After a two-day marathon, I've finished the interior and cover layouts for my autobiography, The Somebody Obsession: A Nobody's Desperate Journey to Stardom. I should have a proof copy in my hands within a week.
My first book, The Story of a Nobody and the Pursuit to Become a Somebody, was released in 2004. My upcoming book is a new and, I believe, much improved telling of my story.
Why release another version of the same story? Several reasons.
1. PublishAmerica - I signed a seven-year contract with PublishAmerica and it was a nightmare. The thrill of first-time publication was short-lived as I quickly learned a sad lesson: Where there is a dream, there is a crook waiting to cheat you out of it. Dealing with PublishAmerica, for me and for thousands of other writers, has been terrible. My experience with them has left me uneasy about working with another publisher.
2. Self-publishing - I am excited about the way the publishing industry has evolved in recent years. Amazon, social networking sites, blogs, and the ebook revolution have all played a part in an enormous power shift; by making their voices heard, readers have overthrown publishers and now wield the power to decide which books sink and which swim. I'll let the readers decide my book's fate. I'm using Amazon's CreateSpace to self-publish my book. This gives me complete creative, marketing, and pricing control over my own story. Many authors cringe at the idea of self-publishing and still consider it "settling for failure" and, while I respect everyone's opinion about how to handle their own work, there are a lot of great manuscripts that will never see the light of day because of that mindset.
3. Changes - I have been experienced so many changes since my first book was released. I have a wife and son, I'm out of the wrestling business, and I'd like to think I have grown as a man and author. The Somebody Obsession is much different than The Story of a Nobody. I didn't copy-and-paste anything, there were only a handful of times that I used the same or very similar words because I thought I couldn't have said it any better. As a whole, the new version is much different from the first. It is still politically incorrect and it is still as R-rated as real-life can be, but I've done my best to omit things which do not serve my story.
4. Pricing - I know I mentioned this, but pricing is very important to me. My first title initially had a cover price of $19.95. Then PublishAmerica jacked the price up to $24.95. I can't think of many books that I'd pay twenty-five bucks to read, especially a story about someone I've never heard of. I'm setting the cover price for The Somebody Obsession at $12.95 for the print version and $2.99 for the Kindle version. The important thing isn't money (although I won't complain about that which I make); I want my story to find an audience, so I will make it as affordable as possible to help make that happen.
The official release date is January 24, 2011. Be sure to subscribe to my blog for updates.