The Problem with Pen Names

I have three, no scratch that four, blogs for my various pen names.  I have two twitter accounts.  I have a personal FB page and two FB author pages.  I have ten email addresses related to my writing and six user profiles across three writing forums.  All because I have too many pen names.  (Which won’t easily combine so it is what it is.)

Which makes posting any sort of news problematic.  Do I post it on my personal FB page for writers and other friends who know me to see?  Do I post it on the blog for that particular pen name?  Or on one of the forums I frequent? Do I tweet it to the world?

What do I share and where?

If I’m in a promo (and I’m in a couple this month) do I just share the promo on the pages for that pen name?  Or maybe my personal page as well as the ones for that pen name?

It all gets very confusing very fast.

And if I share the same piece of good news across author names then what’s the point of having those different author names because an astute observer could just tie them together?  After all, some of the purpose behind the pen names is just marketing categories, but not all of it.

Which is all to say I’ve had a couple pieces of good writer news today and was at a loss for where to share it.  One ended up on my personal FB page because it’s broad writerly news not tied to one specific name and of general interest to my friends and not something I could broadcast publicly under any specific pen name although I wanted to shout it from the rooftops.  The other ended up posted in a writers’ group I’m part of on FB because it was one of those things that only fellow writers would care about. (I just sold my 50th paperback of the month which is an awesome little achievement for me but irrelevant to pretty much everyone but me.)

Someday I will hit a point in my career where keeping separate pen names simply won’t work.  Someone will out the ones they know or I’ll need to make public appearances or someone with way too much time on their hands will connect the dots.

That day will be both a relief and an annoyance.  Until then I get to feel like I have twenty fractured identities, none of which fit together well…

Posted in Writing | Tagged , , ,

A Reminder About Depression

It’s been a looong time since I’ve mentioned depression here on the blog.  But on Twitter today one of the folks I followed shared a link to a blog post I thought was worth sharing by someone who is struggling to bring themselves out of a bout of depression at the moment.

So check out Moving Forward by Stepping Back by Nena.

It’s interesting to me to think back on those earlier posts I shared about writers and depression.  It’s definitely a risk in this field.  But what I look back at now is that when I shared them I myself as a beginning writer wasn’t feeling any sort of depression.  I shared the articles because I’ve had people close to me struggle with depression–to the point of trying to kill themselves–so I know how hard that struggle can be.

But the longer I’ve walked down this writerly journey the more I’ve found that there are aspects to it that really do challenge me and my own mental health and balance.  I still wouldn’t describe myself as depressed, but I would say that at times social media and the influence of the outside world weighs upon me.

It’s so judgemental and opinionated.  I see one of those articles like, “The Five Things You Should Never Say To…” and my gut clenches.  (The latest was what you should never say to a waiter/waitress like they’re some monolithic whole that all think the same way.)  Or I see someone post an opinion and then get attacked and called out and threatened for it.  Or, well, politics.

It turns out in my real-life personal world I’m very good at weeding out people who will drag me down emotionally.  In fact, I’m almost ruthless about it. But I can’t do the same online.  It’s either too visible to try to do so (why’d you unfriend me, why’d you unfollow me) or it just blindsides you (even “safe” people like or share things that can drag me down the rabbit hole).

And I keep thinking, I just need to walk away from social media.  But when you’re trying to keep up with an ever-shifting landscape that’s hard to do.  Walking away from forums and blogs and FB and Twitter means walking away from knowledge and connection and when you’re trying to make money off of your art, that’s something you don’t want to lose.

But maybe, sometimes, mental health matters more.

So for anyone out there that’s feeling overwhelmed or dragged down or just weighed upon by all those other voices clamoring for your time and energy?  It’s okay to turn them off.  Yeah, sure, maybe you miss a little here or there, but it won’t be the end of the world.  (And if it is the end of the world, well…it’ll be a little too late at that point anyway, right?)

Now to just follow my own advice…I have a novel to write after all.

Posted in General, Life | Tagged , , , , ,

Clawing My Way Forward One Day At a Time

I should be writing, but I’m not.  So I figured it was a good time to stop and reassess and maybe tell a story that might give someone somewhere a glimmer of hope…

(Maybe.  Or be that last nail in the coffin of your writing aspirations, depending on  if you’re a half-full or half-empty sort.)

Okay, so background and context:

I’ve been at this writing thing for five and a half years and in typical me fashion when I decided I wanted to be a published writer I started off with a bang by writing a novel in the first six weeks or so.

It sucked.  I think I had point of view and tense okay because I’d read enough novels by then that that part was almost intuitive, but the story itself and the structure sucked.

So I rewrote it.  And rewrote it.  And rewrote it.  And nine drafts and one year later thought it was good enough to query.  I admittedly didn’t query hard but I got a “send the next one” rejection from an agent, which was cool.

In the meantime I got derailed by another agent who informed me I needed to master the art of short story telling first, get pub credits on that side, and then I could sell a novel to the big guys.  So there went a year of writing short stories.  And I came close with those, too.  I have some very nice personal “almost bought it” rejections from the top markets.

But I really wanted to write my novels.  And I was tired of talking around my stories on here without being able to talk about them.  (Of course, thanks to pen names I do that now anyway…)  And I figured why sell my work for token rates if I could instead keep control of it myself.

So I self-pubbed.  Two non-fiction titles under a pen name (because I had no platform and no chance of selling those trad), five short stories, and a short story collection over the course of four months.  (With horrible covers by the way…but live and learn, right?)

I even had a plan.  I was gonna write and publish a short story a week until I got that momentum and that audience.  But…life.

So one cross-country move and a full-time work project that sucked everything out of me later, I didn’t write or publish anything for almost ten months.  But I had made some good money, so I went full-time, writing my butt off (sort of), hoping against hope that I’d get something out there that would earn me enough to stay full-time.

I didn’t.

And I found that being full-time for me was a bit of a waste because I am not a write-ten-hours-a-day person.  On my best day when I wrote 9,406 words I did it in about three hours.  And that’s probably my max and I couldn’t do that day in or day out.  (Likely a non-fiction day, for those who just freaked out.)  Me full-time is me putzing around on the internet reading blogs and getting stressed by the latest writerly drama.

But it was a good year for me.

Half a million published words later I’d learned a lot.  Like romance does sell easier.  Same with novels.  Same with related titles.  And that a cheap genre-appropriate cover could do just fine.

And the year wasn’t a complete bust. I’d seen glimmers of hope here or there.  Two titles that sold easily right away and gave me my first $600 month.  (Chump change to some, but nice numbers to me.)

But I didn’t pursue those successes.  (That’s that whole write to market discussion.  If I were just writing to pay the bills I’d be all over erom and probably making six figures by now, but there are easier ways to make money for me that I’d probably enjoy/not enjoy just as much.)

At the end of that year I took my heart in my hands and finally published a fantasy novel I really believed in.  (Under a pen name, of course, because who wants to leverage all the hard work they’ve already done.  That would be silly.)

And it did okay.  But not as okay as I’d wanted.  Not enough to pay for its cover.  Not enough to shoot it up the charts.  And I probably cried and doubted my ability to continue and wondered if I was a talentless hack after all.

But I got fan mail!  And friends who’d bought it raving to me about it on Facebook!

So I told myself I needed to put out the full series and then it might take off.  And even though I knew it would mean going into some serious debt, I was prepared to do that and get those books out in the next six months.

But…life.

I got a work offer and I couldn’t exactly turn down money.  (No move this time, yay.)  And then I got another work offer.  (I didn’t go looking for either one, but I’d told myself I’d take work if it came along.)

And I started to find some balance.  The work pays the bills.  (Almost, mostly.)  And I still get the time I need to write.  (Usually.)

Of course, because the work pays the bills, I no longer have this urgency to finish those books NOW.  Which means I finished one and got it out there but the third in series probably won’t be out until next summer.  (It seems I am more on a traditional publishing timeline than a self-publishing timeline, but that’s okay.)

And that novel has started to do better with some steady advertising and picked up some more nice reviews.  (Writer’s Digest gave it an almost perfect score in their contest this year. Yay.)

I just hit the point where I’ve grossed $1,000 off the novel, which makes it my first standalone title to hit that mark.  (One of my romance series did that a long time ago.)  So, steadily but surely, things are moving upward.  Year 2 of self-pub was better than Year 1 and Year 3 was better than that and Year 4 is looking to be the best yet by a long stretch.

Some days (most days) this writing thing feels like I’m clawing my way up a sheer rock face and hanging on by bloodied fingertips, but that’s just the way it is for some of us.  And I’m too gosh-darned stubborn to quit.  (And it seems too full of ideas…I’m planning to focus on two of the pen names next year, but I have a “maybe, also” list below that with six titles related to four other pen names not to mention the folder full of other ideas I’d love to pursue if only I had all the time in the world.)

So if you’re out there and starting out and getting bummed by how slow things are going, don’t give up just yet.  And don’t think that just because a title doesn’t take off right away that it never will.  I made more in audio on the first title I ever published in one month this year than I did on that title the first two years it was out.  You just never know, so don’t quit, adapt.

 

Posted in Life, My Writing | Tagged , , , ,

The Confidence Not to Explain

I’m in the midst of a reading binge at the moment and I’m on book three of a very popular fantasy series and, as a reader, am experiencing a certain amount of frustration.  Now, problem once you start writing is that I don’t think you can ever really read just as a reader ever again.  So it’s quite possible that what I’m about to mention is something I notice because I write and that your average everyday reader wouldn’t notice, but it’s bugging the hell out of me and this is my blog where I get to discuss these sorts of things, so I’m going to.

What is the issue?

It feels like the author of this book took a lot of flak for their worldbuilding in books one and two and decided they had to explain themselves in book three.  So, thankfully not as part of the main action and dialogue, this book is full of verbose explanations around why this world works differently than our world.

It’s like someone asked, “Hey, such and such cataclysmic thing is happening in this world so how is x even possible at all?” and the author either thought, “Oh shit, I didn’t think about it, better come up with a good explanation” or “Well, let me let you in on this absolutely irrelevant bit of worldbuilding that explains that.”

Either way, I don’t think it’s necessary and I think it probably has the exact opposite effect of what the author intended.  Because there were probably 1-2% of readers who cared about this at all in books 1 and 2, but now, with the author stopping to point it all out and explain it, every single reader notices the discrepancies and has to buy into the explanations for them.

Getting a reader to buy into your exact explanation for something is a helluva lot harder than just leaving it up to readers to explain for themselves.  (Just like with character descriptions.  The more detailed you are in describing a character, the more of a disconnect you’ll likely have with your readers on what that character looks like.)

This author needed the confidence to say, “This is my world, this is how it works.  It’s internally consistent and if you’re bought into the world you shouldn’t have a problem,” and left it at that.

If they really wanted to explain themselves to that 1-2% of readers they should’ve done it on a blog.  Or in the appendix.  Or an expensive, special edition compendium on the world.  Anywhere but in the midst of the story.

After all, part of reading any story (especially spec fic) is the suspension of disbelief.  Sure, it’s cool when it all works in accordance with how we think things work today, but…it’s fantasy.  It’s a completely different world.  Or it’s sci-fi, five hundred years in the future and in a part of the galaxy we’ve never seen.  It needs to be somewhat close to modern understanding, but not 100%.  Not if it’s a good story.  (I mean, Star Wars.  Really?)

Personally, I prefer those authors that have the confidence in their story to not explain those kinds of things.  Ideally, they’ve thought about them and know that x is possible due to a genetic mutation or whatever, but I’d rather they just wrote the world they’re writing and made sure it was internally consistent and didn’t stop to try to convince their readers to agree with it.

But maybe that’s just me…

Posted in General | Tagged , , , ,

Ah, to be able to focus on one series

So it’s the end of the year and there’s a novel I should’ve finished and published back in August/September that I’m only 13k words into which leads me to procrastinating.  Note to self: Do not write two novels whose main theme revolves around grief in the same year ever, ever again.

Anyway.

That leads me to doing what I so love to do which is crunch numbers and analyze my results.  I’m pretty much maxed out on what I can do in terms of my AMS ad analysis at this point which leads me to the “what should I focus on for next year?” dilemma.

As I may have mentioned before, I have eight pen names.  Why do I have eight pen names?  Because I’m a fool.

No, actually, not true.  More because I write such a wide variety of things that they don’t sit well under one name.  I suspect that if anyone lined up all of the titles I’ve published so far they wouldn’t actually believe they were all written by the same person they are so vastly different from one another.

And I know in my heart of hearts that to achieve lasting success at this I need to cut back and focus on just one or maybe two.  I know this.

Problem is, which one?

My top ten titles are spread across six of those names.

And one of the names that isn’t in my top ten is now doing quite well for itself and will probably be there within the next month or two.

This one (M.H. Lee) could probably go.  It’s such a hodge podge of randomness, mostly short stories that aren’t big sellers for a self-publisher.  But I want to finish Erelia and once I do who knows how it’ll go.  Write the entire series, slap some good covers on it, and actually promo it and, if early reviews are an indication, it’ll probably do just fine.

So here I am with two fantasy novels, a romance novel, two romance collections on opposite sides of the heat scale, a romance short story, and four non-fiction titles on three completely unrelated topics as my best sellers.

I know that I should pick one name and run with it.  Finish the fantasy series, write a related series under that name, blog and tweet and FB under that name all the time, and go, go, go.

But I’m pretty sure I’m not that person.

There’s a reason I ended up with three majors in college.  (And would’ve majored in six subjects if I could’ve gotten away with it.  Religion?  Linguistics?  Computer programming?  Russian literature?  Counseling?  The possibilities were endless.)

I think if I had to write one series only, I’d quit.  I’d be so bored I’d just walk away from it and never come back.  I have the day job for pay-the-bills-but-slowly-numb-the-mind.  Writing is where I get to play and explore and try new things.

Of course, this lack of focus is also the reason I still need the day job…

Sigh.

So what are my plans for next year?  Haha.  Well…As of now I have one romance novel, two fantasy novels (possibly three, all in different series), and five non-fiction books on four separate subjects on the schedule.  Good news is that’s only four of the pen names, maybe five.

Of course, that will also likely change as life happens…

Well, at least it keeps me entertained, right?  The perks of not being under a contract and being small fry enough that no one cares what I write.

(Of course, I should note for anyone who is dying for me to write something specific, just drop a line and you’re likely to move that project up on the priority list…)

Posted in My Writing | Tagged , , , , ,

A Matter of Perspective

As I’ve mentioned before, my dad was terminally ill most of his adult life.  He didn’t have his kidneys so had to dialyze three times a week for over twenty years.  If you had asked him what he wanted most in life he would’ve likely said to be healthy.  Or being healthy would’ve certainly been on his top five.  That’s because for him something that most of us take for granted was front and center in his daily experience.

This year has centered a few things for me that I don’t normally even consider.

For the last five years or so I’ve had a list up next to my desk wherever it was that I was living at the time that said, “What Do I Value.”  It was a guide of sorts to how to make decisions about which paths to take.

The original version of the list was: Family, Friends, Financial Security, Health/Access to Outdoors, Mental Challenge, Peace/Comfort, and Natural Beauty.

It meant that if I were offered an opportunity to make a lot of money I might turn it down if it took me away from time with family or to a place where I didn’t think I could be healthy and get outside on a regular basis.  (In other words, I ain’t moving to New York City anytime soon.)

The revised list reflects my experiences in following that priority list for a few years.  Financial stability moved up a few spots.  (Spend a year building up debt instead of paying it down and you remember that paying your bills on a regular basis is a nice thing to do.)

But what’s interesting to me now is what I didn’t even think to include on that list because I simply assumed it would be there.  And that’s physical security and social stability.

I have the life I have because I live in a country where I am physically safe 99.9% of the time.  No one (let’s hope) is going to bust down my door and steal what I have or kidnap me for ransom anytime soon.

Why?  Because I live in a safe environment with the rule of law protecting me even when no one is around to enforce it.  And I have steady access to food, electricity, internet, and water because I live in a country where social stability allows for these things to be readily available and affordable.

For many people around the world that’s not the case.  They’ve lived their entire lives without physical security or social stability.  Or any of the basic comforts that I take for granted living where I do.  Their list of what they value or want in life would be very different from mine.

It’s easy for someone like me to assume that things will continue to be at least as good as they are right now and to only think of what more I can have or achieve, but that’s not always how it works.

So much of what I have today requires the ongoing support of thousands if not millions of other people working together to create that stable society.  Functioning roads, electricity, water, internet, food, a stable currency, safe neighborhoods, etc.  None of it exists without the cooperation and effort of millions.  I get to spend my days writing for a living because someone out there is willing to spend their time growing food and someone else is willing to spend their time maintaining the electrical grid.

Now, being the paranoid sort of person I am, I’ve always sort of carried around this notion that the only reason I’m not dead is because no one out there cares enough to want me dead.  (I’m weird, what can I say?)  So it’s not like this was some big awakening for me that I’m vulnerable.

But I will say that this year I’m finally feeling nervous about how the bigger forces at work in my country will impact me and all those millions who’ve helped create this world we live in today.  So with that shift in perspective I’ve added three new items to my list: physical security, social stability, and independence/health.

They’re far more out of my control than I’d like them to be.  But not entirely.  And at least now they’re on my radar so I can make choices that take them into account.

Posted in Life

Too Much and Not Enough Content

I think I can safely say that there is more written content available right now, today, than any one person could every possibly read in an entire lifetime.

At the same time, I find myself looking at the list of blogs or authors I regularly read and thinking, “Why don’t you post or publish more often???  I have nothing to read.”

It’s certain that there are authors out there who’ve written books or blogs that I would certainly enjoy if I were to try them out that I either haven’t heard of or haven’t been motivated enough to give a shot.

Which I guess goes back to a basic truth for anyone thinking of publishing their own work.  One, there’s still room for you.  Despite the huge number of alternatives out there, if you write something good that resonates with people there’s still a hunger there for your content, so don’t let the sheer numbers intimidate you into not even trying.

But, two, discoverability will be your greatest challenge.  How will you find your way to that reader who will love your content if only they give it a shot?  How do you convince them that their precious time should be gambled on you?

(I’ll let you all know when I figure that second one out…Haha)

Posted in General, Writing

I am a coward

So an election happened here this week.  You might’ve noticed?  And there are many, many discussions occurring around it.  On Facebook and Twitter they’re going on, from both sides of the divide.  And I see those conversations and I think, “I could respond to that…” with encouragement or questions, a counter-argument, support or denouncement.

But I don’t.

A few moments ago I almost retweeted an announcement on something that happened at my alma mater with “this disgusts me.”

But I didn’t.

Because I’m a coward.

I don’t feel safe to have those conversations online.  I don’t feel I can say some of the things I want to say without making myself a target of anger (from both side of this, not just one).

There’s a part of me that wonders if in other points in history this was how some people felt.  Nervous, on edge at the anger around them, and unable to do anything to defuse it for fear of becoming its target instead.  And I wonder if those people watched from the sidelines paralyzed as their world tore itself apart.

I firmly believe it wouldn’t have mattered who won this, we are a country divided, split on issues that can’t be reconciled.  Just look at how the religious vote split and the rural/urban vote split.

But there again, I start down a path of talking about things that expose me and I’m too afraid to go there, here, in the real world.  So I’ll do it through my stories under a name that isn’t mine.

Although, even there the risk of anger and backlash is strong.

 

Posted in Life, My Writing | 1 Comment

When the World Makes You Stumble

I am fortunate enough, even in this contentious election period to be able to walk through life comfortable in the (incorrect) belief that most people see the world the way I do or that if we were to sit down and exchange ideas that we’d be able to understand one another’s points of view and maybe reach a “I can see why you think that, although I don’t agree” sort of place.

And then, from the most surprising of places, I find that, no, that’s not really true.  Today I learned I have a vastly different perspective from someone I figured I was maybe sort of kind of aligned with.  And that a group of people I thought of as generally leaning one way also includes people ravenously leaning the other way.

Today’s stumble came in two parts.

First was a Facebook post by an author I like urging people to vote.  No problem with that post–we agreed on who the candidate should be so I just nodded my head and kept going.  But the response of someone in the comments section?  Hoo boy.  That was, to me, a ball of crazy talk. I could actually picture this person foaming at the mouth as they wrote their reply to this author and talked about all the reasons they were against that candidate (a good half of which I’m pretty sure couldn’t even come close to being substantiated by reality).

I thought to myself when I read it, but you’re a writer.  You have to think to write and you think this?  How?  How is this possible? (Not the first writer this political season that I’ve questioned.  Ran into one at a con last weekend, too.)

So I was sort of reeling from that.

And then I read a description of a book I happen to like, that I think includes a valuable lesson (if you take too much from others and don’t do for yourself, what are you going to do when they decide to quit letting you take from them?) by an author I usually like, and the way this person described that book was so diametrically opposed to how I would describe it that I was shocked. This person also implied that anyone who liked that book was clearly part of the “wrong” side in this election which I found offensive since I’m not.

I can see how this author could characterize the book that way, although I never had and  it’s not at all what I took from it, but having them call people out for liking the book and pairing them with voting for someone I would never vote for was a jarring experience.

All of it was an unpleasant reminder that we are all unique and different, with our own perceptions and biases, and even when we have some form of shared history or profession it doesn’t mean we see the world at all the same.

I can see a candidate and be horrified.  Someone else sees the one I’d vote for and is equally horrified.  And no way one of us will be convinced to the other’s side.  None.

And I can read a book one way and someone else can see in it something completely different. And maybe knowing that other perspective will ruin it for one of us, but more likely it’ll just highlight how very, very different people really are.

Normally we can all just keep putzing along in our lives, knowing but not really focusing on those differences.

Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s the case with this current election. No matter who wins in the next few days, I think we’re all going to stumble very hard on those differences over the next year.

And it scares the shit out of me.

Posted in Life | Tagged ,

What Indie Publishing Is Not

First, before I go into this rant, a quick note to say that I will be at MileHiCon in Denver at the end of the month.  If anyone is going to be there, feel free to stop by and say hello.  I will be the one you don’t think I am.

So, on to the rant…

Earlier this year I went to Worldcon for the first time.  It was quite the experience.  Full of people and events and (luckily) friends I knew from other events I’d attended in the past.  Not having been to Worldcon before and not being one that particularly geeks out over specific sff shows or books, I checked out the programming before I went to see what might be of interest.

They had a tag for self-publishing.  (Oh good.)

There were only two events with that tag.  (Not so good.)

The first event with that tag was  a panel on fan fiction.  (What the $@%#!)

Indie publishing , self-publishing, whatever you want to call it IS NOT FAN FICTION.

As a matter of fact, trying to self-publish fan fiction is a good way to get your ass sued. Because there’s this little thing called copyright that comes into play and it means that if you don’t have permission to play in another author’s world that you are technically violating their copyright by writing stories that feature their world or their characters.  Sure, a lot of authors turn a blind eye to it because it means someone loved what you wrote enough to want to spend more time in your world and who wants to turn on their fans that way.  But…it is not the same when someone tries to piggyback off your world to make themselves money.

Indie publishing CANNOT be fan fiction.  The two do not overlap.  (And before someone spouts off at me about 50 Shades, please go read both books and diagram for me how that book shares any of the actual world or characters of Twilight.)

That was my first WTF moment.

The second  one came last week when The Book Life Report, which is put out by Publishers Weekly and supposed to contain the latest news for indie authors declared “Authors Guild Membership Now Available to Indie Authors.”  (To be fair, it was a link to an article by Good E-Reader, but they did include it in their newsletter.)

At first, I thought, oh that’s good.  Robert Sawyer gave a speech at RMFW this year where he talked about the value of authors working together so that we have power to negotiate advances and pay-per-word on short stories and he specifically mentioned Authors Guild.  At the time they weren’t open to indies so that suggestion fell flat with a certain percentage of the room, but when I saw this article I thought, look there, they’re taking some serious steps to actually represent all authors.  Good on them.

And then I clicked on the link.

And saw the very large graphic which says “Introducing the New Emerging Writer Membership.”

I bit my lip, rolled my eyes, and took a deep breath before I started reading the details.

Why was I so annoyed?  Because, while I personally do not, I know indie writers who make a million dollars a year from their books.  And far more who make six-figures.

Is that an emerging writer?  No.

No, it is not.  That is a fucking professional at the top of their game.

Are some indies emerging writers?  Sure.

But not all.  You want to be inclusive of indies, you give them access to full membership when they reach a certain level of success.

You don’t slap them in the face by labeling all of them as emerging writers.

Indie publishing is NOT JUST SOMETHING YOU DO BECAUSE YOU CAN’T GET A TRADE DEAL.

Now, I know, that’s not true for all writers.  There are those who show up on Kboards somewhat regularly asking about getting an agent or signing with a press or talk about using the phenomenal success they expect from self-publishing to springboard them to a trade deal.  But there are even more authors on there who shout about how you couldn’t pay them enough money to sign a trade deal because they make so much more publishing themselves.

And I will admit that when I first self-pubbed I fully expected to go the trade route with my novels and that all I put up originally were short stories that had almost placed in pro-paying markets and non-fiction that I knew wasn’t viable for a publisher.

But at this point?  With five novels out under various names and over a dozen non-fiction titles and way too many short fiction titles? No.  I may not be successful, but I am not emerging either.

It’s time that people realized that self-publishing or indie-publishing or whatever people want to call it today (being an author-publisher) is a viable publication strategy that can make real money for those who pursue it.

It’s not going away.  It’s not fan fiction.  It’s not what emerging writers do before they make it.  It’s not a stepping stone to trade publication (although hybrid publishing is a viable and attractive option).

It’s a path that many have taken successfully and will continue to pursue.

Organizations that cater to writers need to understand that and respect that.  We’re too late in the game for these kinds of screw-ups.

 

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