In the last half of 2010, I started researching indie-publishing. In November, I finally started voicing my questions about the subject. I emailed friends. I discussed it with my critique partners. I blogged about it, posting polls and asked you to share your views.
Some of you assumed I had already made a decision to indie-publish, but that was not the case.
I had several conversations with my husband. I told him what I’d learned from my friend Cathryn Grant—a newly published Indie Author. I pointed him to a few articles on the internet. We discussed the pros and cons of publishing my novel.
After a few days of talking, I felt more confused than in the beginning. I believed I was far from making a decision. But my husband said, “You’ve already made up your mind. It will just take you awhile to realize it.”
Finally, my subconscious spoke in a dream. I had made a decision. Then I reversed my decision. Then I reversed my reversal. A few days later, I reversed the reversal of the reversal. Are you sensing a pattern?
My indecision was no longer fueled by a desire to continue seeking traditional publishing. This quote from veteran literary agent Richard Curtis summed up the reality of that for me [emphasis mine]:
“I’m blessed to represent a core group of successful authors whose advances have held steady or even increased. We also handle many genre books that traditionally are more resistant to downward pressure than ‘softer’ kinds of literature, such as general fiction. Where we definitely feel the ‘shrink’ is in the resistance to new authors. The wall is far higher than we’ve ever seen it, and sadly that means we must turn more newcomers away than we want to.”
I sat myself down for a serious chat. What did I fear from publishing my own novel? Many things, as it turned out. After more deliberation and soul-searching, I made another decision.
A couple days ago, I read this 2011 prediction by Smashwords founder Mark Coker:
“Self Publishing goes from option of last resort to option of first resort among unpublished authors – Most unpublished authors today still aspire to achieve the perceived credibility and blessing that comes with a professional book deal. Yet the cachet of traditional publishing is fading fast. Authors with finished manuscripts will grow impatient and resentful as they wait to be discovered by big publishers otherwise preoccupied with publishing celebrity drivel from Snooki, Justin Bieber and the Kardashians. Meanwhile, the break-out success of multiple indie author stars will grab headlines in 2011, forcing many unpublished authors off the sidelines. As unpublished authors bypass the slush pile, publishers lose first dibs on tomorrow’s future stars.”
Sounds good to me! Today, I officially announce that 2011 is the year my novel, The Brevity of Roses, will be published! My fears have not disappeared, but neither will they will reverse my decision. I will face them one by one. The journey begins …
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