Leaping Before You Look

When you’re learning how to walk, you don’t take classes. You don’t read how-to books. You don’t pay experts to help you, or do it for you. You just keep falling until you learn on your own.
J.A. Konrath

I’ve rarely been one who gets all the answers before jumping into a situation.  If I want to do something, I do it, and pay whatever consequences later. That’s not to say that I’m reckless–at least, I don’t think of myself that way–but I’m not someone who likes to wait to do things that I’m interested in.  I’m much more impulsive than that.

I say this in relation to trying out new activities.  Things like making a quilt without any training, or reupholstering my couch by taking the old fabric off, cutting the new pieces of cloth from the old ones, and reattaching them.  These sorts of projects might have gone more smoothly if I’d researched them more first, but I just don’t seem to have the patience or psychological makeup to do things that way.

I recently took another leap without looking . . . I e-published a short story of mine.  It stars Tabitha Patterson, who is the main character in my Young Adult mystery series.  I’ve been working on the first book in her saga for a couple years, and have been in the muck of revisions with it for a while now, as I blogged on here a while back.  But this short story is one of two I’ve written so far about her (the other is here on my website), and my editor told me that she thought it was good enough to be submitted for publishing.

I tried that route, and submitted it to a couple magazines for young adult readers.  However, I got no nibbles on the story.  I couldn’t seem to find other publications or websites where a YA short story would be accepted–though in truth, I didn’t look very hard either–so I put the story on the back burner for a few months, but kept going back to it here and there, tweaking where I saw it necessary.

Then, one weekend, I got a craw in my butt to just e-publish it myself on Amazon.  I didn’t even tell anyone I was doing it until after it was already off, because I was afraid I’d chicken out.  I know there’s much speculation on whether or not that’s the way for an unknown author to go–and I received advice against doing that very thing–but as I outlined above, I have a tendency to just jump on in and pay the piper later.  So I did it.  I purchased images and formatted how I wanted my story’s cover to look.  I read up on Amazon’s e-publishing rules (and those at Smashwords, too) to make sure my story wouldn’t get kicked back for poor formatting.

I sent off the news to a few friends of mine and have received some good reviews on the work.  One girl that I used to babysit even said that she really liked it and found it funny.  Since she’s my demographic, that made me feel good.

However, I know they’re my friends, so they might just be saying that to be supportive.  So now what I need to do is find readers who don’t know me at all and see how they enjoy it or not.  That means marketing is the next thing I have to learn, as well as how to sell my work on the web.  Chances are, though, that I’ll get a certain amount of knowledge, and take off with it . . . learning as I go along.

So without further ado, I’d like to introduce my short story . . .

High school sophomore Tabitha Patterson receives her first paid assignment: follow Sarah’s boyfriend and find out who the redhead is that he’s been seen with. With the help of her best friend, Stu, Tab discovers that–in order to solve a mystery–sometimes you have to get your hands a little dirty . . .

You can download it at the following sites:

Amazon.com for Kindle at:  Sarah and the Other Woman

Smashwords for other e-readers at:  Sarah and the Other Woman


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. kaye george
    Jul 20, 2012 @ 06:25:32

    I think you did the right thing, Alyx. Now, to let people know about it–that’s the tough part! I grabbed a copy and it’s in line in my TBR file!


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