Self-Publishing Supervillain

How Science Fiction and Fantasy Helped Me Conquer My Inner Demons By Being A Total Horse's Ass

Submitted by C B Wright on

Update 16 February 2014: This is, sadly, still relevant.

Note: This was originally posted on my Google Plus account here. I'm re-posting it to my website because it's relevant, and also because so there. Slightly edited.

My name is Christopher Brennan Wright. I’m a writer. More specifically, and this is important, at the moment I am an unsuccessful writer. I’m trying to struggle on, and get noticed, and “gain traction” just like every other writer in my position. There are no guarantees.

When you deal with something like that, it’s important that you don't dwell on trivialities, but I think the truth is that everyone does. There are goals and achievements you want that have nothing to do with actually succeeding, and they can haunt you more than the real goals can. I could wake up tomorrow and discover that I sold a hundred eBooks overnight and I’d still find a way to get discouraged. If you're reading this, and you have a level of success where a hundred sales in a night is no big deal, keep in mind that I'm an unsuccessful writer—a hundred books in 24 hours would be a pretty big win for me, and I wouldn’t be able to take the good news at face value. I’d be finding a way to undermine it somehow. I’m my own worst enemy. That’s just the way it is.

One of the ways I undermined myself was by feeling like an impostor.

A Somewhat Unorthodox Birthday Request

Submitted by C B Wright on

July 2, 2013: I am 42 years old. For the record, that means that for an entire year I get to be the Ultimate Answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything. I’m looking forward to that. When I turn 43 it means I will have moved beyond the question which is also kind of cool, but for now I’m going to revel in my Douglas Adams-inspired cosmic awesomeness.

This year I actually have something of a birthday request to you, my readers. It doesn’t involve spending money (though if you’re inclined to go out and buy my books, hey, that’d be awesome) but—if you’re so inclined—it does involve spending a little time. In short: if you’ve read either Pay Me, Bug! or Curveball, and if you’ve enjoyed reading them, would you consider posting a review somewhere?

New Years Resolutions, 2013

Submitted by C B Wright on

Just a quick post -- I'm still working on the last two parts of Curveball Issue Six (it has, alas, turned into a hybrid 2012/2013 issue) but I wanted to start off the new year with a simple declaration of my goals:

  1. Show them.
  2. Show them all.
  3. Develop evil laugh. Alternatively, I can try for the "thin, humorless smile while my eyes mock the futility of my enemies' efforts to defeat me." I haven't decided yet.
  4. Locate dormant volcanos for potential hidden lair.

That last one is a long-term project.

Other than that I plan to publish more comics and fiction than I did last year. That's technically easier than the dormant volcano thing. Practically? We'll see.

Why Self-Publishing? Webcomics.

Submitted by C B Wright on

In 2009, while I was at the tail-end of submitting an earlier draft of Pay Me, Bug! to publishers and getting a little discouraged about the process, people in my life encouraged me to self-publish. These people included a few friends, and even my parents. My parents even went so far as to mail me a promotional packet from a company that specialized in helping authors self-publish.

I didn’t want any part of it.

In 2009, at my very core, I steadfastly believed the only legitimate way to publish a story was to do it through an actual publishing house. Self-publishing, I believed, consisted of:

  • Deluded authors who were being played by vanity press outfits
  • Failed authors who had more ego than talent

In 2010 I began to revise Pay Me, Bug! one last time, intending to publish it first on the web, then as an eBook, and finally as a trade paperback. What, you might reasonably ask, changed my mind? Was I deluded by a vanity press? Did my ego overcome my talent? Well, no to the first: I publish everything using my own software and on my own dime. I can’t speak to the second, but I’m sure there are plenty of people who might think so. But for my part, the decision really had very little to do with self publishing fiction, or any of the arguments surrounding it. For my part, the decision to self-publish came from another venue entirely: