The title of this post is the working-title acronym for my collection of short stories. I’m 99% sure the title is the one I’ll be going with, but until I’m 100% sure this is what I’m calling it.
It’s been interesting getting the stories in shape. I’ve pushed myself to make the stories good, and been pushed to do more by the finality of the act of publication — even if I’m only self-publishing them in digital form. Nobody wants to make an idiot out of themselves.
I’m pretty close to being able to put the stories up on Smashwords. I’ve worked through the formatting style guide, and I have a working comp for the cover art. I just need to do a final version of everything and a final read-through of the text and I think that’s it. (I’ll have more to say about the various steps in the process when I’m reasonably confident I didn’t mess things up.)
What I can say so far is that the impending act of publication has helped improve my work. Because I’m taking it seriously, that seriousness is producing benefits I hadn’t imagined. I’m not new to turning in final drafts of fictional copy, or scripts that will be produced by others, but this is a more solitary process, and I’m glad to find that it is not without rewards.
Even as I am starting to see the larger self-publishing movement as a fad or balloon that will inevitably go bust, I’m also utterly convinced that the internet as a distribution and publication platform is for real. I can put these stories where others can find them, and I don’t have to ask permission to do that.
As small as the collection is, and as limited as the economic upside might be, it feels like a big deal. Regardless of the outcome, I’m glad I’m doing this.
— Mark Barrett