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.
9 thoughts on “Thoughts on a Year Spent Indie and Why I’m Staying the Course”
I am happy for you and I greatly enjoy all your works coming out. I am a little confused as to how the OW series was able to be split and finished between Berkley and indie, but they won’t allow that for your other series. I do miss FBN, WH, and Lily Bound. I hope that a way opens up later to finish these storylines. I am absolutely in love with all your new series and its so awesome that your able to publish so many during the year. Thanks for all your hard work.
It’s not that I *can’t* finish the others–I have the right to, but on an economic basis it would be a really bad move for me. I have to have control over ALL the books in a series as an indie author in able to do sales, promotions, etc.. For example, I can’t offer Witchling free to promote the series, and I make so much less on the books from Berkley than I do indie.
Also, new readers are NOT going to want to pay Berkley’s prices for e-books that come earlier in a series, and I won’t make nearly as much by promoting older books. So it’s just a bad move to finish a split series. The ONLY reason I’m finishing Otherworld at this point, is because I’m so far into it. 🙁
Thanks so much for finishing Otherworld, I have loved it since the beginning. But I also have started the Bewitching Bedlam series, and do like it as well. I am glad you are happier in your work and your life in general.
Yasmine, I am with you every step of the way. You have my full support. I buy all your books in whatever format they are available and will continue to do so!
Good for you. Do what your heart says. I am currently trying to find myself at 37 now that my youngest has started grammar school. I hope I can find my way like you have. I love to read your many series even ones I never thought I would love so much. I have gotten your old and new stuff and so far I am very happy. Keep up the awesome writing.
I’m glad your happy and finding peace of mind in going indie. If I could not only get a Kindle Fire, but afford to, I have all of you new stuff! I’m still working on trying to get some of them in print, but life (and a stupid car!) are keeping our funds tied up right now. Plus I just signed up for a class to try to change course in my career. I’ve been unemployed for about 4 years now, & I’ve got to do something. I can’t go back to retail, it was slowly killing me physically, mentally & emotionally. So I get your desire to keep being independent. I’m hoping I can pass this class (and the licensing test), & find my own happiness & peace of mind. Love to you and Samwise & the furbabies!
So glad the indie route is working out for you. I think your happiness shows in your work. I still have two 5-shelf bookcases double shelved with books (in a one bedroom apt.), but have been using my Kindle almost exclusively over the last few years. I love the convenience, portability, etc. The best thing is that I’ve discovered a whole new world of authors but can still follow my favorite print authors (like you) too. Also happy for you to profit more from your work. That’s the way it should be!!
As a long time fan/reader of yours i can tell the difference. Your writing has always been amazing but since you have went to indie it has an additional spark. Theres no restraints on where YOU want to take your characters. Plus as a reader, i love it when a writer is happy. It means more (and better) books for me to read lol. I am so happy things have turned out even better than you hoped.
I am so happy you’re able to have time for yourself and “have a life” as well as continue to write. And are actually enjoying it again.
As for your books only being e books, I’m thrilled. I had basically stopped buying print books a while ago. I no longer have to figure out where to store them. I can’t be disrespectful to a book. Just can’t do it. So ebooks just work. Do I miss holding a book? Yes but not enough to go back. Plus no trees die.
As for your genre fading in popularity, not quite sure where these so called marketing professionals get their info but it’s incorrect. Mysteries sell because that’s all they are publishing.
Oh well, time to end this long winded message. Keep doing what you’re doing and enjoying this ride called life.