The March to the Day

In my last post, I discussed the varying reasons why I chose to self-publish and in that I mentioned that all of the creative authority, and responsibility, therefore falls on me. I find this to be a very exciting prospect and, being a DIY kind of guy, I feel up to the challenge. There are, however, lots of things to do before the release.


I had gone through my manuscript a couple times before I started the query process. Typical things; looking for grammatical errors, cutting it down where I felt I could, formatting, chapter and page breaks, etc. The finished copy I sent out there was my 3rd or 4th draft. But, now that I have chosen to publish alone, no one is going to through it again. So, I have to objectively look at my baby and go through once more, just to make sure I’m bringing you the best version of Lyra that I can.
No small task. It has been aptly stated that writers make terrible editors for much the same reason Doctors should not self-diagnose. We are just too damn close to it all. How do you look at the labor love, that in my case has taken over a decade from inception to query draft, and start slicing? Whatever the answer is, that is hurtle #1.

Cover Art

As I have posted the WIP pieces from my development of the cover image on my homepage, you can see that I am pretty close to finalizing the cover. Being a digital artist definitely makes the process of cover creation less of a nerve wracking thing for me. However, she is my baby and I want to make sure her best face is forward, literally speaking.

Formatting and Publication Process

Once the final edit is complete, I have to start formatting the book according to the requirements of the self-publishing vehicle of choice. There are different requirements for Ebooks vs. POD books so this likely means going through this process twice, once for each copy version.
As with any technological endeavor, no matter how streamlined and simple we try to make it, there will likely be some hiccups. And hiccups are time consuming things. However, there is a wealth of help guides and probably someone to reach out to, so it should work just fine. I’ll keep you posted.


I have a strategy for marketing Lyra, though I won’t go into too many details until that campaign is officially launched. However, I am not a marketing strategist. I don’t have experience in getting products out there, so this effort is a very learn as I go and have a strong concept to start kind of thing.
That’s okay. I’ve done research regarding established authors and their initial processes, the history of break out hits and things that made it, etc. and, in reality, I have to tell you that marketing seems more of a right place, right time situation. Sure there are some clever ways to aid in that, but nothing can guarantee the right moment. It has been said that hind sight is 20/20, so all I can do is give it my best effort and trust fate. But I know what the alternative, not trying, brings and I’m done with that.

Decision to Self-Publish

There are many factors that go into the decision of how to pursue publishing; be it traditional, self-publishing, or even something in between. Upon completion of my second draft of LR:GZ, I jumped right in to the process of traditional publishing. As a result, I shopped my finished manuscript around to both open publishers and literary agents for many months.

Now, for anyone who has not gone through the experience of querying, whatever the product is, there is something you need to know. It is an uphill learning process, one that is tailored to require you to continually throw yourself out there, like a salmon. But, even a salmon has some natural sense as to what their process is. Querying in the literary world is more like being a blind cave fish in a salmon stream.

It is a highly subjective environment and definitely a buyer’s market. There are a few guides out there to help develop your approach, but the unifying sentiment of those I found all indicate that it is a learn as you go process. You have to go into it expecting that you are going to be rejected. Period. Being rejected helps to build resilience, awareness, the ability to read the particulars, blah blah blah. But more than that, you have to accept that a “no” is as important and beneficial as a “yes”. Now, how could that be?

Say an agent does respond offering representation, however, they are not really invested in your ideas but looking to maybe pad their client list for some other reason. Is that agent going to be as beneficial in selling your manuscript to a publishing company as one who is actually excited by your ideas? Probably not. And as long as you are signed up with that agent, you won’t be concerned with looking for another who is invested in you. A delaying process that can last years.

Again, I tried for months. Eventually, I was faced with the choice: do I continue this indefinite process of querying until one day I may find the right person at the right time, or do I walk this road alone and publish with one of the self-publishing venues.

At this point, I’d like to reiterate that I had researched quite a bit on methods to improve my pitches, tailor my query process, and strengthen my approach. There were a number of people who provided insight through writer’s help sites and such. A particularly notable individual is Jane Friedman through her website, I want to mention her particularly because, beyond just offering advice with one or two aspects of the process, she covers nearly everything. Her book, The Business of Being A Writer was very influential in my decision to self-publish. And here’s why.

In her book, she discusses a very broad range of poignant topics, in particular the differences between traditional and self-publishing. In it she offers no sense of bias one way or another and tackles the topic on the merits of each. Essentially, one main difference between traditional and self-publishing is that of a singular effort vs. a collaborative one. But with the lack of that team dynamic found in traditional approaches comes more creative control, and responsibility, to the author in the marketing, editing, formatting, and cover design processes.

Another main difference is the type of exposure; physical books in brick and mortar stores nationwide vs. online retail. In either case, I actually prefer the self-publishing aspects better than that of the more traditional route. I like having more control over my creation, and as a digital artist have had a concept for the cover since early in the process. I also like the thought of having a world wide reach with very little physical materials involved.

Now, it is to be said that another major difference is that of timing. In the traditional publishing example, even if I found a dedicated and invested agent today, I would not have a contact until they managed to sell the book. That process can take some time, even years. And that time is on top of the amount of time to find an invested agent in the first place, which can also take years. Say then that I do get a contract with a big five publisher, my book would still not be published for another a year or two more because of the collaborative effort of all those now involved, the production schedule of the company, marketing, etc.

Where this is not a race and rushing to publication is in no way a recipe for a successful book launch; quite likely the opposite. How many established authors out there waited 5, or 10, or more years before their work was accepted and published traditionally? What could they have done with those years were they not toiling to find the “right” agent/publisher? At the time, had they the option to self-publish as it is done today, would they?

It is with these thoughts in mind that I have dedicated myself to the self-publishing process. In an effort to maintain creative control, provide myself the best suitable publication options, and bring my work to the public eye in a timely manner; I will gladly walk this lonely road.

To Invert the Social Lens?

Regarding my tag line at the top of my page; it came up during one of my many discussions with my wife. We were chatting about the reasons why I write, what drives my desire. I tried to tackle the range of reasons; I like to create characters and worlds, I love words, I want to leave an impact on the world, etc. But in seriously considering the root of these, and many more, reasons, I stumbled upon the phrase to invert the social lens.

So, just what do I mean by inverting the social lens?

I find that our lives are, by and large, governed by a lens of pretense that is thrown up all around us. The pretense that we are safe in our neighborhoods because others will protect us. The pretense that our politicians are really working for our benefit. The pretense that the wealthy are deserving of the good they have and that the poor are deserving of the bad. The pretense that the pretty people, the successful people, the popular people; are all happy and devoid of troubles.

I define ‘pretense’ as the lies we accept to make it through the day. That if we work hard enough for that Fortune 500 company, one day we too will be successful. Even if that means we don’t get to be with our families, raise our children, and have no time to ourselves. That if we buy the right products and sell the right image, we’ll be accepted for who we really are. Pretense is what drives the modern world. And arguably, what is driving us to extinction.

So, to me, inverting the social lens means to shine a light on that pretense and burn it away. To cast the lies we sell aside and see the real person standing behind. To face the light so that we might be accepted for who we are because of who we are. Does that mean that everyone will love us? God no. But we will be loved by some for the right reasons, not loved by many for the wrong.

As an example, think of how many popular and beloved celebrities were cast aside and demonized for hidden behaviors in the past few years. People that were looked up to, praised, and beloved by many for their virtues or talents. Only to be cut down from those pedestals in an instant. We are so starved for truth that we gladly believe the virtuous lie, even if only for a moment. And we have fallen so far that we will ardently hold onto undeserved faith in people, even in the absence of any validating reason. Just look at our voting patterns.

We, as a species, have become so mired in pretense that we are factually killing ourselves to maintain the image of living. We have become cruel in the mask of kindness and callous in the mask of caring. And when donning the mask becomes more important than the face it shields, the life it veils…what virtue is left? What point is there in living?

I write in order to strip the mask and reveal the life behind. I write to invert that social lens of pretense and bring light upon what is real and true and worthy. I write to reveal you to yourself.


Welcome to my official Author page! I am very excited to christen this site, as I’ve been working for a while now. I fully expect there will be some changes and alterations made as I go along, of course. But I now have an official place to promote my writing work.
To that end, I am pleased to announce that my debut novel Lyra Rayne: Ground Zero is in final production and will be ready for release soon! I am planning on an October release date, so mark your calendars and keep an eye on your favorite e-book and POD book retailers.
I will continue to provide updates as we near this official release date, so please do subscribe to my page for future updates and postings! And again, welcome dear reader.