait until it goes live before I can fix that. This is stressful.

My primary audience is readers of my blog, which happily numbers a few thousand people--they're already pouncing on the Smashwords version and have been very good about pointing out formatting issues for various devices and the so-far-two typos that made it past the editor. Each typo fills me with horrifying shame and makes me want to curl into fetal position. I hope this reaction passes quickly. I also hope the readers will continue to be patient with me.

(I kinda wish I could figure out a good give-away that wouldn't break the bank for those nice people. Maybe I'll just give them all ranks in the Goblin Army...)

I had been railing about the e-pub thing on Twitter for the last few days, and when I finally said that I thought it was done, I was still so deep in "e-pub horror rage urge to kill rising" mode that I didn't actually include links to the book. I am told this is not the way to market effectively.

Beyond mentioning it on my blog and occasional Tweets, I have no current marketing plan at this stage. I have a large enough platform currently that I'm hopeful the book will make back the editor's fee--beyond that, we'll see how it goes!