It's October, a few days into fall, and I'm planning on releasing Break From You, my debut novel--soon.
As I head down this path towards publication, I've decided to share some of my crazy journey along the way with you.
Many of you know I've chosen to publish my books independently...but not everyone knows why. I didn't make my decision lightly, nor did I make it as a last resort. I have queried once...but only once, and everything about it freaked me out. So much so that I put my manuscript into the back of my files and decided to write another book instead. But here's the thing...I didn't freak because I had to pitch in front of an agent. (I can talk to any number of people and not get nervous...I even love public speaking. I'm not an introvert by any means, and no one would ever use shy to describe me- trust me!) It wasn't because I had to send them my first 30 pages, either. (They were ready...I was ready.) It also had nothing to do with the fact that my story wasn't 'right' for the agency (I had expected this...and in fact, hoped for this.) I freaked because once I started the process, I knew it was exactly what I didn't want to do.
Nothing about it felt right to me. And I knew in my gut it wasn't the direction I wanted to go.
When I first started looking at agencies and publishers, I kept asking myself what could they do for me. I was hiring an agent...to help me...yet I had to sell myself to them, before selling myself to a publishing house, then after all that, having to sell myself to my readers? I was starting to think cutting the middle man might be easier.
I wasn't starving to get my book published; I was looking for a perfect match, but I quickly realized I wouldn't find it.
I didn't want to give my rights away to some large publishing house when I would have to do so much work. I also questioned what a publisher could do for me when they were having trouble changing in an ever changing market. Ebook sales have climbed the charts with an over 117% rise while print sales declined by 36% in 2011. And ebook sale numbers are only rising. But are publishing houses getting it right? It didn't seem so when the DOJ decided to press charges on them.
Large brick and mortar bookstores have been closing and shelf space has been diminishing...if books were moving to epub and print on demand...couldn't I figure all that out? Besides virtual bookshelves are huge. I wouldn't have to worry about space...and if they don't sell, I would only hurt myself. Just because I nail an agent that doesn't mean I nail a best seller. It takes work...either way.
Every day the stigma behind self publishing diminishes, if only a little. Independent authors are providing great quality reads, and isn't that what we all buy a book for? A great read? Independent books are refreshing and new, emotionally raw, and are not cookie-cutter in style and voice. Independent publishing has opened the door for new voices and has given readers many more choices. It is clear readers are starting to value independent work because many indie authors have reached the top of the best seller lists, and statistics show that well over 100 indie authors have sold more than 50,000 books last year alone... I wonder what the future will bring? All I know is that I want to be part of it!
So far, I have loved every process of independent publishing. It might be hard and a lot of work, but it's rewarding! And although I may only sell a few books, I know it's the right path for me.