**As some of you probably noticed, Blogger has been having issues the past few hours, ate up this post and then spit it back out without the comments. It looks like we have to start the comment-for-drawing over again, so leave a comment for a chance to win L.J.'s book "Lifethread".
I'm super excited to have with us today guest blogger Lucie J. Charles. She writes stories that combine mystery, romance and the paranormal. Today she is here to discuss her decision to take the indie publishing route. I think each writer has to make their own publishing decisions, based on whats best for them and their personal writing career, but advice and experience from other writers is always helpful. In this case, particularly those of you considering indie publishing for some or all of your work.
Five years ago I wrote my first novel, and naively believed there was a certain order to things. 1) You completed the book. 2) You queried an agent. 3) Said agent requested a partial, and 4) Thrilled with the partial, the agent requested the full.
When the rejection of my partial arrived in the mail, I was shocked. That simply wasn’t how it worked. I panicked. Took every class I could fit into any given month, queried other agents—knowing they’d be eager to represent me, and in my spare time, wrote the second book in my series.
A few months after the “Rejection” (and the many that followed), an article appeared in the local newspaper about Sabrina Jeffries. Brave and wonderful woman that she is, she included her email address in the article—and allowed the world to bombard her with mail. I immediately followed up with a brief note, and she answered. Who knew NYT best-selling authors actually answered emails from fans? Better than that, she invited me to the next Heart of Carolina RWA chapter meeting.
I joined RWA and the HCRW chapter right after that meeting, and dove into my writing career with new passion. I also learned the truth about publishing. It takes hard work, patience, and dedication to the craft. And great critique partners.
Numerous contests, a plethora of rejections, and five completed books later, I still hadn’t made it to the “big time.” I’d finaled in contests, my manuscripts had been requested by agents and editors, and I’d even been offered contracts by a couple of epublishers, but didn’t sign because it just didn’t feel right. I wanted New York.
The decision to go “indie” didn’t come easily. I thought about it for over a year while I waited to hear from editors in New York houses to read the full manuscripts they’d requested. I’m still waiting. Finally, I asked myself whether I wanted my books to be available to the public, or did I want to keep waiting. The answer was easy. I wanted to share my stories, and within a month published my Young Adult novel, LIFETHREAD, with Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
Going public without the support of a publishing house is one of the scariest things I’ve ever done. I questioned my sanity for weeks before I pushed the “upload” button. But twenty-four hours after I’d done it, when I logged into Amazon and Barnes & Noble and saw my book available for purchase, I knew it was absolutely the right decision. I had a total meltdown. Thrilled, scared, happy dancing, crying—you name it, I experienced it.
So…the pros and cons of indie publishing:
The biggest pros are time and control. After the book is written, been revised a zillion times, and vetted by crit partners and beta readers, I’m free to publish. No waiting for an agent to pitch to editors, and then to wait again to fit into a publishing schedule. I think this is especially important for Young Adult books, because teens are curious and impatient. They want to know what’s going to happen next. Confession: I’m the same way—haven’t even begun to grow out of curiosity and impatience.
Following on the heels of time and control is immediate sales feedback. I can watch my sales progress daily, as well as keep track how much money I’ve made. Warning: this can be addictive.
I get to choose my title and cover art.
There isn’t an agent watching my back or guarding my future.
No industry professionals (agents, editors, and publishers) are going to invite me to participate in their chats or interview me on their blogs.
The reputation of a NY house isn’t behind me “telling” readers that the book has been vetted by professionals.
For me, the pros won.
Are you considering indie publishing? What’s on your pro/con list?
Here is the blurb for her new book out this month, Lifethread:
McKenna Fin is armed, dangerous, and in love for the first time. She'll do anything to earn her humanity... except the one thing the Fate's require.
Stuck in her senior year of high school until she earns her humanity, McKenna Fin is responsible for cutting the lifethread of demons, and protecting teens from being possessed. To celebrate her fiftieth year of apprenticeship to the Fate Atropos, McKenna is given a new responsibility, and possibly a quick way to earn her humanity—severing the lifethread of deserving humans. Her first assignment: Nathan Quinn. ~ When Nathan becomes a primary demon target and gets sucked into Tartania, McKenna’s duty as a Fated priestess demands she follow. McKenna can rescue him, no problem, but then she’d have to cut his lifethread. And he’s the one and only guy she’s been attracted to since forever. ~ The demons consider Nathan one of their own and fight to keep him. The time limit on Nathan's life is about to run out, and McKenna has to make the decision: sever his lifethread, or battle demons, defy the Fates, and keep him for her own.
Exciting right? And the awesome news is that L.J. has offered a free copy to a random commenter!