On April 3, 2011, a revised version of Masks will be released on Kindle. (Other e-book retailers will follow. I’ll let you know when that happens.) To distinguish it from the original version published by iUniverse, it will be entitled Masks: A Novella. And it will be available at less than $3!
Three factors prompted me to re-release Masks. First of all, I had always felt that it was overpriced for its young adult audience. It’s also a novella, not a novel. In my opinion, it isn’t worth the same. I had no control over the pricing. That’s a downfall of choosing to publish through a full-service self-publishing company. And, let’s face it, I’m not a best-selling author. Best-sellers can be bought for less!
Secondly, I have grown a great deal as a writer since Masks was first released. I’ve learned so much about the publishing industry. Something I had no interest in initially. As I’ve mentioned before, when my daughter was about seven months old, I realized that I was her first and most important example of a woman. I had to stop dreaming about being a published author and become a published author.
When I was inspired to write Masks, my baby-step goal was to actually write a full story. I had too many unfinished novels lying in boxes and filed on my hard drive. I wrote the story more like a script than a novel. Once I had reached the end, I returned to add the narration. Then I revised again and again until I wondered whether it was good enough to publish. About nine months after I started writing it (I work at my own snail’s pace), I asked a friend to read it. Busy mom and career woman that she is, I gave her about three months to get back to me. By the time, she came back with her comments and a positive opinion, I had worked on Masks for about a year. Don’t think that during the time she was reading, I wasn’t making more revisions.
I considered my friend’s comments and revised the story again until I felt like I couldn’t do more without some professional help. I did not attempt to find an agent. I decided to publish it myself, found iUniverse and went for it. Several more revisions took place. By the time the last one was done about eighteen months after I began writing Masks, I was SICK of the story. I couldn’t even look at it when I had to approve the printer’s text. I took my word document and compared it to the PDF iUniverse had sent me and checked if the words matched! I couldn’t stomach reading the story once again. It was like a sugar overdose. I felt like I had eaten so many cookies that I wanted to throw up. Since its publication, I have learned so much and have grown as an author. After being away from Masks as its writer, although not as its promoter, I was ready to make the changes that would improve the story.
Lastly, I’m inspired by the success of Amanda Hocking and others. You can either be inspired or jealous. I’m going to stick with the positive emotion. The one that moves me to be better and not the one that will lead me to dwell about my lack of success. I don’t expect the kind of success Amanda Hocking has had. She is very prolific and has released multiple books in a short time. Plus, her books are series in a genre that is extremely popular right now. Still, there’s no reason for me to refrain from following her example and self-publishing an e-book. It’s free. It’s easy. If I don’t try, it will seem like a wasted opportunity. Besides, if Masks brings me any kind of recognition, I would rather be proud of it than think of all the things that could be improved upon. And even if I don’t sell a single copy, I will be satisfied to know a better version of Masks is out there.
For the last two weeks, I’ve been coming home from work and re-writing a chapter every night. I’m exhausted. Some chapters have received a major overhaul while others, only minor adjustments. I have three chapters left to work on. I think that in the end, the time and energy spent will have been worthwhile.
Before I submit the book to Kindle, please give me your advice or comments about the re-release, e-books or Kindle.