Friday, June 22, 2012

I'm an Indie-Author.

Just updated my About page and wanted you to see it: 

I’m an indie-author. For five years I worked in publishing, which gave me insight into author-contracts, acquisitions, and the pre-publication process, as well as how things work in that mysterious machine—the publishing house. Hint: it's not that mysterious and it's not romantic, really. But it IS a machine. A cold, heartless machine. ;) Plus, the velvet rope that separates writers from agents and publishers is disintegrating, much to the chagrin of those businesses.

What happened in the music industry (an industry that my husband worked in for five years in Nashville) is happening in the publishing industry. Why should I hunger for a publishing deal? I could get one. But it will trap me. You see, a publishing house fronts the money for editing, copyediting, proofreading, paper, binding, and any marketing they do. That's a loan. If an author doesn't sell enough books to pay it back . . .  well.

All that has prompted me to go it on my own and publish my own stuff using the widely available and easy to use venues like Kindle, Smashwords, and Lulu. Everything the publishing house would do for me, I can now do for myself. With the budgets of publishers shrinking and layoffs (they were a constant where I used to work) happening all the time, cover designers, story editors, and copyeditors are out on their own, freelancing. They're available to me as much as they're available to publishers or other indie-authors.

Most authors think that once they land a deal with a publisher, all the hard work has paid off and now they can rest on their laurels and simply write. Not true. Never rest on your laurels. Be ready to work hard for the rest of your life. I work for me and I love it. I'm saying these things for the other indie-authors out there who are secretly hoping to get a book deal or strike it rich. Maybe that could happen for you, but don't bet on it. Enjoy your freedom. Write for yourself and your fans. Work hard. Market yourself, you'd have to even if you had a book deal with a major publisher.

All that said, this is my website, which is a cross between an old MobileMe website that was sort of sci-fi and my long-running blog, which has always been sort of frenetic. I've loved sci-fi (Ten is mine!) and fantasy for a long time, and I think speculative fiction is the most gratifying of the genres to work in. But I’ve been known to write non-fantastical stuff as well. I liked Twilight, not ashamed to admit it, but I confess I’m worn out on the vampire crap and don't even get me started on zombies (hate 'em). I read Anne Rice growing up, but found it cold and soulless, which you might say is rather fitting. I like trying to come up with new ideas and things that haven’t been done to death in fiction already, but for all I know, I’m failing miserably at that. Give my stuff a try and let me know what you think.

The End.

OK, that's it! One thing I didn't mention there but will mention here is the discrepancy between royalties that authors get from publishers and those that Amazon and the other indie-publishing sites offer. For more on these things, read these posts that appear on J.A. Konrath's blog, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing: Guest Post By Barry Eisler and The Agency Model Sucks.

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