“Ward crafts a thrilling tale of desolation, desperation and redemption after the world ends. I thoroughly enjoyed this tight little jaunt through a sandy wasteland populated by the damned and the dying and those desperate for a last shot at redemption, or hell. Ward infuses a classic down-on-his-luck scavenger tale with pathos, nobility and a faithful insight into the allurement of temporary pleasures. In short, pick this one up, it’s a strong read that stands on it’s own two feet.” – link to review to vote up
Scavenger by Timothy C. Ward, an authorized fan fiction novelette set in the world of Hugh Howey’s SAND.
So there you go, my first famous author to read and review my work. The rest of the reviews have been favorable as well, split 4/4 between 5 and 4 stars. I don’t care if someone posts a lower number star, but I’m glad to see people liking it.
Hugh Howey just posted an article called “The New Top Down Approach” which continues his argument for self-publishing being the favorite option as a starting point for authors instead of a last resort.
My take on self publishing is hesitant because of two factors: I lack the upfront money to hire editors and cover desingers; and reputable small presses I follow could give me better guidance and exposure than I could get on my own, while providing the editing and cover upfront.
Michael Bunker has blogged about how many people complain about my first point, and has given advice of getting a second job or minimize expenses to save up for editing and cover costs. I’m looking for a better paying first job, and actually have a second job in running Adventures in SciFi Publishing. It doesn’t pay well though. I’ve tossed the idea of stepping down and getting a second job, but AISFP gives me flexibility to work when I’m not needed to take care of our new baby. AISFP also helps get my name out there for when I do publish, so I’d like to keep that gig.
I suppose I could wait a year or so to save up for an editor and cover artist, but I think a small press could publish me sooner. They’d also save me the money of hiring an editor that isn’t the right fit. Scavenger’s edit helped me, but then with the changes I chose to just read it a bunch of times and hope I caught all the grammar and typos (so far no complaints). I don’t want to chance this with a novel length work, so just editing myself is not a choice I’m pursuing.
Hugh recently posted that one of his former editors, Karyn Marcus, Senior Editor at Simon and Schuster, is seeking freelance work in August. I contacted her but am only able to afford the smallest package, an edit of the first 25 pages. She’s doing me a favor in return for hosting her on my podcast, but it is still an investment that falls short of fulfilling my needs were I to self publish it.
Why am I doing it then? First off, how do I pass up on her credentials helping me polish the most important part of my story? (Especially since it is a first book in a series; lose readers in those first forty pages and future books won’t matter). Second, it does look like I’m going to submit to a publisher for this, so this helps my chances of getting accepted. Third, my beta readers (a small pool that could use more swimmers) have liked the story as it progresses, but think the beginning needs more work to match the quality of the middle to end.
I could hybrid my stories, with this novel, Order After Dark, going to a small press and my Scavenger stories being self-published through inexpensive editing and cover design. Right now I’m polishing the last few chapters in OAD and brainstorming what direction I want to go with Scavenger Part Two. I may or may not use the same explanation as Hugh has for why the future America is covered in sand.