Friday, March 15, 2013

The Hybrid Author: Jumping into Self-Publishing

Exciting things happened for me this week. Not only did I sign a contract for another book with Hyperion/Disney, but I also received reversion rights for Nancy's Theory of Style and three of my Casa Dracula novels. Woohoo!

I like all the things that a publisher can provide, especially wonderful guidance from insightful editors, and I'll always want to pursue traditional publishing. However, I'm delighted that I'll be able to offer my older books to new readers at more reasonable ebook prices and with cohesive cover art.

Jumping into self-publishing is a bit nerve-wracking, and I often go to the The Passive Guy and J.A. Konrath for guidance. I also had the pleasure of meeting indie wonder Amanda Hocking when she joined the Tor Teen book tour at our visit to Third Place Books in Washington.

The moment I found out that I was getting ebook and print book rights reverted, I contacted illustrator Nan Richards, who I'd proposed to my publisher for the original Nancy cover a gazillion years ago. (Instead I got the toilet paper cover.) Nan and I were able to reach an agreement for the cover art of Midnight Brunch, The Bride of Casa Dracula, Haunted Honeymoon, and Nancy's Theory of Style. We're calling it the Doodle Project. Nan knows exactly what I'm writing about -- because she was a chic young woman living in Pacific Heights like my character Nancy, and because she's visited the ranch that inspired the setting for the Casa Dracula novels.

I've gone through a long learning period about covers and I've worked with talented designers. But sometimes the cover art that I love isn't effective at a quick glance and as a tiny online graphic. I've had to accept that I can't be too literal or detailed with cover art, that it should be more symbolic and simple.

I hope to have my ebooks available as Kindle ebooks by the end of the month.

Next week I'll have galleys for The She-Hulk Diaries! This book is more of a flat-out comedy, and I hope people enjoy Jennifer Walter's/She-Hulk's shenanigans as much as I enjoyed writing them. My favorite part: song lyrics. Because I've realized that my secret talent is writing nonsense poetry. I've been writing silly poems since I was about ten. If I'd focused on them I would have been the Chicana Ogden Nash by now, revered by three or four people the world over.

After The She-Hulk Diaries is published, I hope everyone will refer to me that way: "Marta Acosta? Oh, she's the Chicana Ogden Nash!"

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