Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Self-Publishing. Going Independent.

Eleven years ago, I had a small electronic publishing company. I published romances in Adobe and listed them online. At that time, our internet connection was dial-up and no one had heard of Kindle.  A friend of mine said I was wasting my time, no one will read books on a computer.

He was right. No one was interested. I folded after one year of incredibly hard work for very little return.

However, the past eleven years produced three romances, three mysteries, a short historical romance, a poem, a one-act play, and two works-in-progress that are at the half-way mark. Two publishers, one agent, and a nervous breakdown later, I am back in the game. Enter 2014, Kindle, Kobo, iBooks, a reversion of rights, and the tsunami of the independent publishing movement to carry me along. The writers who slogged in the trenches when I bailed have cut a beautiful trail for writers like me to follow. Merci beaucoup.

Mark Coker at Smashwords is a saint. I do not exaggerate. His Style Guide is funny, encouraging and will make you a genius if you follow it, which I did. It took me a week. (Not a few hours. Maybe its a learning curve? I'm not terribly bright, Mark.)

And say what we will about Amazon (and we say some pretty mean things) Kindle and CreateSpace offer me a way to get my books out of my computer, my psyche and get them published. If people buy, they buy. But to write and have no hope that you will reach your readers because your books are unpublished? Well, as Sylvia Plath said, nothing stinks like a pile of unpublished writing.

So off to independent publishing I go, at least for the six completed novels I have. I certainly haven't turned my back on traditional publishers, editors and agents. But for this year at least, I'm working instead of waiting. I'm challenged instead of conforming.

Stay tuned.


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