Back in the summer of 1996 I was on vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina with my girlfriend and her family. That girlfriend (who would later become my wife) and I happened to be in little mall area by the ocean one day. There we ran across a bookstore. Sitting at a table full of books was a writer, probably in his forties, meeting and greeting. I was a twenty-two year old unpublished writer with dreams of breaking into the business one day, so I stopped to chat. He seemed like a nice guy, so I bought a copy of his book.
As much as I hate to say it, the book was pretty terrible. The grammar and spelling seemed okay, but the story itself seemed contrived and a bit silly. I also thought it was boring. It just seemed to lack a solid hook to keep me interested.
Turned out that he’d self-published the book. Back in 1996 self-publishing meant a substantial cash investment followed by a campaign around bookstores trying to offload your inventory.
In other words a losing proposition. Continue reading