I am in a publishing quandary, and I need your advice. So I set up a Mini Poll here, so people could vote their opinion in the matter.
The backstory: In the 1990s, I wrote a long science-fiction novel called DARC AGES. (Actually, it began as the script for a comic-book, with lots of character and concept art. )
I passed it around to publishers, and nothing happened. So I started to post the book chapters as a web-serial on my first homepage, with illustrations based on the concept/character sketches for the aborted comic-book version.
I got several positive reader e-mails about the first DARC AGES Web serial... but that version had flaws: typos and language errors. So when I took the offer from Xlibris to publish it as a Print-On-Demand paperback for free, it was an unwise decision. (But hey, it sounded so great then, and I was young and hungry.) It was released in 2000.
Unsurprisingly, the 2000 Xlibris print-on-demand edition sold a very small number of copies, and I made virtually no money at all. I tried to forget about it, and concentrated on writing other novels. Skip forward to 2004-2005, when I decided to revise the DARC AGES manuscript as a new Web-serial -- weed out typos, inconsistencies, bad language, make it really polished this time.
As this is being written, the revised DARC AGES serial is soon complete. I'm thinking: "Bury the Xlibris edition. Find a real publisher this time, or just leave the Web edition as it is."
And then, another print-on-demand opportunity comes a-knocking... and there's my dilemma.
I could release the revised DARC AGES as a print-on-demand book through CafePress.com. I tried it before, with a collection of previously published short stories.
But should I do this? Remember your disappointment last time you tried to self-publish DARC AGES, my Inner Yoda tells me. And I try to reason with my doubts: "But this time it could work! The script has been fixed. CafePress is reliable and recommended, I have more freedom to edit the book's layout and design. I am more experienced now. And this time I could include the illustrations, like I always wanted to.
Besides, it's too late to get that book published in the "traditional" way. You self-published it once, so it's tainted forever.
What to do? Please cast your vote: Click "No", "Yes", or "Don't Know" in the Mini Poll.