Question: Should I a) publish independently now? -or- b) continue holding out hope for a traditional publishing contract? That’s the decision I’ve been wrestling with, unsure which way I should go.
I’ve been writing seriously for about six years now. During that time, I’ve completed three novels and a handful of short stories – none of which are yet published (although at least two of the short stories soon will be). Despite that fact, there’s no way I’m giving up. I believe in what I’m doing, and I’ve had enough small successes along the way to keep me not just going forward, but excited.
With the economic downturn and the rise of new technologies, however, the publishing industry has changed forever in that same six years. The bad news: it’s harder than ever before for an unproven author to get published via the traditional model. The good news: traditional publishing is no longer the only game in town. With the various forms of e-publishing and print-on-demand, barriers have come tumbling down. Many authors are choosing to bypass the whole agent/publisher/bookstore gauntlet and go independent. But is that the right pathway for me? What do you think? I depend on your opinion.
And you say,“Not for the world…would I advise you either way. You must be the best judge of your own happiness.” If that’s the way you’re going to be… “as you will not give me your opinion, I must do as well as I can by myself; and I have now quite determined, and really almost made up my mind to…” (Emma, chapter 7)
I had nearly decided for myself which way to go, but I needed one more little push. And I got it: another agent rejection. A sign, perhaps, that the traditional publishing thing is not happening for me, at least not right now.
So it’s full speed ahead on the road to independent publishing! I finished my final edit of The Darcys of Pemberley, which now goes to a couple skilled and trusted friends for proof reading. While they’re doing that, I’m going to try to figure out how to put together some eye-catching cover art, and how to format the book for Kindle (with a print-on-demand hard copy to follow).
It’s trilling to think that, after so much time and effort, I could be sending one of my “babies”, my first-born, out to meet the world in only a few weeks! If it’s a great success, I’ll have to write that agent a thank-you note for sending me the right sign.