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I Decided to Self-Publish

I recently wrote about an unusual manuscript I was shopping around. The manuscript doesn’t “fit the mold,” as they say, so I’ve decided not to waste any more time sending it out and waiting for rejections; I’ve self-published it.

I’ve self-published some other things, but this one feels different. Those were mostly short stories that I put out into the world as little e-books. This one is book-length, though short by publishing-house standards. It’s also maybe a little more important to me because it’s a nonfiction book that tells about my alternative route from adjunctery to the tenure track. It’s supposed to be a fun underdog story, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want it to make a difference, even if it’s a small difference, in the way the system of contingent faculty works in higher ed.

I wrote before about my concerns about tenure and the manuscript’s being accepted as a legitimate publication if I self-published. But, after some soul-searching, I realized that I wanted people to read what I had written and that playing the submit-to-publishers-and-wait game was not the appropriate means to that end. If it doesn’t help on my road to tenure, then so be it. But the book is about taking some chances, so I took another one and went the self-publishing route.

More about self-publishing: It’s relatively easy to do, and I think more and more authors are going to take to it, especially as books move further into the land of the digital. I used Amazon’s tools: Kindle Direct Publishing and Createspace (an Amazon-owned print-on-demand company). I’ve also used a company called Smashwords.com, which will help format my manuscript so it will soon be available for the Nook, Sony’s eReader, Kobo, and others. Now I just need to get it into libraries. Hmm.

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