Bucking the Trends"Trendy" has never been a word people used to describe me. Little did I know, that fact would change my life. Two years ago I embarked on a journey called "indie publishing." It sounds like everyone is doing it today, but two years ago, it felt like bucking a trend: the old fashioned trend of waiting for some stranger in New York to give your work a chance.
Now, two years later, the new year has come in with a bang, or at least with a cold front. I've been busy writing the next novel, so I've been dismal about posting to my blog or updating my websites. As cold as it is outside (9 degrees in my neighborhood, with an expected high of 32), this is a great week to post something new. I certainly won't be gardening!
One of the activities I'm catching up on during the cold front is reading other blogs. I notice that there are a number of them talking about various trends in publishing and whether we, as authors, should pay attention to them. (Check out Jannine Gallant, and her article at Roses of Prose.)
In the old days (before indie publishing), the answer was a resounding yes. If you wanted to stand a chance of slipping through that keyhole in the gate of traditional publishing, you had to rush to revamp whatever you were working on to reflect the best seller of the moment. Ironically, all the editors and agents and so-called advice givers were telling you to ignore the trends, because they wanted to see something fresh. Then here comes the rejection slip. "Love your voice, love your plot. Not trendy enough." Or perhaps, "Can't sell Regencies set outside the UK." Or "Your romance element isn't strong enough. Tone down the mystery!" (Of course, mystery publishers would say, "Too much romance! Get rid of it!")
Now, however, writers have more options. We have the opportunity to test out our theories about the reading public. We can put our work out there without the blessing of traditional publishers. We can take our chances. We can see if something works by testing it in the marketplace.
Do I think everyone should go indie? No. It's a lot of hard work from Day One. The learning curve is huge. If you can't learn to format your own books, you must be ready to pay someone for that valuable service. Same goes for covers. It was a difficult moment when I realized that my childhood fantasy of being a visual artist was just that. A fantasy. My medium is words. If I wanted my covers to look great, I had to swallow that bitter pill of self knowledge and hire someone else to do it. And returns on your investment may take a while.
Do I think the effort and outlay is worth it? Oh, yes. For the right person, going indie is the perfect solution. For someone like me, whose books never clearly fit anyone's specific publishing guidelines, going indie has been a dream come true.
Trends? How about control over your output and your publishing schedule? Trending now! How about setting the prices for you own books? Trending now! And you can't beat the joy of knowing your books are "in print" until you decide to take them off the market. These are the trends I pay attention to.
So let's set a new trend for 2013. Let's set the trend of following your dreams and testing what you're made of. If not now, when?
Happy New Year, everyone!
Marriage of convenience.
Reviewer: “Don’t. Miss. This. One.” !!!
Sweet romance, cozy mystery, & dogs!
Reviewer: “Terrific read!” “Page turner”
Reviewers: "Suspenseful entertaining read" "Romance & adventure" "What fun!"
Reviewers: “Romp of a novella” “Barking good fun” “Dog lover’s delight”