Since writing my latest book, ‘A Confession,’ I’ve gone through a series of back-and-forth conversations with myself about how to share this new work with the world. I’ve self-published before (twice) so I know that world pretty well. It’s filled with freedom and creative control and it’s a great solution for anyone who wants to get their work out there. It also hasn’t worked all that well for me.
Part of that reason could very well be the quality of my previous work. I’ll be honest – some of it’s not all that great now that I look back at it. I’m still proud of the stories I told, but I could definitely have used the help of an editor and other professionals to groom and refine the work to be better. On ‘The Trouble With Being God‘ I didn’t use any professionals, instead relying on the help of friends and relatives (and, stupidly, my own editing skills) to put together a finished product. The book that’s out there shows this – and while be no means is it a bad book, it definitely could have been better (the reviews seem to agree.) When I’m feeling generous, I think of it as the tape I sell out of my backpack that I recorded on a four-track in my garage.
‘Starving the Artist‘ (my book on the value of intellectual property in the digital age) is a bit more refined. Part of that was due to the fact that I wrote that book in a fairly constrained time period and it was all part of one continuous process (The Trouble With Being God took eight years, off and on). Another part of the stronger finesse was the fact that I engaged the services of a professional editor. It ended up a stronger piece in the end – which honestly in a nonfiction work is even more important than in a fiction piece.
Now, in late autumn of 2015 I furiously cranked out my new novel, ‘A Confession,’ over a two-week period. I wrote it at a fevered pace, and frankly was very surprised at what I came up with. I’d already been working off and on on another novel (a sci-fi speculative futurist book I’m currently calling ‘I Am David Sparks’) and ‘A Confession’ was a sidetrack. The thing is, when I was done with it I loved it. I made edits and did rewrites and every time I went through it I loved it more. I decided it needed to be finished and published, and I was going to do whatever I could to make sure it was the best possible book I could put out there.
I’d been reading a lot of classic literature, and realizing how many written work exists, I wanted something that, while not necessarily the quality of work by Camus or Steinbeck or Huxley, would at least be able to stand on its own against them and not feel like a waste of my readers’ time. With all the classics I’d been reading, and a continually growing backlog of even more classics, I realized that there is already more great literature out there than I can read in my lifetime. If I am going to release something new, I want it to be worthwhile.
In order to do this, I decided I needed to work with a team of others who are also invested in creating a quality book. I queried agents, and got a big pile of rejections (or just no response whatsoever). I looked back at self-publishing and talked to some great editorial freelancers who’ve done fantastic work. And I also talked directly to some smaller presses. It’s with one of those smaller presses that I decided to move forward with the publication of ‘A Confession.’
When I came across Morissa Schwartz and her new GenZ Publishing company, I was immediately intrigued. Although a minor press, and one that’s still defining itself, it’s one that has a clear vision of who it wants to be. There’s pedigree behind those running it, and there’s an eagerness that I haven’t come across much in today’s publishing world, outside of self-publishing independent authors. I went back and forth a while. I could self-publish. And I could even end up with a great product that way – but this time I want to work with a team, and be part of something that’s new and exciting and has the opportunity to be something different in publishing.
So, ‘A Confession’ will be coming out through GenZ. There’s no publication date set yet – but as soon as that’s nailed down I’ll be sure to share it. GenZ has a lot of books on its release schedule, from vampire fiction to mystery to poetry to nonfiction books about chi (and a lot of other genres too) and my work is one more to add to that roster. It’ll be available in due time, and when it is it will be a professional book of a quality I and my publishing partners will be proud of.
It will be a book worth reading.
P.S. If you’re curious just what ‘A Confession’ is all about, here’s my attempt at describing it.
The unnamed protagonist of A CONFESSION is a 21st Century man caught in a classic struggle to define meaning and redemption for a life he finds himself questioning. To work through his crisis, he recounts the propriety and value of the choices he’s made so far, confessing them in honesty to the only person to whom he feels safe divulging his secrets.
An exploration of arrogance, freedom, regret, ego, control, public humiliation and blackmail in the digital age, A CONFESSION exposes man at his most vulnerable.
In this work of fiction, William F. Aicher channels the existential works of Camus, Sartre and Dostoevsky and the moral dilemmas facing modern man to create a tale for our age.