End of the First Wave
The time has come for an end. I have mentioned in the past about the end of my first wave of books and the beginning of a second one. I have wrestled with the decision about what to do. I love the creative aspect of writing and feel that, over time, I have become a better writer than when I began years ago. The thing I am not good at is marketing, which is ironic in a way as I have been able to market for others when I used to travel to events around the country and I could talk up a product and get someone interested in the experiential moment. With my own work, it is a different story. I cannot seem to focus on marketing and creating at the same time. It is not in me to push so hard for such a small impact. I have tried many avenues and have found limited success as an unknown commodity on the market. Perhaps it is the genre-crossing nature of my works or my refusal to write for current market trends.
I have learned a lot in the last fifteen years, from my first experience with a vanity publisher, Wasteland Press, to the ins and outs of dealing with a small publisher, Beau to Beau, and to my sojourn into the world of self-publishing. I have found a great writing program in Scrivener and have utilized other tools like Affinity to design covers for all formats and Vellum for ebooks. And I have tried different ad campaigns (the one I am most proud of is for my giallo, Modulator, in last year’s Halloween issue of Rue Morgue magazine) with little to no notice. All the while, the publishing industry has radically changed. The top tier of major publishers is smaller and even harder to get into through the gateways of agents; the other ones that accept open submissions sometimes struggle to survive; and there is such a glut of self-published books that it is easy to drown in a sea of despair. In the past, I have rescued my previously published works in new editions under my Punk Fiction banner of self-publishing, with only Modulator and a couple of stories inside Anarchy - Strange Tales of Outsiders being completely new, but it is time for a change.
The end of the first wave is now, as I have decided not to self-publish any of my current or future works. I did entertain the idea of releasing Lane Bowden 1973 this August since it is the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the true crimes (the Houston Mass Murders) that it is based on, but it feels like too much work to let it go out into the world with a whimper. The same goes for my Rebel’s Edge Series (Suburbia, Punks, Over the Edge) and my cyberpunk book, Future-Thrill, as it feels better to wait and see. Going forward, I want to refocus on creating something new and refining the submissions of my unpublished manuscripts. Something good is going to happen. I just need to let go.
Thank you for your support.
Here is some inspiration from the dark.
Below is the email I sent to Fangoria Classifieds:
I have been a lifelong fan since picking up issue #37, with Gremlins on the cover, at the mall. It would be really cool to get a line in the classifieds for an upcoming issue.
Below is my personal note for consideration in the Fangoria classified space:
Since 1984, Fangoria has inspired me to write punk fiction and horror. - David S.
This message was included in the classified section of Fangoria Vol. 2 Issue 5 or 353 in October of 2019 (the one with Creepshow on the cover).
It was a small thing, but also a teenage dream come true!