I’d like to welcome my very dear friend, fabulous crit partner, and very talented author, Edie Ramer to the MSW House!
Huge thanks to Karin for inviting me here today. In her invite, she suggested I write about my journey to being an indie author. The thing is, www.edieramer.com/books/cattitude won’t be on Kindle, Smashwords, etc. for a few weeks yet, and I thought maybe I should wait until it’s out. Then I came to my senses and emailed her back and said “Yes, thank you, Goddess Karin.” (I didn’t really call her a goddess, but she is.) This is a great opportunity and I’m not saying no to opportunities.
That’s kind of how my journey started six years ago, with an opportunity to join a critique group, and Karin and I became CPs. I was published in mystery short stories, but I’d switched from mysteries to romance. I was writing my second romance, CATTITUDE. Not long after it was done, I found an agent. She shopped it to all the NY houses but couldn’t sell it. Within a year, she quit the business and I was working on a different book. And another book. And another.
My goal was to sell to a print pub. When friends were giving up on print and selling to e-pubs, I wouldn’t do it. It’s not that I disdain e-books, but it wasn’t my dream. Along the way, I won contests with 4 different books and was an American Title V finalist. I’ve come close to selling. I get rejection letters telling me to send the next book. I must be one of the most stubborn people in the world, because I kept slogging onward, thinking if I just wrote a better book with a better hook it would happen.
That’s like skipping along the same street each day and falling down the hole. Knowledge changed me. I write the Industry News column for the <a href=”http://www.rwa-wf.com/”>RWA-WF chapter</a>, so I was searching for any news about the business. The biggest thing in the publishing industry lately is digital books and independent publishing. I’m not talking about e-pubs (though there’s nothing wrong with that), but about self-publishing.
I started reading Dean Wesley Smith’s <a href=”http://www.deanwesleysmith.com/?page_id=860″>Killing the Sacred Cows of Publishing</a> posts. They aren’t about indie publishing, but about taking control of your career. I also kept running into <a href=”http://jakonrath.blogspot.com/”>J.A. Konrath’s blogs</a>, in which he talks about making more money with his self-pubbed Kindle books than his traditionally published books.
I can remember writing in one of the Industry News posts that Konrath does so well because he’s already published and people know his name and reputation. But then he interviewed <a href=”http://www.karenmcquestion.com/”>Karen McQuestion</a>. She was an unpublished writer who put her books on Kindle about a year previously. In that one year, she outsold Konrath and she’s the first self-published writer to have a book optioned for film.
That blew away my excuses. As soon as I read that blog, I decided to self-publish CATTITUDE. Of all the books on my website, that’s the one people ask about. It’s another opportunity I’m saying, yes to. I’m not walking down that same street with the big hole in it anymore, I’m skipping down a new street.
Because I don’t have an editor, I asked writer friends to look at my book. My first beta reader said she could see why my agent had a hard time placing it. “It’s too sweet for a ‘true’ RS, and too romancy for a mystery, and not dark enough to call it ‘paranormal’. It’s too in-between and different to fit most genres.”
She’s right, and I feel such relief that I made this decision. For good or bad, I’m taking control of my own career. I’m being proactive, and it’s energizing and exciting. The market for print books seems to be shrinking. So are advances. Self-publishing is an opportunity I can’t say, no to.
Since I’ve announced what I’m doing, other writers have told me they’re considering self-publishing or they’re going to watch to see how it works out for me. Published writers as well as unpublished. I’m curious whether any of you are thinking of self-publishing, even if it’s out-of-print books. Has your opinion of indie publishing changed recently?
<a href=”http://edieramer.com”>Edie Ramer http://edieramer.com</a>
Karin here, I read CATTITUDE many years ago, I loved it then, I love it now. I can’t wait for it to go live! Edie, thank you!