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Making the decision to be an ‘indie’ author

I feel as though I am slowly honing in on the conclusion that I will self publish. It’s been kind of an ordeal for me because when I first started thinking about publishing (several years ago) self-publishing was still bandied about as a somewhat dirty word. It was still thought of as vanity publishing, meaning that any Tom, Dick, or Harry could write whatever they wanted, no matter their talent level or background and foist it on the unsuspecting public.

However, times are a-changin’. I, like so many others, have an e-reader. I still buy a very few printed books, but for the most part I get my fiction fix by shopping in the kindle store. I’ve read many many books. I’ve read many good books, many mediocre books, and many books that weren’t worth the $.99 I paid for them. Some of the great books were published by big publishing houses, some were self published. Some of the awful books were published by the big publishing houses, others were self published.

The difference between the last two is that I can sort of excuse a horribly written self published book. They were so anxious to get their precious baby out there, that they did themselves a disservice (in my opinion) by not hiring an editor and many seem to have decided to skip the critique step. Fine. At least they only charged me a buck. But the awful books that were accepted by a publishing company, put through all the rigors of edits and re-edits, cuts and critiques, and still made it into print, where they charged me around $10. No excuse, my friends. No excuse.

So I have accepted the fact that in the ever changing publishing world created by the ebook, a good book will do well regardless of how it was published, and a bad book will flop. I also acknowledge that how ‘good’ a book is, is only an opinion.

And if you’re curious as to whether I have tried to be published ‘for real’, the answer is yes. I’ve queried a good number of literary agents, and I’ve even submitted directly to a couple of publishing houses. Each rejection felt awful, regardless of who it was from or how much I was expecting it. There is simply no armor to be applied that will protect one from the sting of being told that their work isn’t good enough.

So, I will most likely throw my hands up and say a figurative ‘bite me’ to the publishing houses and see how I fair as an indie author. And truth be told, I really enjoy the idea of readers being the ones to determine whether a book is successful or not. Especially as an author of clean romance, which by definition does not have as much sex appeal, and attracts a much quieter audience. And I know that audience in out there. I am part of that audience. I am a witness to goodreads groups and blog review sites that cater to that audience. We tend to think of ourselves as a small group, but I think that the want–and certainly the need–for this genre is greater than most of us will admit.

So, I will continue my own editing process and psych myself up for the prospect of shoving my novel down other people’s throats. Wish me luck.

Published inPublishing Process

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