COUNTING DOWN THE STORM (Temporarily Unavailable) A Novella by D. Ryan Leask
For two days the storm has taken over the city, and two people's lives. A man convinces himself that his life is worthless when his lover leaves him for another man. Alone and depressed, he allows his life to sink into the bowels of civilization. When a wife and mother discovers that her husband is having an affair she abandons logic and gives in to the perilous abyss of jealousy and revenge.
Re-Launch Tentatively Scheduled for Oct 17th:
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Monday, January 28, 2008

Self Publishing: A “Do-It-Yourself” Guide

I am perhaps not the best person to be giving information on self publishing. I have only heard the many horror stories of rejection after rejection followed by rejections galore from publishers and the like; I have never been through it myself. I decided to forgo all of that miserable sadness and cut right to the publishing part by doing it myself, well sort of.
I had thought at one time of self publishing but was met with much skepticism about how as a self published author you do not get the respect that someone who has gone through all of the trials and tribulations of getting published get. I have yet to find out if this is true or not. I changed my mind about publishing myself upon meeting a lovely lady who took over as the leader of my writing group. She is a self described “Guru” of self publishing. I was of course skeptical and remained so for some time. I decided to give it a chance when I discovered a relatively cheap way of doing this (in the low thousands instead of tens of thousands), I was able to publish just 100 copies instead of the 1000 that is the usual case when you go through her (or 10,000 minimum that I have heard many places have). She provided a lot of support and got me in touch with professionals in the industry who designed the cover, formatted the text as well as putting me in touch with a wonderful editor who charged me next to nothing for his services. Over all the time from the decision to self publish and the actual receipt of the books was incredibly pleasant and fast (about 5 weeks). Now I had 100 glossy 6”x5” 60 page books, they were beautiful and it was time to start marketing them. This is when things got hard.
I am now taking on the role of not just the author, but the publisher and agent too. I’m sure there are many out there who are wonderful salesman and would get great rewards out of being able to walk into a bookstore, coffee shop, etc. etc. and talk to the owners about displaying their book on consignment, and probably do really well. I admit I am a people person and enjoy talking to people but where I have a really tough time is asking for something and at the same time trying to rely the passion I have for my beautiful little book in such a way that they feel it too. Thus far I have not succeeded (I hate to say failed).
When I first started writing I kept telling myself that the absolute hardest part about being an author was actually finishing something. If you could complete your “masterpiece” someone somewhere would eventually look at it and be “Wow! This is great!” It may take some time and energy but not as much as what went into the story itself. I thought I could take a shortcut by self publishing. At this point I would have to say that I have become a little disillusioned with the process, perhaps it’s my lack of ability to be a salesman, or just not having the time to just get out and push my book. I’d had high hopes of having sold at least 500 copies by now. I have reached about 10% of that goal.
Ask me in a few years how it went and if I’d ever do this again, right now I don’t know the answer, but I think when I get my novel finished I am going to try the old fashioned way and compare the results (unless of course between now and then I end up with tremendous success with “Counting Down the Storm”)

Here are some things to think about (please do correct me if I’m wrong):

Self Publishing = 100% of your proceeds
Publishers = 10-15%

Self Publishing = 100% control over the end product
Publishers = May try to make you change things (sometimes for better, sometimes for worse)

Self Publishing = 100% retention of copyright
Publishers = May wish to obtain exclusive rights to your work

Self Publishing = 100% Guarantee your work will be published
Publishers = Are likely to reject your work many, many times

Self Publishing = Having to Market your own material, make your own cold calls etc.
Publishers = Help you do it

I would not dissuade anyone from going the self-publishing route, in fact if you think you can be a good marketer I would say it is the way to go. One other thing to think about is if you are going to do it get a good editor and listen to them. Because you are self publishing you have not had the critiques of industry professionals to look at your work before it hits store shelves, nothing would be worse than having 1,000 copies of a book with big glaring mistakes.
If you are interested in self publishing and would like to get in contact with the person who helped me I would be more than happy to send you her e-mail and website, I do not necessarily wish to promote her services as I was bad and didn’t shop around first to see if she was indeed as good as she sold herself to be so I would suggest doing so. I was incredibly happy with the end product though and the service she did provide.

Good luck and keep writing.

Dennis Leask
Author of “Counting Down the Storm”
as D. Ryan Leask
Available at:McNally Robinson Booksellers (Downtown Calgary)
The Koffee Binge, Sundre, Alberta
Request a copy by emailing:
or visit:

I still believe that the writing is the hardest part

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