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.