As writer's we've learned to adapt. We all know that we start with this phenomenal idea. We groom it, we feed it, and it takes off to become an even more phenomenal story by the time we are done editing, polishing and as Liz put it "throwing out the garbage words". :-) Sometimes it means going in a direction we originally didn't plan, but the end result is the same if not better: A story that we're proud of. A story readers will devour and want more of.
Ever since Amazon stepped on the scene offering authors the ability to self-publish, or to even be represented by Amazon as they enter into the publishing biz, the writing world has been a whirling mass of opinions - both good and bad. It seems like every day I see a blog post, Facebook feed or Tweet related to some form of self-publishing. Just another way we have to adapt.
I, for one, like the idea of choices. I don't think publishers should tie their people down (or lock them in as it is sometimes referred). How many times throughout the submission process have we heard "I just filled a slot with something similar", "it's too overdone", "I like the author's voice but the story isn't unique enough", and I'm sure the list goes on and on. So what happens to those stories? Not once were you told it sucked or needed a major makeover. It's clean writing and an engaging read. So what to do with it?
Self publish it.
HOW can a publisher look at this in the negative. Yes, I understand if the genres are the same OR in some cases the extreme opposite (i.e. Cozy author does Erotica). You don't want your readers getting confused or disheartened because you've written something they don't or won't read. Hmm....maybe another reason why the pseudonym was invented?? But seriously, I see self publishing as a win-win for everyone. I mean, if you don't go to the extreme in a different genre, then I feel like as readers find out who you are they may try one of your other books, like it, become a fan and that can just increase sales numbers all around as they do their part through word of mouth etc... Through all of the postings I'm reading, the route to successful self publishing is slow and steady growth (eh-hem...see Liz, you're the trendsetter her!). There's nothing wrong with slow and steady as long as you're getting your stories out there for others to enjoy. And in the process you are building your name and building your brand. I find it all very exciting except there are sooo many authors turning to self publishing. I think it's becoming a question of what we have to do to make ourselves stand out, be found/read/heard.
Once more....something to adapt to.
I'm beginning to think we should be called chameleons instead of authors. Just don't send me to some exotic rainforest because I don't do well with the humidity (remember Orlando, people). I like change - but only when I control it. You know, like moving my furniture, getting a new vehicle, or painting the dining room. Under other conditions, I tend to internalize my panic. a.k.a. FREAK OUT.
Basically that is what I've been doing lately. I'm finally at a point where it's full steam ahead on my projects. There are 3 of them I need to get done by August so I can have covers made and get them up. They will be print and e-book and I'm so excited for this change! BUT...there is stuff I have to do that I'm not very good at. It's the getting myself out there. Oh, I can announce things. I just shy away from being that "in your face" author. Since the release of Santa Wore Combat Boots last December I've been trying to come up with some kind of interesting things to Facebook about or Tweet. Yeah....there in lies the problem. I think I'm a rather fun and nice person. Then why the hell don't I have anything to talk about?
You see, I've even stalked authors who I LOVE on Facebook because they keep us up to date on their book news but they also blend in pieces of themselves so you feel like you "know them". I want to do that, too! I don't want to be that author who only talks about her books. But in the same vein, I want to not get too personal about family, etc.... So I'm having a hard time finding that happy medium.
So while I'm working furiously over the summer, I will be thinking about how to do all of this which will help make my promotion ventures easier (I hope). I know I have to jump further into the blog-relm and line up blog tours and such - which Kari is the queen of so I will be picking her brains for sure!
Change is not only good, but it's inevitable. If I want to survive as an author, I have to do everything possible to aid in my success. While I'm STILL WAITING to hear about my cozy submission (BIG HONKIN HINT), it's full steam ahead with my self publishing. Cuz it's all good in Barbie-topia!
And if anyone has ideas as to how I can be more interesting on my Facebook and Twitter, please let me know. I'm open to suggestions. What kind of topics do you all like to see posted? Help me change so there won't have to be an intervention later.....
Oh, and Happy Mother's Day to all the Mom's, Grandma's, and moms to be!!!!!