If you follow me on social media, you will notice that I have posted this morning an announcement of the release date for my upcoming novel, Heresy, (November 7th!). Those of you who have been following my writing journey know that I originally attempted to take the traditional route with publishing and locate an agent. As a preacher of the ‘never give’ up, I wanted to share with you my thoughts on switching from traditional publishing to independent publishing. Hopefully, this will help you understand that choosing to publish independently is not giving up, but choosing to take a different path--one with disadvantages, but certainly with many benefits.
To be honest, the idea to independently publish was always in the back of my head. I figured that if I failed to get it traditionally published. I could always go with independent publishing. But I understand but at this point I truly haven't given traditional publishing it's fair chance with my book, and that it might take several more months or in a couple of years to find an agent and a publisher company. and that's exactly my point I started to ask myself as I sent query letters. I started to ask myself if perhaps traditional publishing was not the right for this particular book.
I think my heart made a decision, before my brain ever did. When I sat down to do the #pitmad this last go around, and I found that I simply did not want to do it. I no longer wanted an agent. I wanted to go it alone. But as a logical minded person, I needed to back up my fillings what reasons that I could articulate clearly to myself and others. So here are my five reasons why I decided to independently publish.
#1: . What do you mean you don’t help me market?
This was one of my primary concerns for a book. I am not a salesperson. I don't fully understand this social media thing. I'm a nurse who happens to like to write. So one of my primary reasons choosing the traditional route with publishing was thinking that I wouldn't be going alone. But after discussion with several agents during a conference that occurred in March, I realized that most of the work for marketing your book goes on you. Sure, the agent or publisher might have connections, but unless they are a massive company, the work is on you, bubba. This has weighed a lot on my mind since that conference and throughout the querying process. And I decided that if I was going to do all that work, then I was going to do it ON MY OWN. Which brings me to point number two.
#2: It’s mine, all mine.
As the rejection started to roll, I started to consider that perhaps my book needed a rewrite to gain attention. And I tried. I tried to be objective and even I tried to outline alternatives. But I realized that the outlines didn’t work, and it didn’t feel right...and dang it, I just didn’t want to. I understand that right now the market is full of young adult dystopian novels, but I don't care. I want to publish my book I want to publish it in a way that I am proud of. But doesn't jeopardize the core of what I am trying to say or makes my characters be something other than they are.
My book, Heresy, is dear to my heart in a way that I don't think any other book will be.These characters have been in my head since I was a teenager. They have grown with me as I have grown and matured they have never left my mind even in the years I barely wrote a word. They have become friends. They feel REAL. I want the decisions of how this happens to be mine alone...even if I don’t make a dime.
#3. But I want it now.
Maybe if I had waited spent years sending out query letters I would have found an agent I could have stuck it out. I'm a tough chick. but I don't want to wait. I don't want to wait two years to find an agent, and then another year to find a publisher, and then another year in order for them to publish it. I have been waiting to pursue this dream for far too long. and now I just really want to hold my book in my hands.
#4. What I really want...
Choosing to change my path required me to look hard at what it was that I really wanted for Heresy and the future books of the Heretics Saga. Do I really care if it hits the bestseller list? Or do I just want to share it with people out there who knew and loved my story and my characters as much as I did? Even if that was only 10 people. Once that was clear in my head, my goals aligned more with independent publishing and anywhere else.
#5. Community, how I love thee…
My final reason is that I have found communities of independent authors, and they are amazing.. They have inspired me, helped me, and genuinely been my friends. And to be honest I just want to have the honor of being a part of them.
None of this is saying that I won't pursue traditional publishing in the future. In fact, I probably will. This decision is about Heresy--my literary baby--and what I want from it. So for now, I am so excited for this next step in your writing journey. I know all you fearless writers will be cheering me on the whole way.