I have two blog posts for you today—A Year of Marymoor is coming up shortly.
We’re in the middle of a heat wave. I admit, I don’t like it—I have a headache, I’m not a sun bunny, and I’m so over summer. We don’t get a lot of hot weather, true, but what we get, gets old really fast. I’d be happy if it never reached over 72 degrees all year. But it will break. Starting Sunday, we’re supposed to be back into the 70s with rain, which we really need.
This time of August we usually get our hottest weather and the ‘last hurrah’ of summer. Even though it’s hot, we also get those days where you wake up and there’s a tang in the air that whispers, “Autumn is on the way…” And on that day, I know that we’re heading out of the dog days and into early, golden September.
I’m sitting here, thinking about life. It’s been a little over a year since I made the choice to go indie. And I’m so happy I’ve taken this direction.
In a way, I wasn’t given a choice. Berkley dropped all of my series. And though I put out one book with Diversion, I’m not fond of their publishing model. Could I have looked for another publisher when Berkley said, “So long and it was nice knowing you’? Yes, and I did.
But to be honest, publishing is changing so drastically that it’s in its waning days of this incarnation. Publishing has to change, or pretty soon all the big pubs will be releasing will be the mega-sellers like Patterson and Nora Roberts and so forth. And I can tell you, the traditional publishers don’t want to face the reality that a lot of authors are doing just fine without them—better in fact, than they were with them.
The publishers don’t want to let go of that control, and they don’t want to give authors a bigger piece of the pie. And let’s face it, they wouldn’t even have that pie without the authors. The entire business is dependent on those of us who write the books, but in the traditional model, we’re at the last of the line when it comes to controlling our creations, or when it comes to being paid.
I did fairly well with my ex-publisher for awhile. I’m grateful that I got my foot in the door with them. However, the fact is that most authors never make a living wage. I wasn’t just ‘lucky’…I worked damned hard, but honestly? I was lucky in that that I wrote books people wanted to buy. My genre that was hot at the time I brought out the Otherworld Series. I managed to enter it in time to catch the crest and ride.
But even though urban fantasy and paranormal romance are flourishing for a lot of indie authors, the traditional publishers insist it’s dead, and they are publishing few UF/PNR authors. As to who decides those trends with the big pubs? Marketing departments. They jump on a bandwagon, saturate it, and then drop it when they reach the tipping point. For example—it’s public knowledge that Berkley, the line I was with, has gone from publishing 1000 titles a year to only 300, and most of them are thrillers and mysteries.
But now, looking back, I’m going to tell you that I think I’ll be doing better than I was with them.
I’m already doing better in indie than I was last year with my ex-publisher. And more important—I’m happier. I’m happier with what I’m writing. Oh, the wish that all my readers would follow me on this journey is still lingering. I admit to being wistful when I realize a number of my audience won’t realize that I’ve shifted over to indie work (especially those who only bought my books when they saw them in the stores). But even that dynamic was changing as the bookstores fold and carve away shelf space for other items instead of books.
But as for enthusiasm? Rekindled.
Joy in what I’m writing? Reignited.
Peace of mind? Finding it again.
Making a living? Not nearly as worried as I was a year ago. Indie is proving better for me than I dared to hope.
Writing and yet having a life away from the keyboard? For the first time in years, I can check this box off and say ‘it’s happening’.
See, that’s the weird thing—I am working more. I’m putting out more material. And yet, I have more time to go out and sit in the yard. To get together with friends. Somehow, I’ve stepped up my game and yet given myself leeway. And that? Is priceless.
I also know that I’ll never please everybody. And that’s okay. I’m at peace with that. I’m not going please the people who only want to buy their books off the shelf at Barnes and Noble or at Walmart. I’m not going to please the people who only want Googleplay books. I’m not going to please the people who only want me to write Otherworld books. And that…that’s all right. Because no person can make everybody happy, and no writer can make every reader happy. That, I accepted long ago.
Will I ever consider traditional publishing again? Perhaps, maybe…if the deal is really stupendous and I’m not forced to sign away my rights to my work in the nauseating way some contracts are coming across now. So I’ll never say, “Never…” but for now? I’m enjoying learning this new paradigm.