all lit up

In the two and a half years since I entered the world of online publishing, said world has morphed into something strange and magnificent. It had already undergone incredible changes, thanks to direct upload, publish-on-demand services and the explosion of networking possibilities offered by Facebook and Twitter. For a fledgling author, self-publishing had become a fully-functional possibility –  if not an ideal choice for everyone, then at least a viable Plan B in the event that the Big 5 weren’t returning phone calls. To be honest, even though I ended up jumping in with both feet, I had resisted self-publishing, fearful of the aura of non-legitimacy the industry has long held. It was a simpler thought for me at the time: self-published authors are the ones who didn’t get picked up by the big guys, so how good could their work possibly be.

Silly, right?

Yep. Silly.

Not entirely untrue, though.

I believed the story I’d written was worth reading, but let’s be real: so does every other author out there, or they wouldn’t bother picking up a pen in the first place. Belief in your story is the first step in growing an audience eager to read your “Once upon a time…” after you’ve written “…and they lived happily every after.”

The straight-up fact of the matter is this: STORIES are not BOOKS, and there’s a solid gap between the two.

The publishing industry knows this. Booksellers know this. OUR READERS know this. We may have finished our manuscripts, and we may have told our stories, but if we don’t engage the highest standards of quality in every phase thereafter, then self-publishing will always retain the stain.

We’re worth a better reputation than that. It’s our responsibility as professional participants in the publishing process to prove our own legitimacy to the publishing world, and to our audiences.

But doing it by ourselves is…sad. Lonely. A ton of work and a load of learning.

How do we even know where to begin?

Wouldn’t it be sweet to have as a resource a group of writers involved in self-publishing who all have each other’s best interests at heart? People who truly want to help refine the self-publishing potential and market value of other authors in addition to their own? People who understand that when one indie author elevates the reputation of self-publishing, the whole of self-publishing takes on a much more proficient sheen?

Oh yes…it would be sweet, indeed.

Enter Dapper Press.

Clayton Smith, self-published author of the ridiculously fantastic short story volume Pants on Fire: a Collection of Lies and the genre-redefining end-of-the-world-road-trip-comedy Apocalypticon, and I have partnered to create a full-service self-publishing co-op that addresses the needs of self-published authors and helps STORY become BOOK. We want to provide a haven wherein quality begets more quality, where every step on the self-publishing game board is a step forward, and nobody gets sent back to the Molasses Swamp. Key in this endeavor is an element we call “author development,” a holistic process by which we help you define your goals as a sustaining author and assist in the process of reaching those goals.

Exciting, isn’t it?

We’re pretty damn jazzed about it ourselves.

And underlying this whole movement to evolve self-publishing to the next phase of its existence: the concept of FUN. If the process is a grind, how likely are any of us to continue? We know how difficult the writing can be; we know how labor-intensive the rest of the work is, too. So wouldn’t it be amazing if we approached it all with a focus on fun to balance it out?

Of course it would!

That’s our motto: if it’s worth doing, it’s worth making FUN.

The first ride we’re firing up in this crazy literary theme park is Dapper Press Editorial, a full-service editing tilt-a-whirl that offers all levels of editing assistance, from proofing to full-on developmental editing, at rates both reasonable and negotiable. Information about it can be found right here. When you’re ready, feel free to hop in and join the ride toward happy madness by contacting me at

This is our chance as independent authors to step up our games. So c’mon…throw your arms in the air! Stand up in the rail car and scream your lungs out! Dance like EVERYONE is watching, and you don’t really care if they do, because you know you’re bringing your A-game dance moves!

On this roller coaster, such fun is encouraged.

Yesiree…the Dapper Press carnival is open for business.

More rides coming soon.









    1. Thank you! And yes – top hat and tails are the Dapper Press uniform of choice. I’ll be taking a course in bow-tieing shortly to make sure my skills can pay the bills 🙂

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