You don’t even need to read this rest of this post to find the answer because I will admit openly that I don’t know.
Even before the earth-shaking changes that have happened recently, I didn’t know. For years I’d had an agent and was trying to go the traditional route. But with so many online opportunities to distribute and publish your work, the old ways could openly be questioned- and many authors were doing so.
But out of a certain… I’ll call it ‘respect’ for the process, I stayed the course.
Until I didn’t.
Recently, (yes, shortly before the pandemic because I have great timing) my agent and I mutually agreed to part ways. No hard feelings or upset, merely an agreement that he’d done what he could for me but the ever-changing and evolving market made further progress difficult. And with two books and a novella published traditionally that weren’t getting a lot of traction despite all of my marketing efforts (and yet wonderful feedback from the small number of readers and book clubs I was able to tap into) it was simply hard not to be frustrated.
Couple that with the fact that after those first three published works, I had seven– you read that correctly, SEVEN novels waiting in the wings for publication. It increasingly became more difficult to convince myself that waiting for traditional means to publish made any sense at all.
So, with some trepidation I reached out to a few favorite authors and what do you know? I got some encouragement! One even said I had publishing gold with that many novels finished and basically read to go (save for some formatting and cover design decisions). Her main problem with being published independently was keeping the writing going so she had another novel ready in a timely manner. I’m already there.
While I haven’t entirely jumped on board just yet with independent publishing, you can probably tell from the direction I’m going that I’ve got one foot off the ledge while the other is lifting me to my toes in a less-than-graceful attempt to jump.
But I’ll probably do it. I’m interested in my readers thoughts on this. Does independent publishing matter to you? Do you prefer to only read books by huge authors who go the traditional route? Doesn’t it matter?
Along those lines, I’m also curious what kinds of marketing works for you. What do you respond to when an author posts or offers a deal?
Any and all of these insights might help me make some key decisions as I move forward into self-publishing.
Or not. I haven’t committed yet.