Tuesday, 10 June 2008

I'll Take Door Number...?

I've been doing a bit of thinking about my path to publication, such that it is. When Stephen Parrish posted my latest book cover on his blog (thanks, Steve!) he mentioned a few lines from The Little Mermaid, ending with, "Wish I could be part of that world."

Sometimes I do feel like a little guppy swimming with the big fishies. Will I be one of them someday? I hope so. My chances increase with the support of people like Stephen,
Chris, Pat, Joanie, John and Bernita... well, the list could go on and on.

Did I pick the right door with my first book? With my second? I'm not here to complain. They might do well (eventually) but they could bomb, too. Some people in the industry dismiss e-publishers and the POD business plan as a bad choice -- that the author is only hurting his or her chances at success. Some say an author seeking representation shouldn't mention their published e-books. How can a small publisher with hundreds of authors give one little book the attention it deserves? How do authors get their books into 'brick and mortar' stores? Are they shooting themselves in the foot?


Maybe. But not always. Some authors are content to be part of a large group, happily releasing e-book after e-book and reaping modest financial rewards. Some e-publishers are successful while others are not. I know a few e-published authors who now have representation with their subsequent books.

I'm no expert on the ins and outs of publishing, so I won't stick my neck out and enter a debate about who's right and who's wrong. I can only tell you what works for me. I don't regret my decision to release my first two novels with e-publishers. They are both terrific companies and they are helping me learn the ins and outs of publishing, promotion and marketing on a modest scale. These strangers told me I don't suck at writing. It gives me motivation to keep trying.

I consider this stage in my writing career to be a growth stage. Some of my writer friends hit the ground running, finding success right out of the gate. I'm simply taking baby steps, sniffing the air and making friends along the way. As long as my writing brings a smile or a tear to a single face, I consider myself a success.


Every writer must choose the door that works best for him or her. Hopefully, it won't be a closet!


It won't be long before I find the key to that big publishing door, and the one beyond that, and the one beyond that.


Then watch me.

18 comments:

bunnygirl said...

The publishing industry is in flux right now. By e-publishing, you might find yourself in the vanguard or in the backwater. Although predictions abound regarding the future of the publishing biz, I'd take each of them with a grain of salt since everyone seems to have their own agenda.

I think in the end it's not important whether one e-publishes or goes POD, because if you approach an agent with a well-written query for a well-written and highly marketable manuscript, they'll take it. They're in the business to make money, not to enforce some random archaic rule set.

Bernita said...

You GO, Girl!
Your e-publishers are legitimate publishers, with proper and professional editorial standards.

BernardL said...

Getting anything published anywhere is a tremendous accomplishment. The following you generate in the E-pub venue will attract attention on a grander scale.

mlh said...

I'm watching you now. You've come a long way compared to others who just dabble in this biz thinking they will be "discovered" without putting in the necessary work to perfect their manuscripts. The fact that you are getting shout-outs on agents' blogs already says a lot!

laughingwolf said...

g'luck in all your endeavors, sandra

The Anti-Wife said...

Hi! You're going to do well because you want to and we all want that for you too.

Shona Snowden said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
McKoala said...

Well, however it was published didnt' matter when I was reading The Space Between, which I finished on the weekend. I really, really enjoyed it. To me it was a well-written and engaging read, with good characters and several surprises at the end. Great book and well worth publishing. Thank you.

Chumplet said...

Oh yay, Shona! I'm so glad you liked it.

My next book will be a tad longer so it might take longer than a few hours to read it LOL!

Kanani said...

I'd say it's too early to call it quits for e-publishing. The industry is evolving, and though agents will be the very first to pan it, daresay they really would be taking a risk to dismiss it altogether.

Besides, may I point out that a lot of poets are self published. The publishing houses just aren't interested --there's such a tiny market. But without poets and poetry, prose would suffer. So yes, we need self publishing.

Stephen Parrish said...

I'm with Bernita. And I'm one of those futurists who believe e-publishing will one day be the norm.

Chumplet said...

My books aren't self published, but a colleague at work self-published a couple of coffee table photography books. She is now with a traditional publisher for her next two books, non-fiction.

Kanani said...

It's like anything else. There are many avenues out there to get to where you want to be.

I learned a lot from Chester Aaron last year. For years he had an agent. Now, he doesn't. He still writes and publishes. Nothing has deterred him. Also, Frank Schaeffer has had MANY agents over the years. So even with an agent, there are bound to be changes!

Ello said...

I don't think you did anything wrong! I think you did great! You go girl!

Jamie Ford said...

Just keep writing, e-publishing or otherwise. Keep pressing forward.

Chumplet said...

Because of everyone's encouraging comments, I added 1500 words to The Yearbook. Thanks!

liss n kids said...

I DID visit your blog, Chumplet! (Elissa from AW) This post was very interesting to me, since you never really hear much about e-publishing when you're trying to sell your novel other than, "Oh, sure, SOME people do that." But I think you just can't know what door is the best one. I can compare it to my experience of working as a teacher at a Charter school. I was told when I accepted the job, "Well, you're ruining all your chances of ever having a job in the public school district." Seven years later, I would argue that the statement is not even true, but I'd also argue that I am perfectly happy right where I am!

Nice blog, and good luck with your writing! :)

Chumplet said...

Thanks, Elissa! Good luck with your new novel and your two cute kids.