As you might have noticed, I’m a huge (lifelong) fan of science fiction and fantasy. I’ve been reading A Dribble of Ink for years now: it’s one of a very small handful of SFF book review sites that I turn to when I want to know what to read next. Its news keeps me up to date on what’s going on in SFF fandom and the publishing world. Its commentary, published in the form of essays from Aidan and a number of respected, well-known voices from the SFF field, is unparalleled (A Dribble of Ink won the Hugo Award for Best Fanzine in 2014). And all of this is curated and presented with skill and style by Aidan Moher, A Dribble of Ink’s owner and editor.
Having published my own first novel through Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing program, I have intimate knowledge of the decision-making process that comes along with self-publishing. So when I heard that Aidan was self-publishing his first book, a short story collection titled Tide of Shadows, I was immediately interested.
Yesterday on Medium, he shared a detailed account of why he chose to self-publish his work and the details of the process of doing so:
I hadn’t realized it, but I’d been holding onto these stories for years, buried under the frustration that they wouldn’t sell to pro markets. This frustration had been holding me back as a writer — instead of focusing on all of the new stories bouncing around in my head, I was continually looking for new markets for my old stories. I was looking for closure.
I wanted to be excited by these stories, not discouraged by them.
And that’s ultimately what this collection is: a exclamation point at the end of that sentence in my career as a writer.
Aidan’s feelings, concerns, and conclusions will resonate with anyone who has considered or accomplished the independent publication of a book. Bravo, Aidan. Can’t wait to read it.