The Journey…It Is Changing …by Susan Lute
Posted by Susan
Things are changing. This is not a surprise to anyone involved in publishing today. When I published my first book in 2003, there were few expectations or options in regards to where I would publish. Epub was possible, but it wasn’t the vibrant entity it is today. You had your New York publishers, and that was pretty much it. Sourcebooks a fledgling company out of Napperville, Illinois was the newest kid on the block.
In 2012, the year of the dragon and change, there are so many choices. If I was a college student graduating today, wanting to pursue a career as an author, I wouldn’t have to look solely to the Legacy Publishers, as we call them now. E-publishers are alive and thriving, and the new kid on the block, self-publishing is giving her big sisters a run for their money.
But even in self-publishing, the journey is a winding road. Taking on a new day job…which I like a lot, btw; it’s interesting and challenging, and has perks that make the temporary lengthy commute worth it. Almost two months into it, I’m asking myself some hard questions, the first of which is when do I carve out time for the writing?
This is a question writers revisit over and over along their journey, because life is ever changing, especially now, when most of us don’t have the luxury, or the personality required (that would be me, lol) to stay home and just write. As you would expect, this has led to new discoveries and decisions that must be made.
I used to think writing for traditional publishers was a crazy, out of control life. It’s been a long time since a writer could just write the story, turn it over to their publisher, then start the next best seller. Believe me when I say, Indie publishing can be a mad, pull-your-hair-out, merry-go-ride. There aren’t enough hours in a day to keep up with everything everyone says you should do. This led to my newest epiphany. If you find yourself in the same harried place, whether you’re a writer, reader, or other artist, join me. We can stop. And have coffee together.
Here are the hard questions I was forced to ask myself this week. How many books do I have to publish a year to be successful? I know the big selling authors, and publishers are saying, as many as you can – four to six is ideal, but is it worth what you lose? The joy of writing the story? Can I get the joy back? If yes, how? Can I be a weekend writer, be happy with that AND successful? When can I get off the merry-go-round?
My answers in reverse order. I CAN get off the merry-go-round. I have the power, and in fact, that’s the first step. There are certain things you have to do as an Indie author to make yourself discoverable – the new catchword. But you don’t HAVE to do everything. It’s better if you don’t. For your sanity if nothing else, but especially to protect the writing. Do Not join every self-publishing group popping up on the net. Pick and choose wisely. Only become a member of communities that give back to its member rather than always soliciting something from you (see The Benefits Of Being A Commuting Writer for examples of stellar communities) Figure out what you love about telling a story and do THAT. I can be happy being a weekend writer for now. I’ll have to be more organized about it, and keep better office hours, but it can work. That’s an exciting thought all by itself! Can I be successful putting out two thoughtful, well written and packaged novels a year, rather than four to eight hurriedly finished books? You be I can! You can, too. Our novels are our calling cards. They are us presenting our true selves to the world. They have to be the VERY best we can do. That one decision cleared away the chaos and brought the joy back.
You can agree or disagree with me. I’d like to know what you think, because I believe this is the most important talking point at the moment. Can you produce your best work by rushing through the process because ‘they’ say that’s how it has to be done? Or, can you get off that merry-go-round, and write a novel generations from now will still be reading? Will that be your success story? I hope it’s mine.
About SusanAuthor, wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, dreamer.
Posted on June 24, 2012, in General and tagged 2012, change, epiphany, get off the merry-go-round, hard questions, indie author, merry-go-round, power, See Jane Publish, self-publish, success, Susan Lute, the journey, the year of the dragon. Bookmark the permalink. 13 Comments.