Weighing Dreams, Principles, and Practical Realties

  1. Fantasy

This post is probably a bit premature, but dreams are like that. When I first started getting into fantasy novels written for adults (not to be confused with the connotations of “adult” fantasy fiction), I gravitated towards books published by Tor. It seemed that all the new books that I really loved were published by that one outfit. And I liked to imagine that I would see my own name on one of their books someday. Dream wise, there would be a special sense of accomplishment if my novel were accepted by the publisher that produced so many favorites of mine.

Time changes dreams and dreams change with the times. Not only did I get “sidetracked” by a growing (and necessary) interest in autism, but the market totally changed on me. I adapted, of course. Point in fact, my first book was a memoir of my early years raising three children with autism, and it was self-published.

As a marketer, I am a big fan of the changes that self-publishing technologies have brought about in the marketplace. The fact is that the economics of traditional publishing just don’t impress me. Instead of being the owners of their own, valuable work, authors take a backseat to the overwhelming interests of the publishing companies to the point that the authors are little more than hired hands. That’s just not acceptable!

On the other hand, I’m not independently wealthy and self-publishing a book is an investment. After two such investments in rapid succession, the delays experienced in receiving returns on my investments have become a factor that has impacted my personal life. Practically speaking, I have been producing publishable works faster than I have been able to publish them. The idea of getting an advance and some supportive marketing services, without paying out of pocket for them, is starting to make economic sense.

I don’t know for sure what I’m going to do, because my novel is not finished. A lot could change in the interim. But the scales will have to balance somehow. How much is a dream worth? How much is being practical worth? How much is the economic principles of self-publication worth? I just don’t know any more.

About the Author

Stephanie Allen Crist

Stephanie Allen Crist is a writer, advocate, and marketer. Stephanie’s first two books, Discovering Autism / Discovering Neurodiversity: A Memoir and First Steps: Understanding Autism, are available now.

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