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Inspirational Reads

A Conundrum

March 1, 2010

I've picked up on a trend around these parts: mention the word "vagina", and lose a follower. The last two posts featuring the word "vagina" therein have each cost me a follower, and that really amuses me.

However, I'm going to refrain from firing off fifty-eight vaginae in a row. Mostly because I have work to do in the lab this afternoon, and I need as much bloodflow around my brain as possible.

See what I did there? That's a boner joke!

Anyway, as you may or may not have picked up on, I'm yet another one of those bloggers who is also an unpublished author, just working my way through my next manuscript. I'd continue on, but that seems to be de rigueur for bloggers, so I don't feel the need to rehash the notion. I'm just...you know...waiting for that first big break! *thumbs up*

But, what's that? A light, at the end of the tunnel? Or, more like, a tiny pinprick of light shining in the overwhelming and overarching dome of darkness hovering over my would-be authorial world?

It seems as though local pay-as-you-go self-publisher Lulu.com has offered up the chance to publish a book--for free! the offer, according to the newspaper article I read yesterday, is good until March 25th. I don't know if it's just for local authors (they are local to Morrisville, NC, which is a suburb of Raleigh), so if you're interested, check it out.

Here's the thing: I have a book that I could publish through them (actually, I have a couple of books that could go). My wife has even demanded kindly offered to help with cover design. Everything sounds good to go, right? So, then, where's the rub?

I'm not sure. I don't know if this is just one book that they'll publish, or if it means they'll publish it, and then I can sell and distribute through there. I'm thinking it's probably just a "here's the book", and they mail it to me and I get a fleeting feeling of self-satisfaction ("I'm an author!"), and then it sits on my shelf and collects dust until I get pissed at myself for doing it and throw the book either in the garbage, or in a plastic bin and leave it to molder in my out-building.

I've contemplated doing this before. I have a book that's roughly 55,000 words which I could easily expand to 80,000+ (right after I knock out a rather extraneous sexual scene *whistles innocently*) and change a few character names. As much as I like to knock NaNoWriMo, this is a book I actually wrote during my initial torrid November writing experience. Frankly, I'm actually kind of proud of the story and happy with how it turned out--not to say it wouldn't need some retweaking (see "extraneous sexual scene" from above).

It's just...I don't know. It would provide me with that first foray into the writing and publishing world. It would be something that I can fall back on in query letters whilst trying to find an agent for my other stories that I'll soon be pimping out again (current work-in-progress? It will be done this month.).

But, still. There's this nifty little dystopian time-travel story that I really like which could--maybe--get my foot in the door. And, there's a chance I can get the first book done for free--especially if I continue riding the wave of writing momentum that I've generated and finish up my Greek myth and then flesh out the missing parts of the story that I would focus on to fill the 80,000 word quota.

And yet, I hesitate. It sounds like a really good deal, right? Too good, in fact. And my mama...well, she didn't really teach me much of anything. But, I've always heard that, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And this whole thing is sounding just a bit too good to be true.

13 comments:

Sully said...

You lost followers over a word..!?? Wow...

I don't get it... but then again, I pretty much just insult everyone anyway.

MJenks said...

I don't know what the deal was over the weekend. I do know that one woman left the day after the post I wrote about Robert Whathisfuck saying that he was "allergic to vagina". I knew she wouldn't last through a decent Thursday, and I figured that post might drive away at least one or two people, since I was so anti-Twilight in it.

But, yeah, I don't get the deal, either. It just struck me as odd that I wrote about vaginas on Friday and lost another follower over the weekend. Odd and amusing all at the same time.

SkylersDad said...

I just clicked follow because I like vagina's. So there picky people!

Bev said...

Hmm, how odd. Don't worry Jenksy, you can't shake me no matter how disgusting you are. If I made it through all those poop & vomit stories and yes, came back for more... you know I'm ha-zooked.

You know what Maude Lebowski would say about the de-followers, don't you? "Vagina. The word alone seems to make them uncomfortable. Vagina."

As for the book thing, go for it! What have you got to lose, exactly? I can't see any reason to let your manuscripts collect dust when you could get them published, especially for free. Go for it!

Elliott said...

Obviously nobody we had in common, can you imagine the commotion my chicken vagina post would have caused?

Perhaps your followers aren't the type to enjoy large scientific terms. Have you considered changing 'vagina' to 'cooter' or some other slightly more innocuous synonym?

Besides, Cooter always was the best part of 'Dukes of Hazzard'.

Chemgeek said...

I just realized that I never became a follower since you moved to the new site.

So, +1

Chemgeek said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
kate said...

You said "vagina" three times in this post. For that, I'm going to start reading you more.

onebadmamajama said...

The left because of the use of the word "vagina"? It must be really lonely under that rock they crawled out from under. I'll keep stopping by 'cause vaginas don't scare me :P

Lindsey Himmler said...

My understanding of the self-publishing sort is that you might get a free book, but then they want you to buy 500 and sell them yourself. It works for some people, but major publishing houses and agents won't want to see it. If you'd just like to have single copy of your work that you aren't thinking about submitting, I'd say go for it. Or you could try and sell independently. I've just heard it's really hard.

Ed said...

My wife has used that site for her Childrens books.

It's pretty cool. It will let the modify a lot of stuff, publishing wise. You get free ISBN # and listing with Amazon and Barnes&Noble.

Even when they aren't doing a giveaway, it's free upfront. When someone orders your book, then they deduct publication costs from the sale price.

Cora said...

Stupid Robert Whatshisname.

words...words...words... said...

I say go for it. Sometimes it's stupid little incentives like this that make us do things we always say we'll get around to but never do.