There is only the “right for this story”, “right for now” and “right for me” way. I am talking about the how/when/what/who that comes into each writer’s decision when they decide to push their story out from the nest into the big, bad world.
I think the important thing with writing is that there is no one way to write any story, and nowadays thankfully there is not just one way to get published…Nobody can tell you that traditional publishing sux or self-publishing sux… I get really annoyed with some writers who believe they should tell others how and when and why to publish their books. This is our own journey and only we can decide what is right for us.
For instance I pitched my novel (the ghost story) to a big NY agent at a con last year August. She loved the pitch and requested a full. She was interested from the pitch point but also wanted me to change my story to something more fitting the market at the time even though she admitted that what had got her hooked was that the story was very original, very different and had 3 hot elements that a lot of publishers she is dealing with have been asking for. I thought it over long and hard. I decided to give her suggestions the benefit of the doubt even though they went against my instincts. I did change the story around and according to her suggestions but ended up hating the new story. I had lost the magic. This almost led me to delete the whole ms and just get onto the next one. But then I said no. This is my story and I know it is a good story with the premise as is. It is not meant to fit the market. I don’t want to be a copycat of someone else. I want to be Kim Koning and write an original Kim Koning story. So I opted to not go that route even if it meant losing interest from that agent. And you know, I don’t regret it.
As much as I would love to hire an editor and go the self-publishing route, I also want to give myself a chance to build a name in publishing and to learn more about the publishing game before I dip/if I dip my toes into the world of self-publishing. I know so many amazing authors who have gone the self-publishing route, many of them friends of mine, and I applaud their success. However, I feel like a guppie in a shark aquarium with the little I know about the publishing industry. So for now, I am thinking of going more the way of the mid list publishers at least for this WIP… Because that is right for me and right for this story right now. Nobody says it has to be right all the time… I can change my mind. I’m in this for the long-haul. It is a marathon not a race.
Nowadays, thankfully we have many options to get our work out there and published. It is a new world in the publishing industry. It is an exciting time to be an author. But on the flip side, although choice can be a great thing too many choices can be daunting and leave us scratching our heads in confusion. There are so many options facing authors today. There is the Big 6 route with agents, there is the mid-list traditional route with agents, there is the mid-list traditional route without agents, there is the small press route, there is the co-operative route, there is the hybrid route (think Amazon’s imprints) and there is self-publishing not to mention the dreaded (read unrecommended) vanity publishing route.
I am in that spot of decision-making right now and something tells me with the rapidly changing publishing industry that it won’t be the only time I have to make this decision. I have a book, busy in the final drafting stage and it is almost time for it to be put out there. So which route do I take? How do I know which is best for me, for the story, for right now? The truth is I can’t know which is risk-free and which is fail-proof. I have to take my chances, no matter what route I choose. If it doesn’t work, I can backtrack and change my mind. The only thing I do know is that I don’t want to be told I am making the wrong decision when I do make the decision whether it is from other writers, publishers, editors or agents. That will get my hackles up.
Do you feel, like me, that you wonder which route is the absolute-best route to get that book out there?
Have you second-guessed and third-guessed yourself with which option you have chosen?
Have you changed options from indie to traditional (vice-versa) or agent to no agent (vice-versa)?
Over the next few weeks I am going to be looking at all the ways “to skin a cat” in publishing. I am going to interview and feature guest posts with different authors from different publishing options. So if, like me, you are at that painful and exciting point of trying to make the most informed choice…stick around and watch this space. Perhaps one of the options will stand out for you and perhaps one of these authors that I interview or who guest-post will inspire you down the same path.
I am coming at this with a completely open mind and non-judgmental attitude. I am doing this series as much to get more information for myself and educate myself as I am any reader whom finds this interesting or useful.
Also if you want to be one of the authors to be interviewed or guest post on this topic in this series, please shout out.
*My Guarantee: No Cats will be harmed or skinned in the writing of this series!*
Here below are some great Related articles you should read
- The Business Rusch: The Changing Definition of Publishing (kriswrites.com)
- The New World of Publishing: No Balance (deanwesleysmith.com)
- Be Wary of Anyone Who Tries To Tell You There’s Only Way To Find Successful Publication (nathanbransford)
- Should you publish your novel to build your platform? (nailyournovel.wordpress.com)
- Indie Interview: Roz Morris (jenniecoughlin.wordpress.com)
- Why playing safe in publishing is riskier than ever (nailyournovel.wordpress.com)
- Six Good Reasons To Try For A Traditional Publishing Contract (jwmanus.wordpress.com)
- Six Good Reasons to Self-Publish Your Fiction (jwmanus.wordpress.com)
- My So-Called Writing Life: Reconsidering Traditional Publishing (pauldail.com)
- To “e”, or Not to “e” (as in “e-publish”) (pauldail.com)
- Four Superb Self-Publishing Authors (ornaross.com)
- Don’t blame publishers: you’re a commodity (brokengirl.info)
- From Indie Author to Hybrid with Amazon’s Thomas Mercer Imprint With Scott Nicholson (thecreativepenn.com)
- Let’s End the Author vs. Publisher Feuding and Indie vs. Trad (writeitforward.wordpress.com)
- Going Rogue: The Truth About Self Publishing (cultofajracewood.wordpress.com)