I came reluctantly to the idea of self-publishing my fantasy novel, The Light Heart of Stone.

In 2010, I had my manuscript with a couple of big Australian publishers. Even before I had my first rejection, I suspected the speculative and anthropological style of my fantasy (no dark romance, dragons or royalty) wasn’t going to be an easy fit with a mainstream fantasy publisher’s list.

After two rejections, I sat back and contemplated sending the book out again. One of the rejections had been very encouraging, but that didn’t mean I wanted to continue the arduous process of submitting and waiting and waiting and waiting.

I took stock. I’d worked in publishing so knew a bit about the book industry. The Light Heart of Stone is the type of fantasy that I like reading so I suspected that there would be readers out there who agreed with me. And I had some confidence in my writing because I had already had fourteen books published and had contributed to a number of others. (In case you’re wondering, my publication history comprises a weird combination of non-fiction about heavy social issues such as youth homelessness and twelve teen romances).

I began working on the idea of self-publishing after the second rejection. I bought Euan Mitchell’s excellent book Self-Publishing Made Simple. I registered the name of my imprint Curious Crow Books (love it!) and bought a couple of domain names. Next, I found the wonderful Helen Hunter to edit my manuscript. Then I started working on cover concepts. Even so, I still hadn’t committed: not really. I was yet to hear from the third publisher who had had the manuscript for almost six months (but six months is nothing compared to Andrea K Höst’s experience).

Finally, the rejection email arrived. I felt strangely liberated. I realised I was looking forward to self-publishing The Light Heart of Stone – felt excited about the idea.

I’m going to blog about the process – maybe write the odd book/art review. So welcome to the new blog.

Self-portrait in Spacesuit at Uluru by Tor Roxburgh Copyright 2010