There’s more than one way to skin a cat…Part 1


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.

Personal Experience

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.

Publishing Options

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)?

Upcoming Blog Series: Researching the many ways “to skin a cat” in publishing

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.

Open Call

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!*

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22 Comments

  1. I’m with you, Kim. I see the great logic in what Patti’s doing and know I, too don’t want someone else controlling my work. Yet I know I won’t have a whole lot of cookies in my store (given its taken me more than 2 years to write my first novel). And having looked forward to all the fun parts of the traditional process (querying, contest entering, etc), I don’t want to never have those experiences. I look forward to reading your posts and getting more insight (although I’ve decided to go ahead with the querying and contest entering!)

  2. Thanks for the mention. Wow, passing up a good agent vs. substantial story changes would be a painful decision, but I think I’d have to make the same choice you did. Congrats on sticking with what you felt was right.

  3. What a brave girl you are, Kim. I never had the guts to pitch to an agent. I stalled and stalled, spent hours sitting in front of a query letter that I just couldn’t bring myself to write. I knew that my book was a strange thing, a difficult-to-sell thing, but I also knew it was right as it was. Not perfect, but right. I would rather it be printed on cheap paper and left in public places for people to read for free, than to have it changed by anyone. You can call it arrogance. Maybe it is. But as you said, the real thing is to publish a book by Kim or Aniko, not Kim or Aniko the way that makes it easier for someone else to pay their bills. Perhaps I ramble a bit? Yes. It’s a tough decision for many people, but it was only tough for me because it took me a long time to realize I had other options. Will I get rich? No. Will I be a best seller? Not likely. Am I being authentic and true to my vision? Yes. A thousand times: yes!

    I’ll be looking to see what else you post in this series!

  4. Hey Kim, thanks for the mention on my posts. And yes, this is obviously an important topic. After so many revisions already with my previous agent, I’m a little nervous of what the publishers who are looking at The Imaginings will say. I know it probably needs some cut in length, but I gotta say, I don’t know if I still have it in me to do much more. I just want to let those characters go on with their lives now (or deaths), so I can get back to work on the next novel.

    Here’s to the learning curve, eh? Hope you’re having a good weekend.

    Paul D. Dail
    http://www.pauldail.com- A horror writer’s not necessarily horrific blog

  5. Interesting post. I am going through the very same thing. My novel is soon-to-be-released and while I have decided to publish it on KDP Select, I would still like to find an agent/publisher. Very confusing out there and my biggest problem with it is that it takes away so much time from my writing. Good luck – I wish you much success! L.Leander

  6. I had a short story published in an anthology once that had the last line removed by the editor. In all fairness, it could have been the right thing for the story. I was not told it would be removed and it bothered me to say the least. To me it changed the way the story hung in the air–and I am still unhappy about it. Not the end of the world of course, but you are right–if the soul of the book is gone, I don’t think publishing for the sake of publishing is the answer. I would have done what you did Kim. 🙂 I’m sure you’ll find the perfect publisher.

    • Thanks Penelope 🙂 I am not judging those who publish or choose to publish that way but for my journey that does not work. One of my mantras is: if you don’t stand up for something, you’ll fall for anything. I think this is true of every choice/decision in life and I think it rings true to what you decide as an author that you are going to stand for, stand up for and fight for. I can well imagine having your line changed/removed, especially without your consent, would still bother you. The thing is that at the end of the day it is your name, the author’s not the publisher’s/editor’s/agent’s, on the line. It is your reputation at stake… And on this I am unwilling to compromise.

  7. If you have to change your novel to suit a publisher then you have to decide if you want that kind of slavery forever. I had the same experience with my upcoming novel and backed away. In this new world of epubbing there is no longer any need to compromise. Good post.

    • I totally agree with you J.D. Thanks for stopping y. Glad you enjoyed the post. 🙂

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