The Indie Files – An Interlude

I haven’t neglected this series, I swear! We’re moving on to the hard topics, the ones about meta data, front matter vs back matter, formatting, and marketing. While I knew a little about the previous topics and had a vague idea of where to start looking for information, I know nothing about those particular topics, and I haven’t had the time to properly research them. I would hope you’re reading this series as a jumping off point for your own research, and I’d hate to provide you with piss-poor starting links.

Anyway. On to the purpose of this post.

I’d started researching self-publishing because I had a project I was considering self-publishing. The more I’ve learned, the more curious I get, and the more I start thinking, hey, maybe I can make this work.

Next year, I’ll be releasing two stories myself. At least, that’s the plan. The plan is contingent on a few things, namely timing and my release schedule with Entangled. I’m under contract for one book (which releases this summer) and they’re currently considering another that’s intended to be the start of a series. Should they pick it up, I have to work around that release schedule. So far, that’s the only thing on my radar, because I don’t have anything else to submit anywhere at the moment.

In the interest of full disclosure, both books releasing next year were submitted to – and rejected by – other publishers. It’s something you hear a lot of, people turning to self-publishing when they’ve been rejected, particularly if they’ve only been rejected a few times. Both stories were submitted to two publishers each. I chose not to query agents with either story because that’s not the route I’m taking at the moment. So why didn’t I submit to more publishers? Simple. The ones I chose were the ones I felt would be the best fit. It happened that they weren’t, and that’s fine. Yes, I could have done more research and submitted them to other publishers, and possibly found a home for one or both of them, but at this point, the lure of self-publishing is this sparkly, shiny thing in the distance, and I can’t resist sparkly, shiny things (and I’ve got the world’s largest collection of earrings to prove it).

So I took that first step this past weekend and sent one of the stories off to an editor (Rhonda Helms).

I’m fuckin’ scared. Here I am, getting ready to shell out probably close to 4k of my own money next year without any guarantee I’ll break even. Going indie is a huge risk to any author, regardless of whether you’ve released books through an established publisher or not. Hell, there’s a risk with publishing in general. There’s no magic formula for a best-selling book. At the end of the day, the amount of work you have to put in to selling the book is the same – the blog tours, the flashy ads, the giveaways and reviews, and yes, sometimes with a publisher you still have to pay for that yourself because the marketing budget just won’t stretch to include your book. It’s just that risk is exponentially higher when you’re doing all of it yourself, from hiring the editor to begging someone to design your flashy ad, because it’s your money on the line, not someone else’s.

All right already. What am I releasing next year?

First up is What Didn’t Happen That Night. It’s a contemporary romance, full of angst and snark and lots of smexy times. It’s a bit over the top in places, but at its core, it’s the story of two people who thought the risk of getting close to someone was too great – and they do it anyway. It’ll be getting a new title, too.

Later in the year I’ll be releasing Fracture. Set in a war zone, it’s not a happy romance. When you’ve got a heroine so numb she’s been living in a fog for two years and a hero who runs willingly through bullets because he likes the adrenaline rush, there’s not a lot of room for tenderness. It’s a dark story, and there’s no quick fix for either of them.

They’re both stories I felt needed to be heard, and I think that’s what it’s going to come down to, with the books I choose to release myself. Stories that need a voice, stories I’m not willing to turn over to just anyone, to relinquish that control. I’ve already set my sights on 2016 and another potential release. Ambitions. I has them.

But first, I have to learn about metadata.

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