This post is for Alex Cavanaugh’s Insecure Writers Support Group (click the link for details on what that means and how to join. You will also find a list of bloggers signed up to the challenge that are worth checking out. The first Wednesday of every month, we all post our thoughts, fears or words of encouragement for fellow writers.
This month’s question–What publishing path are you considering/did you take, and why?
My publishing background is long and varied. I have queried agents, even publishers, with limited success. Even when they’re interested, the relationship ultimately fails. Maybe I’m hard to work with. Maybe my query outstrips the book in enthusiasm, excitement, or expertise. Maybe it collapses when theory meets reality. I sure don’t know what nails the coffin shut.
But I have no give-up in me so I move onward. I have tried way too many marketplaces that should have worked. Google Play–who knew that would be a bust? I do sell some books there every month but less than from my own website. Then I signed on to Houghton Mifflin’s Marketplace. If you’re not familiar with that name, Houghton Mifflin is a premier name in books for schools. I thought I’d won the jackpot when they invited me onboard. I put a ton of work into building my store and making it pretty, to have it close down about a year later. Another time-sucking waste of energy.
For my non-fiction education books, I set up a co-op publishing company with a group of like-minded teachers to publish all of our books. I mastermind it, keep the website going, address all the legal issues (like GDPR), serve as solver-of-all-tech-issues, and upload new books. It’s a micro-publisher with an LLC, DBA, trademarks, and lots of copyrights. It’s supported with as much marketing as I can muster, which isn’t much because that takes me away from my fiction writing. Grr… Mostly it gives me a home for my 100+teacher books (that I also promote in other places).
When I began looking for fiction agents a few years ago, I admit to being a bit shopworn from a decade of trying to write/sell/publish/market. I decided to publish my novels on Kindle as digital-only. I do ponder their print-on-demand option but have been influenced by Diane Tilbert’s excellent review of KDP vs. Createspace to hold off on that decision (no proof copy before publishing? Really, Kindle?).
So, here’s what I recommend:
Traditional or Indie, who the f*** cares. Just do it. Either one.
More IWSG articles:
Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, the Rowe-Delamagente thrillers, and Born in a Treacherous Time, first in the Man vs. Nature collection. She is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, blog webmaster, an Amazon Vine Voice, a columnist for TeachHUB and NEA Today, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. Look for her next prehistoric fiction, Survival of the Fittest, Spring 2019. You can find her tech ed books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.