Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Indie Pubbing is awesome and terrifying

One of the things that has always appealed to me about independently publishing is control. Basically, how I get to maintain it. Yes, I know, I have some…issues. Anyway. When I first set out on my writing adventure seriously (circa 2011?) I was writing because it was damn fun and it made my heart happy. Consequently, my husband was also happy, because, turns out, when my heart is happy, he is also usually happy. I had been loitering around serious writing people just enough to know that traditional publishing, in my mind, was a pipe dream. It was too difficult to get in. It was like a titanium chastity belt on a super-heroically powered woman. You were not getting in, not unless she allowed you in. I didn’t have an MFA, I had no connections to speak of, etc. Getting an agent also sounded a bit preposterous. Something that happens to ‘others’ but not to ‘self.’

Well, I went to some conferences, worked on craft, went to some workshops, worked on craft, did some webinars, went to some more conferences, and worked on craft. That brings us to 2015. In 2015, I got. An. Agent. It still feels a bit weird to say, in the most awesome of ways. But I did.

There’s a temptation at each juncture of the journey for the road-weary writer to feel as if the destination has been reached. Getting an agent is certainly one. Getting positive, glowing feedback from an editor is another one. But if the goal is traditional publishing, crossing over the finish line of that race, I’ve learned, you have many more miles to go before you publish.

(Sidebar: I’d like to step back a moment, just hit pause on the old-style boombox and clarify something: if this sounds like an indictment of trad pubbing, it’s not. I’m not upset about traditional publishers, or the agents who initially turned me down, or the CP’s who didn’t get my stuff, or the editor who told me ‘sweet story, just cut 30k words’ and when I did, turned me down anyway. Seriously. Not. Mad. I’ve taken this thing of writing as a journey in the truest of interpretations. Every piece of what I’ve done, what I’ve walked through has, unequivocally, made me a better writer. It was an upgrade to my skin from unblemished to leathery to shiv-proof; it all made me better. /End Sidebar)

Do I want my book on a shelf in Barnes and Noble? Hell yeah, I do. Does indie pubbing make that possibility go away for me? Meh. Not really. If it does happen, it won’t be by default. It’ll be because I busted my butt to make it happen.

But I get to keep control. Control is mine. And we all know…

So, I’m going to be writing about what’s going on with me, as I prep to get this book baby out into the world. Lots of preparation to do! Lots of decisions to make. Writers have to love what they do, because in this time and space, it is not easy. Chuck said it best.