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Thread: Math, Guns, and Snark: SLHuang's Self-Publishing Thread

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    Inappropriately math-oriented. slhuang's Avatar
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    Dec 2012

    Math, Guns, and Snark: SLHuang's Self-Publishing Thread

    I'm almost ready to hit the big red button, so I thought I'd start one of these threads. Some of you have been with me on this journey already, answering my questions, being beta readers, critting my blurb . . . AW is amazing. I honestly shudder to think what I would have done if I hadn't found this site.

    About my book:
    It's what I call "mathematical fiction," but since nobody knows what that is I'm going with "speculative thriller" instead on the advice of people here. It's about a protagonist whose superpower is being really, really good at math. I've spent YEARS thinking this would be the coolest superpower ever, because if you could do math -- any sort of math -- really, really fast, what couldn't you do? The first book is titled ZERO SUM GAME (I'm starting with Book 0, hahaha! <-- nobody thinks that's funny except me), and it's the first book in the Russell's Attic series, which is planned to continue sort of indefinitely in an episodic manner, the way some urban fantasy series do (I have a rough story arc that could potentially take me through 10 or 20 books if I let it).

    Here's my cover, done by the marvelous Najla Qamber:

    Here's my blurb, thanks to the squirrels in QLH:
    Cas Russell is good at math. Scary good.

    The vector calculus blazing through her head lets her smash through armed men twice her size and dodge every bullet in a gunfight. She can take any job for the right price and shoot anyone who gets in her way.

    As far as she knows, she’s the only person around with a superpower . . . but then Cas discovers someone with a power even more dangerous than her own. Someone who can reach directly into people’s minds and twist their brains into Moebius strips. Someone intent on becoming the world’s puppet master.

    Someone who’s already warped Cas’s thoughts once before, with her none the wiser.

    Cas should run. Going up against a psychic with a god complex isn’t exactly a rational move, and saving the world from a power-hungry telepath isn’t her responsibility. But she isn’t about to let anyone get away with violating her brain — and besides, she’s got a small arsenal and some deadly mathematics on her side. There’s only one problem . . .

    She doesn’t know which of her thoughts are her own anymore.
    My process so far: I wrote the book (seven months), self-edited it (16 months), sent it through 4 beta readers, had a language expert copyedit some of the dialect, sent it to my wonderful pro editor Anna Genoese, formatted it by hand-coding the HTML and CSS according to Guido's guide, and did a proofread / device check with family and some AWers.

    Upcoming: The second book is written and in editing. The third book is about 2/3 of the way written. The fourth book is about 1/5 of the way written.

    I'll be looking at sending out ARCs this week but based on what I've read and my particular genre I don't have terribly high hopes for responses. I'm guessing (read: hoping ) that the genre/audience for my book will play well into the long game: building word of mouth, building up my mailing list, and writing the next book.

    And one other thing I'm doing that I'm hoping will help marketing is releasing under Creative Commons, which means I'm purposely making it legal to pirate my book. Yup, you read that right, I'm purposely legalizing piracy! (In fact, a stalwart belief in Creative Commons is a large part of the reason I chose to self-publish.) I believe in free culture, but I also believe that people pirating me will ultimately earn me more money, because the number one thing most authors struggle against is obscurity. So. We'll see! It's an experiment. I'll be sure to report back to you all.
    Last edited by slhuang; 03-16-2014 at 04:24 AM. Reason: forgot a link :)

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