What did I decide?

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.

Which way shall I go?

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.”

This way.

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“Self Publishing goes from option of last resort to option of first resort among unpublished authors – Most unpublished authors today still aspire to achieve the perceived credibility and blessing that comes with a professional book deal.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 …

[tweetmeme source=”cassidylewis” only_single=false]

68 thoughts on “What did I decide?

  1. Whoopee! That’s on my list, especially if you get it out on Kindle. Probably heading the same way for my mongrel collection of short stories in due course. Let’s show ’em who’s in the new, beautifully upholstered driving seat!


  2. Yay!!!! That is such great news. I tell you the final straw for me, I had to wait 4 to 5 months to get answers on submissions for just some short stories and I sat here thinking: “Why do we do this to ourselves? Why do we give someone else THAT much power?”

    I no longer will even bother with submissions for short stories, too many places don’t even pay you for them, and I’m damned if I am going to put one of my short stories in limbo for five months whilst I wait for whomever to decide whether or not it is worthy.


    1. Those are good questions to ask, Alannah. I think the traditional publishing model is outmoded.

      However, I’ve just renewed my effort to submit some shorts to online mags, but I do favor those who have a short response history.


  3. My dad always said: ” Get all the facts that you need and then do what you think is right with the realization some people are going to think you are wrong. Those people do not have to live with your decision you do”. Good Luck!


  4. Congratulations in advance, because I know your novel will be a great success. I think you made the right decision. The door is closed in traditional publishing for us “quiet” fiction newbies.


  5. How exciting. Loved watching you flip flop in the decision before realizing you were doing so out of fear.

    We had a similar experience:


    We both THOUGHT that we wanted to leave an “adventure” that was “outside our comfort zone.”

    After TAILS came up twice, and we both wanted to keep tossing, we realized we were NOT looking for permission to leave, we were looking for the courage to STAY.

    We stayed . . . and enjoyed “an excellent adventure.”

    Nothing ventured, something lost. Good luck!


  6. Very exciting news, Linda! Congratulations on what I think is a wise decision and definitely the wave of the future.

    I hope to follow you along this path in a couple of edits/rewrites.

    And, of course, I’m looking forward to reading your novel!


  7. Yay, Linda! Welcome to the growing ranks of indie authors! I don’t see anything wrong with doing a mix of things–finding markets for your short stories in a more traditional manner and self-publishing your novel. Short stories are a great way to build an audience. My short stories tend to be too long for traditional venues, so I’m going to try to write more novellas and then self-publish them.

    I’m thrilled that you’ll be on the path with us other “troublemakers.” 😉



  8. I bet e-readers were found under many Christmas trees this year, which is part of this trend, and helps to usher it into being. It’s a sign…

    Thank you for the link to the article on predictions by Mark Coker. It made me sing a happy song. I think he is likely to be correct on all counts. What great news for authors! Even those stuck with seeking traditional publishers will be blessed to some degree by this trend.

    Hey hey, Big Six. Now that you’re second best, you’ll have to try harder. So long, Slush Pile!


  9. Congratulations!

    The choice to Indie publish is one that comes much easier than a few years ago when a handful of mavericks set out to change the industry. Smashwords, having become the undeniable elephant in the room, has opened the doors for many talented writers who would have otherwise gone unnoticed as the big six focused their efforts on the likes of Snooki and Presidents.

    I commend you for having the courage to say enough and for standing tall as you regain control over the destiny of your novel. I wish you much success in your new venture.


  10. Sure you will. I once said to my wife that we would have to call someone to help her up if she fell. ( I have a bad back). That was 14 years ago and she will never let go of that one!


  11. Congrats, Linda! Am happy you took the plunge and my misunderstanding proved prophetic. Am sure it will be an exciting and worthwhile journey for you. All the best, Eva


  12. Congratulations, Linda! That’s very exciting news, and I look forward to reading your novel!

    I’m hoping 2011 will be my year of the novel draft done. I’ll be riding on the energy you and Cathryn leave behind 🙂


  13. Linda! I’m so happy for you! Congrats on making the hard decision. I agree with Coker, they can keep their Snooki and Bieber. I want to read Cassidy-Lewis.
    I can’t wait to BUY and read your book.


  14. Linda, good for you! I’ll be sitting right here, rooting for your success, crossing my fingers that all goes as planned, and anxiously waiting to read ALL of Brevity. Now, get to work! Your audience awaits.


  15. You will do fine. Just be true to you yourself and remember this :
    ‘It is better to have tried and failed than to never have tried at all’
    I found the origin of this quote unique:

    It’s a misquote from Alfred Lord Tennyson’s poem In Memoriam:27, 1850.

    Hold it true, whate’er befall;
    I feel it, when I sorrow most;
    ‘Tis better to have loved and lost
    Than never to have loved at all.


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