Below is the start of an article that’s been a long time coming.
After years of publishing my fiction through big commercial publishers, with thirty-two novels sold to the big New York houses as well as to international publishers around the planet, and more than a million books in print, I have decided to move to self-publishing my fiction.
Why am I going to start publishing myself?
First, because books don’t stay in print anymore with major publishing houses, and my 32-novel backlist has just about vanished.
Second, because I know self-publishing works, and doing this will allow me to write the books I want to write the way I want to write them, and present my stories to my readers without an intermediary.
I imagine it seems a little crazy to walk away from twenty years of publishing with the major New York publishers to go into indie publishing and do all the work myself.
The thing is, as fun as it is to walk into a bookstore and see your novels on the shelf, the rest of the experience gets old fast. Prior to reading John Locke’s book on self-publishing, I was going round and round with myself about giving up on fiction altogether.
I was already publishing non-fiction (my writing courses), and the experience was FUN. And all the frustration, headaches, and fury associated with my fiction career stood in stark contrast to me being able to talk live to my students in a forum, get immediate feedback on work, and, frankly, get paid regularly.
But I LOVE writing fiction. I didn’t want to quit—I simply didn’t see a way to make it fun again. To make it as immediate and joyful for me to create as my nonfiction.
When I read Locke’s book, I saw myself. Someone who does not care about the numbers, who is not interested in constantly pushing for more readers, who wants only to write stories people love and to get them to the people who will love them.
Being a “team player” has never been my strong suit. Not school, not in nursing, not in writing. I’m not writing for everybody, and I’m not interested in pretending I am. I want to write for the folks who already love what I’m doing, not to have someone constantly push me to make my work blander, safer, and more commercial so it will appeal to people who don’t like what I’m doing.
I was BORN to be indie. And now I can.
I hope you’ll join this adventure with me.