Monday, March 28, 2016

I Chose the Road Not Taken...

When I say road not taken, I'm not talking about a meditative journey, or an adventurous vacation, I'm talking about stepping out of my comfort zone into something new.

Self publishing.

I have three novels, one short story, numerous magazine and newspaper articles via the traditional route; published by official publishing houses or agencies. That's cool and exciting-and slow. My middle grade adventure series has not found a home with the traditional publishers even though my agent was very excited about it.

This work has a special place in my heart. It wasn't the first novel that I wrote (those almost always end up in the trash can). I worked on this series of (so far) three books for years. A lot of years, don't ask specifically.)

I can't let it go.

So through and with my agent, Natalie Lakosil of the Bradford Literary Agency, we're taking this baby through self-publishing. I'm going through her for several reasons. First of all, she's my agent. We signed an agreement to work together. Doing something this big without her advice and guidance seems reckless and stupid. Second, she knows the business: knows which publishers are to be avoided, what a contract with an illustrator should have, what the price of services for typesetting and binding, etc. should be, and how to push me through the process without a major screw up on my end. Third, yes she gets a standard commission, but I get answers to questions without the hours of research, she'll post the books on her blog giving me exposure, and maybe if it does well, a traditional editor will reconsider pubbing it. It's money well spent.

I know a lot of people have self-pubbed. Some of it hasn't been pretty. Too many of these books have poor editing; Natalie and I have already polished my baby so it shines. I'm in the process of hiring a fantastic illustrator, and between the 3 of us, I know my cover will be stunning. When I see some of the covers out there (even in traditionally published books) I want to cringe. None of us want to be associated with a third rate book. As soon as I have a contract, I will introduce you to my illustrator. You may be surprised.

Finally, this is a labor of love on my part. I am spending time and money to do this right. As the process moves along, I'll journal it here. You can decide if this road, which is bound to be rocky and difficult, but provide many views I miss on the more traditional road, will have been worth it.

And while I work on this project, I still have other novels that Natalie will send down the traditional road. Hopefully, some good news will be forthcoming.

Wish me luck on my new adventure.

Postcards to come...


Illustration courtesy of Microsoft.

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