My Publishing Journey: Live Free or Tri

Live_Free_or_TriEvery January, I make a to-do list of writing projects I hope to accomplish in the coming year. It’s not exactly a list of new year’s resolutions (which would, once again, include “Lose 10 pounds” — those darned pounds keep finding me), but rather provides me with some structure in an occupation that by its very nature tends to be unstructured.

I’m happy to announce that I have just completed the first of nine such projects: self-publishing a collection of three short mystery stories. I used Create Space for the trade paperback version and Kindle Direct Publishing for the Kindle eBook version. I found both platforms fairly easy to navigate, and while both versions required different formatting, the requirements are well defined. For the Kindle version, I also downloaded the free eBook, Building Your Book For Kindle. For the paperback version, I hired a wonderful woman (intentionmedia) from Fiverr. For the cost of $10US, she completely formatted the book with custom headers/footers and page numbers—and she did within a day. Could I have done this myself? With patience and determination, almost certainly, but after a couple of frustrating attempts, I decided my time was worth more than $10US.

So what made me decide to self-publish three short stories? The idea started when I got the publishing rights back to my short story, “Live Free or Die,” which was included in World Enough and Crime (Carrick Publishing, 2o14). What would I do with a previously published story? I consulted fellow members of the Short Mystery Fiction Society. Ideas ranged from sending it into e-zines that accepted reprints, to publishing it as a single, to the option I ended up choosing: including it in a collection with two new, previously unpublished, short stories.

I knew that “Live Free or Die” was worthy of publication. But what about my other two short stories? I consulted with beta readers and a proofreader/copyeditor. When the stories passed their discerning eyes, I worked on a title for the collection, and came up with LIVE FREE OR TRI.

Here’s a teaser:

Death and Deception

Appearances are often deceiving and that’s the underlying premise of this collection:

In “Live Free or Die,” naive 21-year-old Emmy falls hard for 31-year-old Jack, an efficiency expert from New Hampshire who is not all that he seems.

In “Murder in the Marsh,” cyclist Carrie Anne Camack discovers more than she bargained for in the fertile farmlands of Ontario’s Holland Marsh.

In the final story, “The Cycopaths,” a triathlon team’s open-water swim training in Collingwood, Ontario, has deadly consequences.

LIVE FREE OR TRI will be available on Amazon in trade paperback within a few days. In the meantime, you can already find it on Kindle (FREE on Jan 16 & 17), where coincidentally, you can also find my debut mystery novel, THE HANGED MAN’S NOOSE!

Coming January 22:  Timothy Weatherall, author of The Incarnations of Joe: Book 1 The Key talks about his publishing journey, and why he choose assisted publishing with FriesenPress

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12 responses to “My Publishing Journey: Live Free or Tri

  1. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Hi Carolann, first — thanks for stopping by! Second, that is a “stock” cover on Create Space, so I don’t actually know. They have a decent selection of free covers and you can change the color of the background, text, inset picture etc. The inset was called Journey. It seemed to fit my theme. One of the stories takes place in Collingwood, Ontario, and involves a triathlon team’s open water swim training. The water reminded me a bit of Georgian Bay. But it could really be anywhere, couldn’t it?

  2. Carolann Vestergaard

    Where is the picture taken of those rocks? Looks like the maurs in Ireland?
    Tks.

  3. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks Susan. I’m hoping this collection introduces new readers to my novel, and my blog. Good luck on your list!

  4. Congratulations on your new book. I think the January list idea is a good one. i do something similar, keeping track of what I’m getting done.

  5. Judy Penz Sheluk

    I’m one of those people who always has to be learning or doing something new. Plus I’ve been procrastinating on my current book.

  6. eightpawswriting

    Congrats on your new project. You are brave and inventive! Look forward to reading it!

  7. Judy Penz Sheluk

    It was quite easy though I did it backwards (started with KDP and then did CreateSpace). I did it as a learning exercise, partly, and I learned a lot. I’d recommend if you were interested to do something similar — i.e. test drive on a shorter project. I still think there is a lot of value in traditional publishing, but I like to understand all my options. There are pros and cons to every option.

  8. Congrats Judy! I enjoyed reading about your self-publishing journey. Something I’m considering…

  9. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks Diane. It was a good test case for me as I ventured into self-publishing. It was much easier than I thought. We’ll see how it goes. I also love reading short stories. I find writing them really difficult — honestly sometimes I think a novel is easier!

  10. Good luck with the book, Judy. I love writing short stories because they bring quicker satisfaction than a 150,000-word fantasy novel. And I love reading them because some times, I only have 30 minutes to read.

    Diane Tibert
    Author of “Scattered Stones”

  11. Judy Penz Sheluk

    Thanks Susan. Feel free to email me if you have any questions. Would definitely recommend getting the How-to book for Kindle. Very step-by-step.

  12. Susan Van Kirk

    Great blog, Judy. Your information is timely and informative. I’m printing this one for reading again.

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