Publishing’s Dark Side: They Don’t Have Cookies

A Guest Post by Sue Ranscht

“Hey, Mom! You gotta check this out. Nerdist and Inkshares are having a contest to publish a scifi novel.

How my son plucked Chris Hardwick’s tweet from that unending stream is a mystery. But my writing partner Robb Beus and I are doing the “final” editing on a YA scifi novel, ENHANCED, so I checked it out.

I knew about Hardwick. I’d attended events he hosted at San Diego’s ComicCon last year, and hey, he’s Chris Hardwick. I trust his integrity.

I’d never heard of Inkshares. Well, writers research, so soon I knew as much about Inkshares as anyone with the internet could.

It’s KickStarter for books, but if you reach your pre-order goal, Inkshares uses the funds to publish, promote, market, and distribute your book. Without going into detail, this WSJ article sealed the deal. The Prize: Inkshares will publish the Top 5 as of 9/30/15, goals met or not. (Rankings count unique Readers: 1 person, 1 pre-order.)

The contest began two days before. A sense of urgency, the need to hit the ground running, now, inflamed me.

I want this.

Unlike my extroverted son, I’m an introvert. People say writing is a hard, lonely pursuit. I love it. Alone at my laptop till the wee hours, I capture ideas and visions in words. Writing with Robb has helped both of us become better writers, but promoting my work?

Like I said, I’m an introvert.

And a single mom. I know how to do what has to be done simply because it has to be done.

For three weeks now, I’ve done what has to be done, and learned things about myself I never imagined.

For instance, for more than 20 years, Robb and I have collaborated creatively on many successful theatrical productions. We’re friends. We’ve been through some personally dark and unforgiving times together and have never had a falling out. This contest? It’s testing us. We’ve tripped over more than one disagreement, miscommunication, and hurtful barb. We’ve had it out twice.

Honestly? I think… I hope it’s the stress of this roller coaster ride. And him finding a new apartment and moving over the last two weeks. And my business being inexplicably slow all year.

I’m forcing myself to self-promote. I hate it. I don’t want to be that person who talks endlessly about their book, oblivious to everyone else’s boredom. In my mind, even though we promote diverse role models not normally seen in literature, ENHANCED has become The-Book-That-Must-Not-Be-Named. “Pre-order” is now a euphemism for something nasty.

Every time I ask someone to click on the link, read the excerpt, pre-order a book, and spread the word, I swear I can feel little bits of my soul crumbling away. I just know they’re rolling around looking for some meaningful little objects to hide in till this is over. Then I’ll have to hunt them down like Horcruxes just to become a whole person again.

But I want this. So I’m gonna leave this riiiiight here:


Click on this link.

Read the excerpt.

Pre-order 1 book.

Spread the word.

You can find Bonus Materials on our Facebook Page (please Like us), and follow us on Twitter @EnhancedYASyFy.

Thanks very much.

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Sue was 12 when her first published work, a review of Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness appeared in Quest Magazine. She’s now pursuing a career as a published author with a childrens’ book Space, Time, and Raspberries, Enhanced, the first part of The Second Earth Trilogy which is a YA SciFi series, and a secret project, totally counter to her personality. On Facebook at Space, Time, and Raspberries and Enhanced. On Twitter @SueStarlight


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