It wasn’t the original plan. After self-publishing four historical baseball novels through my Grassy Gutter Press imprint, the goal with my first foray into the Young Adult market was to sell THE INVASION OF NORMANDIE to an actual publisher and get it into as many reader hands as possible.
It wasn’t going to happen right away.
A very reputable New York agent I had a past relationship with passed, as did a handful of others. As I was preparing to query another dozen or so agents, I read an article by a successful YA author who said that most publishers of this genre are looking for “diverse, first person voices.” I had already written my story very comfortably in the third person, and re-writing it from scratch in the first person and thereby ditching a number of important scenes that cut to other locations and points of view didn’t seem preferable. (Naturally, I’ve already begun working on a brand new YA novel told in the first person.)
Yet there was another reason I felt self-publishing was the way to go with Normandie.
During the first catastrophic year of our new presidency, I have become more and more concerned about the fate of democracy, of free speech, and of the continued existence of our world with a mentally impaired man running foreign policy and denying climate change. My book is a timely comic fable about the power and menace of celebrity in which a troubled pop star is sheltered from the press and public in a tiny midwestern town. It never mentions the President by name but was clearly inspired by his candidacy, and waiting the two or three years it often takes for a book to find representation, a publisher and finally be published seemed too long for me to wait in this instance. Things are just happening too damn fast now.
Also, because I’m a graphic artist by day, having full creative control to design my own book interior and cover by night was once again satisfying. I realize having to do my own publicity to generate good word-of-mouth is the biggest drawback to self-publishing, but getting a book out in timely fashion and the way you want it can also be critical. As with the other novels I’ve written, I’m proud of The Invasion of Normandie, and expect readers of all ages (not just young adulters) will enjoy it as well. To paraphrase an old saying, when you want something done as quickly as possible, do it yourself.