i’ve decided to self-publish my book.
since moving to the bay area a year ago i haven’t made a decision that has excited me as much as this one does. it came to me in a moment of complete hope and gratitude. (forgive me, i have been in the Bay for a year now, so some “woo woo” language has inevitably infiltrated my vocabulary.)
i had been reflecting for several weeks on the last year of my life here – the experiences i’ve had, the people i’ve met, and the generosity of the city i’ve felt. and it was in this state of appreciation and general happiness, and on my one-year anniversary with the Bay Area, that i received a really beautiful and encouraging rejection letter from a press i was looking forward to publishing with. a small, lesbian press. a press whose philosophy about queer lit is so harmoniously in line with my own.
essentially, what the editor wrote to me was that my manuscript is intelligent and important, beautifully written, totally up their ally, worthwhile on so many different levels, etc…. but that unfortunately, they’d have to pass since they’d not be able to make a profit off the book.
now i understand this completely and i have no hard feelings at all about it. i know that small presses more than any are suffering in this economy and in the changing face of publishing. i get that. my book is a risk most publishers are not willing or able to take.
when i got this email, though, i didn’t feel disillusioned, insulted, or upset in any way. in fact i felt very peaceful. i had received a number of other emails like it. i had been considering self publishing already, but something about getting this letter from this particular publisher on this particular day made me realize what i needed to do.
i wrote this book mostly in solitude. the process was inward-looking, hermetic, lonely. but now, i have community. access to new places and people, another year’s worth of knowledge about myself and about publishing, and renewed enthusiasm for creative work, which i’ve been neglecting in order to focus on setting up shop for myself in a new city. now, as i begin the publication process, this new adventure, i am looking forward. outward. upward. !!!
i am self publishing not only so that my book can have a life of its own, but also so that i can continue to build my life in this place i love.