Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Indie vs Traditional


Aerie (n): the nest of a bird of prey, as an eagle or a hawk

Indie (individual) vs. Traditional

As my publishing date nears, I have been asked by a few people why I decided to self-publish. There are three main reasons, but I think it comes down to the type of novel Two Halves is and that I'm a control freak (yes hubby, I said it). I did a lot of research before I made the decision, and yes, I sent out queries to agents as well (I'll touch on that below). So, in order of importance, below are my reasons.

1. I couldn't wait 12-18 months to see Two Halves in print, and not only because that's how long it normally takes when you publish traditionally, but also because of the theme of the book. The market is saturated with vampire novels, and although Two Halves is not your typical 'vampire' novel I'm sure many people, hearing 'vampire' turn away. I had this happen to me when I asked someone to read it. They explained to me they're not into that kind of stuff. I said: "It's not that kind of stuff". They read it, loved it, agreed with me. But, I can't explain that to all my readers.

That brings me to my queries. I sent out only 12 and all were to top agents. I did not send any to small presses. I received 6 polite rejections. It was simply not what they were looking for at this time. And, I understand that, because I know what the market is like for vampires. It's difficult to put in a query that Two Halves is NOT that kind of novel though.

2. I'm a control freak. I can't imagine someone else picking my cover art for me, deleting scenes which I think are important, changing the chapters around. I just can't. (No, I did not do the cover art by myself. I got help from Robin Ludwig, but the concept was mine. That's why I liked working with Robin. She listened and delivered.)
Because I'm a control freak, Two Halves reads like a novel. It's been professionally edited (because I simply suck when it comes to punctuation and grammar), proofed, edited, proofed, edited, proofed, edited... ... get my point. For those trying to go the indie route, that's what you have to do edit, edit, edit, edit. If you can't do it yourself like me, hire a professional. Do not sell your readers short.

3. It's a business decision. I know I will have to do a lot of marketing, just as much as I would if I were published traditionally, and I think with the resources I have found I can sell enough to make the $10K-$20K advance I would probably get from a publisher.  After that, all rights still belong to me. As is right now for indies, the novel can live in perpetuity (forever) in ebook format. We'll see how long that lasts, but I can't worry about the future for now. Maybe I won't sell a copy. But, my mom promised to buy one, so I know I'll sell one ;)

Q: Will there be a print copy?
 A: Yes.

Q: When?
A: I hope before Christmas. I will have a better date before December 1st.

Q: Why are you doing print?
A: I would be happy to stay in ebook format only. But, why not? Extra exposure, I can frame it at home. Give it as a gift, donate it to our local library, etc. All part of marketing. Why sell myself short?

Q: What it an agent called you with an offer?
A: I would consider it. But, I must say, it would be a business decision, so I don't know what my decision would be. Am I expecting an offer any time soon? No way! I'm still a nobody in the writing world. I cannot hide that JA Konrath has been a big influence on my decision to self-publish, for which I'm thankful right now.

That's also not to say that I wouldn't publish traditionally. Never say never, keep all doors open and keep writing.

Q: Are you saying you plan to publish more?
A: Yes, four planned projects in 2012, we'll see if I can do it, given Two Halves took me so long. But I'd like to think I know what I'm doing now (but still learning). Definitely more than I knew when I started. Stay tuned for announcements this December.

Any questions, feel free to ask :) I'm always happy to share information. I'm not an expert, so I don't know everything. I am a beginner who researches a lot. If you have information you'd like to share, let me know.

I feel like I've just developed a double personality disorder with the Q&A and I'm liking it.

1 comment:

Annalisa Crawford said...

I think the best thing about your decision is you really thought about it and researched it. So many people seem to make the choice for the wrong reasons, and end up with something poorly edited and badly written.