Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Personal Choice

Last week I proposed what The Ultimate Novel means to us, and it seems we were all thinking along the same lines. In describing our books, we all just want them to be read.

Anyway, I've been doing a lot, and I mean a LOT of thinking these last few weeks about the state of the publishing world. I know, most of you have been as well. It makes one's head spin. Well, mine anyway.

And I decided that I am definitely going to give e-publishing a try. I know, I vowed I would never e-pub, I vowed I wanted an agent and all the NY hooplah, but as an artist, I'm kind of feeling like I'm trussed up in a straight jacket.

Dancers dance. Singers sing. Actors act. Writers write. But I have no audience. I've been holed up in my little office writing away with no one to read what I've written except for my critters and betas. It's frustrating. I want to have an audience. Call me a narcissist if you must, but I want to share my writing with people who want to read a book about love and longing. I have these great stories (well, at least that's what my betas and critters tell me), but no one can read them.

And most of you are doing the same thing. You're writing books for an audience, but no one can read them. Yet, how can they read them if they aren't published? Even if I got an agent and a publishing contract tomorrow, the book still wouldn't come out until 2013. By that time, I'm sure you'd have forgotten all about Genna and Tony and Pete. Maybe you already have. And sure, I could put the whole thing up on my blog for free, but you know, writing is a job and I would like to get paid for it at some point. (Monster Child wants a pony.)

I still have several queries and a partial out on two different books, so I'm not officially in the e-pub club yet. If I did my calculations right, by the end of July everything should be in from agents. And I think if I play my cards right, maybe by September, I could have an e-book out there. I think there might be one or two of you who would drop $2.99 to find out what happened to Ellis and Violet, or Penny and Will? Wouldn't you? How about 99 cents for Genna and Tony?

So, that's what I've been thinking about. I know there's more to the whole e-pubbing phenomenon than just formatting and uploading, and I'm not especially computer literate, so I'm kind of scared. But I have to say, I really think my mind's made up. Even more so since I received a lovely rejection letter from an agent who wrote -- "This story does sound intriguing, however, I'm just not sure I can place it." (Can't place a single-title sweet Regency romance? Hello Harlequin -- Avon -- St. Martins. I've done my homework, how about you? Sounds like a brush-off to me.)

Tell me, have YOU given e-publishing some thought, or more thought than you used to?


Linda G. said...

I think e-publishing is great option these days. Heck yeah, I'll buy your books! :)

Anne Gallagher said...

Thanks Linda. They might not be your cup of tea but I think you'll enjoy them.

Christine Danek said...

You know I would buy your book no matter how you print it. I've thought about it as a possible option.

Anonymous said...

The lengthy waits for books to be published is one of the reasons why I chose to self-publish, both in paperback and eBook. I don't regret it for one minute. It would be great to have that huge publishing deal that would "change my life" but I wasn't too hopeful, it being my first novel...!

I've sold tons of eBooks via Amazon Kindle and Smashwords and like you said, we just want our books read. What's the point in writing a book to put it in a drawer for years. Seems like a waste of valuable writing time to me!

CJ xx

Liza said...

I'm not there yet, but glad for those who are. In so many ways it's about wrestling control and managing our own lives. I look forward to reading about how this goes for you...and I'm in for $2.99!!!

Mac said...

Hi Anne...just a couple quick comments: 1) I got a request on June 8th for a partial...of Lord Regent, which I queried June 6th...of 2010.

2) There are probably thirty-thousand writers out there filling up thumb drives with novels...hard to stand out...the best way is by having the best dang plot, written in the crispest language. I'm reading my sixth self-pubbed book now. Nice story, interesting characters, but the quality of the writing discourages me from buying ANYTHING self-pubbled. I wouldn't have down loaded these, if they weren't free.

Make what you will of that.

What I make of it, is that the interest in ereaders HAS to change the industry, and they are simply digging in their heels, screaming and kicking, fighting the trend. But if they want to stay in business, the model has to change, which will be better for us...eventually. Oh my...just to have the patience.

Luv ya, Mac

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

good for you! I'm sure it will be a lot of fun!
I haven't reached that point yet, and still reeeeeally want an agent

Laura Pauling said...

I've definitely given it thought and will continue to in the future. I love that the self publishing stigma is disappearing. I think you should go for it!

Anne Gallagher said...

Christine -- Thanks so much. I think with today's market the way it is, it's good to have the option. Congrats on your revisions.

CJ -- It would be great to get that fab deal, but these days they're not that forthcoming. Having a readership is what it's all about these days. Why write a book if no one can read it? Thanks for stopping by with your input. Much appreciated.

Liza -- Thanks. I think control is an issue for me but not the main one. Not having deadlines is a bonus that's for sure. For me it's all about audience. I know I have a niche out there, I just have to get to it.

Mac -- Congrats on the partial. Yay!!! And I know about patience. I've just run out and this seems a viable option for me right now. Especially in light of what I've been reading about publishing contracts these days.

Sarah -- I reeealllllly want an agent too, but it just looks like that's not going to happen any time soon. But I know with GLIMPSE your time being agentless will be very shortlived.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

You know that I've given at least self-publishing an actual try... :)

I've learned a lot from my experience, and it is that it's not right for every project that I've done, but that it was right for me at that point in time. So I'm glad you're keeping your doors and eyes open, and I want you to know I'm behind you about any choice you make. By the way, I'm sending you an email. :)

jbchicoine said...

I think more and more about independent publishing--which I suppose would include e-publishing. To tell you the truth, the whole 'publishing' thing makes me queasy sometimes, but not so much as having my stories just sitting in my hard-drive doing nothing!

Domey Malasarn said...

Congratulations on making a decision, Anne. That alone must be a big relief. I'll be excited when your book comes out! :)

Jamie D. said...

Putting it on my TBR list now. Congrats on the decision, and feel free to let me know if you need any help getting things ready to go. :-)

Anne Gallagher said...

Laura -- Yes, thank God the stigma is disappearing. For those of us in a hard niche, it's exasperating to find someone in New York.

Michelle -- Thanks. I guess it's a door I have to open right now. We'll see what happens in the future.

Bridget -- And therein lies the rub. To write and not be read, or publish and see what happens? I'm opting for see what happens.

Domey -- It is a relief to make a decision. I hate being in limbo with agents.

Jamie -- Thanks so much. I may just take you up on that offer.

Shelley Sly said...

Anne, even with my absence from the blogging world, I most certainly have not forgotten about Genna and Pete and Tony! I would definitely buy your books, no matter what format they're published in. You need to do what makes you happy. I'm in the same boat; I've been writing for years and wish I could get my work out there sooner.

Francine Howarth said...


It's the "thing" to do: brave it, e-publish/kindle it!

On that front there's the promotion aspect, how to do it all alone. Well, there's no need to do it all alone. There's a way for self-pubbed e-books to be linked to one another. I'll send you a private mail about a unique way of collaborative marketing! ;)


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I haven't given it a thought, but I do want to know what happens to Violet!

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I used to say I'd never consider self-publishing. Now I'm saying, "Never say never." At some point, self-publishing or e-publishing may be the most sensible option. If you do go for it, please keep us informed about the process. Good luck, and heck, yeah! I'll buy your book.

Jennifer Hillier said...

I'm a fan of ebooks and I definitely think it's a viable option. Go with your gut, Anne. No matter what format, I hope to read ALL your stories someday!

Donna Hole said...

I've thought about it, but with the success of a couple of my short stories, I'll hang out a bit longer with the trilogy. I'm focusing more on the short stories anyway, and have a separate women's fic I'm dabbling with.

Good luck with your venture Anne. Be sure you get someone who knows the proper formating for e-book upload. A very good story can be ruined by improper reading format.

You'll be great as an e-pubbed author. Best wishes.


Anne Gallagher said...

Shelly -- I always said you always were my biggest fan. Or maybe Genna's. Let's hope it all works out.

Francine -- Looking forward to it.

Alex -- I told you as soon as you deliver the sequal to your publisher I'll send it out to you.

Susan -- I will definitely let you know how it goes. I'm sure I'll need tons of help.

Jennifer -- Thanks Jenn. I'd love to read yours too, but I'm afraid of being scared to death.

Donna -- They say the new thing is to get street creds with shorts that way an agent can scoop you up, so I'd say keep going with what you love. Thanks Donna.

Terry Towery said...

I wish you luck, Anne. You're damned good, and I have no doubt you will succeed at it.

For me, I've decided to shelf my first one and concentrate on the new novel (I just got my full rejected a few minutes ago!).

But I'll be watching how things transpire for you, with an eye toward MAYBE e-pubbing TDYDK at some point. Hell, who knows what the future holds, eh? :)

Stacy McKitrick said...

I've only been going at this writing thing for a little over two years (and 3 complete books). I think if, after the 4th book, if I can't find an agent or a publisher, I may consider self-publishing. It certainly doesn't have the stigma it used to have.

I only caution that you make sure you've published your best work. If that means you get it professionally edited, then do it. A poorly edited book won't do you any good, and may harm you in the long run.

I wish you luck. I know it couldn't have been an easy decision. There is just so much work in self pubbing. Hopefully, it doesn't take away too much of your writing time!

notesfromnadir said...

I say go for it. If you have any questions about book covers, formatting, pricing, let me know. Also, make sure you check out the Kindle Boards All the authors over there are very supportive.

VR Barkowski said...

Brava! Yes, ma'am, I would definitely buy your book.

I'm all for e-publishing, except I personally don't want to be a publisher. I want to write. Even if one has an agent and a conventional publisher these days, one must go out and promote endlessly. That takes time away from writing. The thought of having to format something for Kindle and Smashwords, track my sales, etc. etc. gives me hives. And I am VERY computer literate.

For debut authors in my genre, the byword is fluff. And I'm just not a fluffy person or a fluffy writer. I tried to fake it, and I can't. There's a good chance I may never be published. I'm okay with that. It stings, but for now the pain is less onerous than the alternative.


Yes yes yes. Ebook is simply a new way to go and do not disregard it. My friend Justina Wittich has sold a number of books in the nineties and now has them reissued as ebooks on Bellgrave House, I believe it is.
Plus Amazon supposedly as well as Lulu offer sweet deals on self pubbing.
I'm still looking at options for my novel that hasn't sold. Currently plan to give it one more, sigh- long sigh, rewrite.
Good luck. I have a feeling from reading your posts that your novels are GOOD. So keep at it.
Blessings to you and those books. Barb

Talli Roland said...

I think any smart writer these days is evaluating the market and considering all the options. E-pubbing can have many benefits, most of all control!

Christine said...

Anne: I totally understand your frustration. You're at the point where you know you've got a great story, but it doesn't "fit" traditional publishing criteria. And why is that? I guess because traditional publishing criteria doesn't stay the same, doesn't know what it wants, and often refuses to take a chance on a new writer who might need a little maturing under the tutorship of a fabulous editor. I know so many amazing unpublished writers who are stuck in the "close but no cigar" stage of writing. Some have been there for too many years.

I think e/digital publishing is a great idea, but be careful about who/what you sign for and know that the marketing will be hard work. Also know that you'll probably not make much money, but if the point is to have an audience, then who cares? It's not like you're getting rich writing for CPs and beta readers, right?

And yes, after my last "love everything but...." R I have considered E and digital publishing as an alternative for one of my manuscripts. The only thing that is holding me back is the timing. I have a busy year ahead of me so I want to make sure I have time to market the book should a digital publisher say yes to me.

Best of luck!

VR Barkowski said...

Whoops. Think I forgot to mention I *will* be self-publishing a short story or two. Sigh. Guess that negates my earlier comment.

Anne Gallagher said...

Terry -- You know how I feel about TDYDK so I'll be waiting to see it up on Amazon.

Stacy -- Believe it or not, one the baby goes back to school I have all the time in the world.

Lisa -- Kindleboards. I've heard that bandied about recently so I'll have to check it out. And I'm sure I'll be emailing you at some point. Thanks for the offer.

VR -- Short stories or novels, doesn't matter, if you wrote it, I'll buy it.

Barb -- Thanks so much for the blessings. I need all the help I can get. I saw your post about your rewrite -- best of luck to you with that. I know how hard it is.

Talli -- And that's exactly why I'm doing it. I have been evaluating the market and I have to face facts, I'm a niche writer. There's no place for me in traditional publishing.

Christine -- Thanks so much. My critters and betas love me, so why shouldn't anyone else, right? And no, it's not really about the money. It's really about fan mail. lol.

Theresa Milstein said...

I have given it some thought, but decided against it. It's more work than I want to do, and more expense up from than I'm willing to spend. I'd need to spend thousands on proper editing. I don't have it. I figured in the rush of 99-cent books, it would be difficult to make mine stand out. So I'm still trying the traditional route, figuring even if it takes longer, I'll reach more readers in the end.

I wish you the best of luck with your decision. And your book!

Patti said...

I've thought about it a little bit, but I haven't done the research that would be required to make a decision like that. I say you have to go with what you feel comfortable with and what you're ultimate goals. Good luck with the partial.

Tara said...

I'd definitely buy your books. :) I'm not counting e-pubbing out, but I still have to rack up a lot more rejections to go there. We shall see...

Nicki Elson said...

Yay! I just want your stories out there so I can read them. I find the whole traditional publishing schemata quite frustrating. And e-publishing doesn't count you out for traditional publishing in the future---it just means you're not waiting around for the stars to align in that clogged up, inefficient sky.

She Writes said...

No. No. No. I want to be published by an authentic publisher. That is my goal :).

She Writes said...

Keepin' it real. Hope you don't mind!