The Fray vs. The Fringe
Posted by Jamie Brazil
Every summer my favorite weekend activity is sale-ing. As in yard sale-ing, garage sale-ing, rummage sale-ing. I love the thrill of the hunt, the promise of treasure, and the who-knows-what-I’ll-find-next excitement. Sometimes it’s not even about the shopping, but more importantly, just being part of the fun.
But the thing is, as much I like love a neighborhood garage sale, with hundreds of shoppers packed into a blocks-long parade of bargains, I rarely enter the fray. Instead, I stick to the fringe. I’m talking out-of-the-way cul-de-sacs, hidden driveways, and non-pedestrian-friendly terrain.
Seriously. This is how I’ve discovered some of my best scores. You’d be blown away by some of the stuff people grow tired of and sell at their sales. But I’ve also struck out with my “fringe” strategy and I’ve sometimes gone home empty handed.
What does this have to do with publishing? Everything.
One year ago, I was thrilled to be part of independent publishing. THE FRAY. The whole we’re-all-in-this-together vibe felt right. Yet twelve months later, I’m reconsidering my position… from the outer edge. THE FRINGE.
And here’s what I’ve discovered about myself: I still love writing, but I’m so out of love with publishing.
Some of this burnout has to do with time and money. Now that I’m working I have more money that I could spend on promotion. If I had the time. Which I don’t. Because I’d rather spend that time writing.
I’m intentionally not hustling books in the fray. I’m on the fringe, where it’s damn near impossible to get “discovered” by readers, let alone sell any books. Yet it’s something I’ve had to come to terms with. Because telling stories makes me happy.
Which begs the question, am I still an indie author if I exist on the fringe?