Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Indie Writer

For years self-published authors have made a terrible name for themselves by putting out poorly written books with little or no editing.  They paid 'vanity presses' to make their dreams come true and usually ended up with a garage or warehouse full of books no one wanted.  I met one of these people while in college.  She handed me a thing that looked more like a cheap pamplet than a book and told me she had to give them away because no one wanted to buy them.  I swore right then and there that I would NEVER publish a book on my own.

Never say never.  Didn't James Bond say that?  Anyway, I'm in a unique position with the Vampires Rule series.  I had an agent who loved these books.  Stephanie worked for the Trident Media Group, one of the top agencies in New York.  When I landed her, I thought I'd had it made, but Stephanie couldn't find a publisher for these books.  She believed in them and kept trying for a year to find a home for them.  We came so close; it was ridiculous.  An editor at Thomas Nelson wanted to publish them, but her boss said no.  A couple other editors told us they would have published them if we'd sent them two years earlier.  A few didn't like the books, but most editors echoed each other, saying they were afraid to touch them.  The market is saturated with vampire novels and editors feel it is only a matter of time before readers say enough is enough. 

So what do I do?  I can let these books sit on a shelf in cyber-space, gathering dust.  Or I can (gulp) publish them myself, make a few bucks, and hopefully bring a little joy to some readers.  I've already gotten a few nasty comments and cyber-glares from people online, but I am going to hold my head high.  When people ask me if I'm a self-published author, I am going to stand tall, hands on hips and eyes set on the future.  In a voice filled with authority and a touch of awe, I'm going to say, "I am an Indie Writer."

Happy writing.

4 comments:

siebendach said...

Wow. You're the first writer I've ever met who's been in that exact situation --- having an agent who loved their writing, but couldn't sell it because of the alleged salability of the story idea.

But we're in an age where people everywhere, and Americans in particular, are losing faith at the greater expertise of "experts". This isn't universal of course --- the number of people getting surgery from plumbers is not increasing --- but the "expertise" of knowing what will sell is particularly suspect.

Bankers and stockbrokers routinely fail to predict which stocks will soar and which will tank. And I think anyone who thinks they can reliably foresee which books will sell is kidding themselves.

siebendach said...

Argh. I meant to say you're the only other writer that I know that happened to ... i.e., having an agent love the writing of your first novel ... only to find the book unsellable based on the "gut feeling" of some marketing hack.

When that happened to me, it was enough to turn me off writing for several years! Congratulations on bouncing back so strong!

You must know how to produce publishable work, or you never would have gotten that far. So if your success depends on your courage and persistence, then I think your future looks awfully birght.

K. C. Blake said...

Being an Indie Writer is freeing. I keep having to remind myself when I run into a decision on how to write somehting that it is up to me now. It's my decision. When I got published with Harlequin, they had me rewrite so many times, adding their ideas and taking mine out that once it was published it didn't even feel like my book.

Nellee Horne said...

I read stories like that about other writers too which made me want to self-publish.

I'm the author of Meeting Death (Kensey's Story) and I self-published with createspace. I wanted to go this path because I wanted my story to be MY story and I didn't want editors changing things or making me change things. They think they know what people want but they don't.

I have a couple of posts on my blog explaining why I decided to self-publish and why I think it's a better way to go in this day and age. http://nelleehorne.blogspot.com/

I love that butterfly thing on the side. It's beautiful by the way :)