My Publishing Adventure

When I was busily engaged managing my publishing recruiting business, I wrote four novels in my spare time. They took me a while, because I had an essential day job; but it was fun. I even enjoyed the editing. But in two ways, it was also a challenge.

An engineering degree does not prepare one for the rigors of the publishing world — especially if there are a lot of words involved. And the marketing of a novel isn’t for the faint of heart.

I tackled the first challenge by taking courses and buying books on the subject of books. It took years, but after all of that, I daresay I improved. Plotting feedback-over-time, to use my engineering mind, I confirmed a definite trend toward the positive. My wife, who is my Chief Critic, agrees. She was subject to my writing from Day One, and she never pulled a punch. It was quite humbling.

But as an example of my progress, she heartily endorsed my latest short story: Brett Kovac, Private Eye. It’s a mash-up of film noir and science fiction, now available on Amazon.

I guess we’ll stay married.

For the marketing part of the process, I’ll admit that I never discovered the “secret sauce” of big financial success. Yes, I made some money. My proudest moment was doing a book signing at Harvard University’s Coop bookstore. And yes, I’ve done interviews on local radio, and even TV. But I could never have supported myself on that alone.

If only I could’ve done it full time! I thought.

For some elusive reason, in 2020 I haven’t been as tied up in my business as I have been in years past. Is this an opportunity to build a fiction-writing enterprise?

Why not?

My new strategy — as much for fun as anything else — is to write short stories and publish them on a monthly basis. As I’d hoped, I’ve never been more engaged with readers since I started doing this in March.

This approach frees me from being married to a novel for a year or so, too. I get to explore different worlds and inhabit different characters every month as I experiment with various writing forms. My current Kindle Short Read (the one my Chief Critic loves) is a detective story. And because I wrote it, there’s a science-fiction element. Brett Kovac specializes in alien-abduction cases.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: How is that working for you financially? Let me tell you.

In the first few months (stories) I made enough to put a substantial down-payment on a pack of gum. But seriously, it’s still too early to tell. Check with me next year. For now, I’m proud to say I’m in the black, and trending in the right direction. As the profits roll in I’m setting my sights on a six-pack of Sam Adams Oktoberfest beer.

Thank you to my engaged readers, and particularly those who have submitted reviews; they are a serious form of currency in Amazon’s online bookstore. Rest assured, it’s greatly appreciated when someone takes a few moments to provide feedback.

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Comments

  1. As your sister, I too, participated in reading your material during its infancy. Your writing style has improved exponentially. Your beginning stories were comparable to a Calculus textbook, keeping in mind math is my favorite subject. Your latest creation “Brett Kovac, Private Eye” is both humorous and intriguing. I found myself accelerating my reading to discover the next clue – bravo!

    • Veronica – thank you for the insight! I don’t remember how I found out about Michael Foy, but I am glad I did, and look forward to reading his stories (short AND long).

      (and, as an engineer myself, I think I will stop trying to find an affordable copy of his first novel, since I have a large layer of dust on my Calculus textbook on my shelf in the office).

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