This is a ramble, putting thoughts down as I think them. Consider yourselves warned. That said, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my projects and the way I write and how self publishing has affected my overall output.
I have always thought I would publish through a big publishing co and have an agent and,…. and …. do whatever it is writers in that position would do. I wanted to see my books (series fantasy) as bestsellers, with kick ass covers and writing conferences and all that. The kick ass covers was really a big deal for me…
Things shifted in the world. Companies that seemed indestructible were suddenly just gone. The books being put out were books that made me sigh with resignation “Oh god MORE urban fantasy? eww.” But for lack of what I really wanted to see (Fantasy Romance anyone?) I went ahead and read those.
I have found some really awesome authors and discovered interesting twists to our own world, but it wasn’t what really got me.
I tried the one fantasy romance series, it looked promising, but we didn’t click, that fantasy romance series and I, and I set it aside dis interested in the characters or the world.
So that is what I wrote. A fantasy romance series that I could have my blood, guts, gore and still have the romance that moves a reader. Only mine didn’t fit the formula, the first story stretched over two books and the further you go the grittier it became. The mc doesn’t actually come face to face with the fmc until the beginning of the second book and, and…. It didn’t fit the formula.
It didn’t fit because I was telling the story the way I wanted to tell it. Now granted this particular story is not anywhere near ready to publish, but with the way things were going in the publishing arena I felt bombarded by the fact that that story, just one example of what I enjoy writing and reading, wouldn’t cut it in today’s market.
Everyone is reading super sex charged UF! At least thats what they would have you believe (that or sparkling vampires) by what is being sold.
I also discovered that I tend to write short. Novellas, Short stories and (this new term is getting annoying) novelettes seem to have become my standard. And I write them in serials. So, many of my stories are interconnected. Magic Maker is one such story, and there are several stories set in that world. But when I told writer friends about these, I got told there simply ISN’T a market for shorts.
I decided this year to test the waters with self-publishing. I have three shorts up right now. One has already garnered some soda change :D. Those stories hung over my head for several years. And now they are out there, for good or ill, for people to love or hate or feel indifferant about.
They are published.
I feel like that weight, hanging over my head, is lightened. Not gone, I have other projects, but it isn’t as heavy as it was.
I did it!
So I am editing a project. And I struck me, as soon as I am done editing it, beta-ing it I could do one of two things, I could write up a query and start querying agents to represent me or to editors in the hopes someone will have had his or her morning cup of Java before hitting the slush pile and keep writing while it sits in limbo without even a guarantee that it will sell (and I’m not even going to mention the 7…uhmno… 9…. no….11 books that are planned for later….) and waste two years of my life or more waiting to hear from agent after agent/editor after agent/editor that no they cant buy this one because it is not UF and highly sex charged.
Or, I get send it to a freelance editor, get it edited and proofed, make the changes and then put it up for sale.
A matter of a couple of months.
A few years MINIMUM
Which means I control which books I sell.
So if I want to spend the next few years just writing in that world and selling that series…
I don’t have to worry about being dropped by my publisher if book 2 doesn’t sell well.
Do you know how liberating that is?
I can write what I want and know I can get it to readers who may find it right up their alley. And you know what is REALLY cool? I have found myself writing more. Daily, because I KNOW it isn’t going to just sit on the computer wasting away it will be put up as soon as I am confident it is ready. From short stories to novels.
Will it ever be a bestseller on a grocery store shelf? Who knows. I’m not really worrying about that.
I am not in this for Fame or Fortune.
I want people to enjoy my stories. Is that so bad? I don’t think so.