I’ve been slack with the blog posting over the past month, but with good reason. My debut mystery novel, The Witch Tree, will be out on Amazon.com (for the Kindle) in mid-July and on Barnes & Noble (for the Nook) shortly afterward. It’s been a long road—writing the novel, of course, but also learning about indie ebook publishing, something that just a year ago I didn’t know existed as a reasonable alternative to traditional publishing.
As a writer, I can’t claim to have a string of query letter rejections behind me. I have a grand total of two. The second one, in fact, wasn’t really a rejection because it came from one of those "No answer means no" agents. After writing and rewriting the query and following this agent’s extensive instructions to the letter, I got zip in return. Not even a "No thanks" email. That got me thinking.
Then, last January, I came across a post on the indie ebook revolution by author J.A. Konrath on his blog—and that really got me thinking. Konrath has been at the leading edge of this revolution in publishing, and his generosity to other writers in describing his journey—and laying out the hard numbers on it—has amazed me. Frankly, he’s changed the lives of many writers.
After reading Konrath’s blog (for days), I started reading everything else I could find on indie publishing. And I began to wonder: Should I forsake "legacy" publishing for the indie world? Don’t I need the validation of a traditional publishing deal? Well, no. Wouldn’t I regret not funneling my work through the traditional gatekeepers? Again, no.
There are many business issues that affected my decision to go indie—the sea change in publishing, the rise of ebook sales, the shrinking number of brick-and-mortar stores, writers’ need to maintain their publishing rights, the skimpy royalties in most traditional contracts—but I won’t detail those here.
Suffice it to say that as a writer, what I want, first and foremost, is to get my work into the hands of readers. And in mid-July, I’ll be able to do that. As a secondary consideration, I want to control my work, from the content to the cover to the day of publication. Independence.
Before I close this post, let me give a long overdue thanks to all of you who have signed up as followers on my blog. I appreciate every single one of you.
Happy Independence Day, everyone!