I’ve been kept busy soliciting and going through bids for the production edit phase for my novel The Wizard Ignites. I have identified the editor I want to work with for the copy and line edits. Developmental/Content is done. Now, I just have to raise the funds to get the edits done.
I still have to go through the bidding process to identify and pre-screen a set of 3 to 5 proofreaders from whom to choose to do the final cleanup. I’ll want to include the proofreader’s cost in the first crowdfunding campaign.
If we exceed target for that campaign, I may set stretch goals before the campaign ends in oreder to raise the actual publication costs (cover design, layout, ISBN, LCCN, SAN, PQN HC edition printing, shipping and review costs, POD setup, and eBook).
For now, the plan is to do two crowdfunding campaigns (first for edit, and then a second in the first quarter of next year for publication).
The fact is that the economy has affected everyone, including publishing houses. A first novel at 191,000 words is just too high a “risk” for today’s traditional publishers. Even for epic fantasy novels, they want to cap at 120,000 words. Established authors with a marketable name might be “allowed” to publish their longer works through a traditional publishing house, but the “unknown” author is precluded.
This means that a debut author who has written a longer novel must self-publish if their manuscript is ever to see the light of day.
In the current environment, long, debut novels such as the following would not likely have been published (or even have been read for consideration):
The Pickwick Papers by Charles Dickens (274,000 words)
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte (184,000 words),
Catch-22 by Joseph Heller (174,000 words),
V by Thomas Pynchon (240,000 words),
Doctor Zhivago by Boris Pasternak (197,000 words),
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson (165,000 words),
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison (177,000 words),
Adam Bede by George Eliot (216,000 words), and
Gone with The Wind by Margaret Mitchell (418,000 words).
That list isn’t even comprehensive. Great works and great authors all. And we might never know them if they wrote today.
If today’s author is not in the financial position to front the costs to publish a longer work, then an old model of support for the artist must be employed: patronage. We must find our own “Medici” or group of “Medici’s” to support the costs in getting our work to press and available to the public and help us launch our careers.
I lost everything in 2009. I lost my job, my home, my savings, and my income. At 56 years old, I survive on food stamps and the kindness of my family. I’m not asking for any sympathy. This is simply full disclosure as to why I can’t fund this project myself.
But the good news is I am moving forward.
I hope and plan to get the crowdfunding campaign for the edits launched mid- to late-August.
Please spread the word and stay tuned.
All the Best,
Your Wizard Marc