Pages

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Belinda's Birthday

I am going boldly forward into the self-publishing world! So boldly, in fact, that I'm following in Margaret Finnegan's footsteps. It's like when you walk behind someone in deep snow and place your feet in the footprints they made. Bold! Forging behind!

One of these days I swear I'll come up with ideas of my own, but right now I'm thanking Margaret for the courage, and for this sentence: "Just start with a short story." So I've started with Belinda's Birthday on Smashwords. I first published the story on Paula Johnson's The Rose City Sisters (now at its fancy new WordPress location). Belinda's Birthday was a runner-up for story of the year on that site in 2009. Perhaps you've already guessed the winner.

Finnegan's a damned marketing genius. How can I compete with that? I can't. She makes cake with cocoa frosting. I make lentils. We do what we can with what we have.

I hope you'll download Belinda's Birthday for FREE, and maybe even give me a 900-star review. (Or whatever. I don't think  Smashwords will let you give me 900 stars, but I'll take as many as they'll allow.)

This is the first step, of course, to publishing my novel, Camelot & Vine. Camelot, here we come!

36 comments:

Book Dragon said...

got it :D

pinned it too

John Sandel said...

Sh*t just got real.

Shell Sherree said...

This is a great way to get started, Petrea. I remember your story from The Rose City Sisters, but was happy to read it again just now. I tried leaving a review twice and it looks like both went AWOL - either that, or both will appear when they make it past the gatekeeper. Congratulations on taking the plunge!

Valladolid Daily Photo said...

Not great, but magnificent way to start. Congratulations, Petrea!

Susan Campisi said...

I'm so excited for you! I hope to one day follow in both your footsteps. And I'm looking forward to reading your short story and Margaret's - and of course both your novels. Yay!

Adele said...

I'm in!!! Best of luck with the story and the novel. I've been waiting, somewhat impatiently, for Camelot & Vine to get published, so I can keep reading. The bit that you posted awhile back absolutely grabbed me!!

Jean Spitzer said...

She is inspiring.

I'm downloading and reading. Thanks.

Petrea Burchard said...

Thanks for your encouragement! John is right, "sh*t just got real." I'm a little scared (a lot scared) because this means I've got to put my mouth where my keyboard is, or my money where my bragging went, or something like that. But this is it, the cr@p hits the fan, the feathers fly, off we go, I am working on this 24/7 now and getting all my cliches out today so they will be out of our way when the fun starts, which is now.

AAAAAAAHH!

Petrea Burchard said...

Oh BD, you pinned it, great idea!

I will go look for your reviews, Shell.

Not great, Valladolid, but magnificent! Ha!

Susan, not that I'm advocating stealing company money, but I wrote a screenplay and a TV script on breaks at a day job. That's not easy if you like the people you work with and enjoy taking breaks with them. But there's always lunch.

Adele, the idea of waiting for the publishing business scared me even more--two years at the earliest, and that's only if I'm very, very lucky and my book fits like a round peg into a round hole which it doesn't--so I decided to do it myself, which these days is every bit as viable. We're fortunate to be living in such an exciting time for publishing!

Thank you, Jean!

BaysideLife said...

Just finished ready your short story and I absolutely loved it. Honest. I followed the links to the excerpt of Camelot and Vine and like Adele I'm hooked. Your resume is quite impressive and I'm happy to know (if only through the blog) such an amazing woman.

(My brother-in-law self published two novels a couple of years ago. Sadly, he's stopped writing. Life got in his way. Maybe someday he'll use "life" to write a third novel.)

Petrea Burchard said...

Shell, your reviews are up! Thank you!

Desiree said...

Happily, you're not competing with Margaret. You're cheering her along. What a great writing community!

Petrea Burchard said...

Bayside, that's very generous of you! Thank you. I understand your brother's plight. It took me a very long time to write Camelot & Vine--got married, moved three times, lost a parent, yadda and et cetera. Those things require a lot of attention. I hope he gets back to it.

Desiree, you know whereof you speak! You were the first guest author here, and the self-pub arm of your publisher ("Human Cargo"--search it here on the blog or online, folks!) is where Margaret turned for her paperback version. I think I have that right, right?

dive said...

Yay! I didn't have time to download your story before work this morning, Petrea, but I'm just home and about to relax with it this evening.
Roll on 'Camelot and Vine'! I can't wait.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Self publishing is a hard choice to make - namely because we come from a time when such actions were referred to as vanity publications. But everything is changing. The publishing industry is in flux. And my understanding says opportunities in that arena are more of a long shot then ever before.

I suppose to be heard, were going to have tunnel under the cultural gate keepers. Sneak that gold golf ball belonging to astronaut Neil Armstrong (that reentered earths orbit and landed in my back yard) into the KNOWLEDGES show.....*wink*

make your own luck

Petrea Burchard said...

It won't take you long to read the short story, Dive. I'm hoping C&V (once it's ready) will take at least a little while longer.

PA, you're absolutely right. I have agonized over it and I imagine Margaret did, too. Sometime I'll give you the long version of what I've already gone through with the conventional process, and what literary agents have told me.

Filmmakers are also going through this. So are musicians. The tried and true routes no longer work for new artists. You?

The internet is both cause and solution. Recession, history, all of it. We stand poised to hit your golden golf ball in a whole new direction.

Bellis said...

It's a great story. I should have waited until the end before reaching for my own junk food supply. All that talk of chips made me hungry.

You should do well with your venture. You can write, sesign and photograph the cover (it's a brilliantly effective book cover), and act and voice the trailer. Looking forward to Camelot and Vine. May it have the same groundswell support that made 50 Shades rise to such heights.

Bellis said...

I, on the other hand, can't even spot my own typos.

Petrea Burchard said...

Bellis, we all need at least one reader to help us with that. You will be in the C&V acknowledgements.

If I'm going to have the success that 50 Shades of Grey has enjoyed, I'll have to put some sex into the book. I don't think I can imagine that much sex.

Margaret said...

I love your cover. I think it is brilliant, and the story is even better.

Ms M said...

Good story and cover design! Glad you're taking the plunge. And I'll look forward to reading Camelot & Vine!

altadenahiker said...

Yes, publish! I've always held your purse, haven't I?

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, Margaret! And thank you and thank you.

And thank you, Ms. M!

Karin, you are so kind to hold my purse. You know I'm here to hold yours.

Katie said...

Excellent idea to follow Margaret's footsteps into the world of self publishing (said as I eagerly await the arrival of her novel in paperback). Belinda's Birthday is such a powerful and wonderfully detailed story. I really want to spend more time with her and see what she does next. And I love what you've done with the lentils on the cover!

Petrea Burchard said...

I don't really know how to cook them so I just decorate with them.

Sid said...

A sad but hopeful human story. It brings back my wife's death more than eight years ago. Her notes are still inside some cupboard doors.

Petrea Burchard said...

Sid, thank you for reading it. I hope you keep your wife's notes. Handwriting is like a direct line to the heart.

sonia a. mascaro said...

Congratulations, Petrea!
Just great!
I'm looking forward to reading your story and Margaret story too!

Petrea Burchard said...

Sonia, thank you! I hope you enjoy it and I know you'll love Margaret's book!

Latino Heritage said...

What Dive said. By the way, I will never look at lentils in the same way after reading your prose. Envelope and enveloped - nice sensory image.

TheChieftess said...

Congratulations Petrea!!! Another inspiration!!! I'll plan on reading about Belinda this weekend!!!

Petrea Burchard said...

Yay! Thank you, Roberta, and thank you, Chieftess.

Chrissy Brand said...

How exciting- good luck- I shall sign up and download- sounds a good read ;-)

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, Chrissy! I hope you enjoy it.

TheChieftess said...

Such a poignant and WELL WRITTEN story!!!! You're awesome Petrea!!! More...more...MORE!!!

Petrea Burchard said...

Thank you, Chieftess! I needed that. I am at this moment trying to figure out some sound recording software so I can do a little audiobook of it. Argh! I just want someone to swoop down and show me how.