Wednesday, September 15, 2010
The road ahead
I'm down to the last edits of the Silky trilogy, which has been out in eBook form from two different publishers down through the years and is now going to a third and getting a print version. Actually, the third book of the trilogy hasn't been out before and it will also go to Holly's shop so that people there have a chance at it! This has been a lot of hard work, and the new editor has done a fantastic job with it. So many little things that just slipped through, as well as the work of making certain all three books remain consistent, especially since they were written over about a twenty year timeframe.
The publishing industry has gotten interesting. My current publisher is an experiment with other authors combining the strengths of traditional publishing (including an outside editor) with the power of the new world of publishing, which does include more control by the author. We'll see how well it works. I'm leading the way in the group of authors because -- well, because I am prolific and can afford to experiment with some of my work in a new enterprise. It's exciting. It will be at least another month, and possibly longer, before the publisher goes live. There's a lot of work to be done before then!
So I am dipping a bit more into the world of self-publishing in an odd, backwards sort of way. That suits me. I know the power of having outside people who can vet the work because authors can be blind to problems, especially after they've worked on something for so long. I also know that if I had done this when I first started writing (if there was such a thing back in those dark ages), I would have failed miserably because I wasn't a good writer. I thought I was, but after years of learning, I know how much I didn't know back then. I know that I can continue to learn, too.
I also know it's time to stop hording novels. I let a few out a year to go try their presentation to various publishers and agents. I have been working towards the high end for a while and not doing all that well. I know why. I often get notes back saying the writing is very good, but the story is not for them. It's what I've come to realize and said before -- I am writing for an Andre Norton audience in a Laurell K. Hamilton market. I don't fit what is selling right now. Will the market come back around? Maybe.
But I've written over 80 novels. Even taking just the top group of really good material, I still have more novels than I can get published in the rest of my life, even if I stopped writing today. Which, of course, I am not going to do. (The Devlin outlines are up to #6, by the way, and still going very well!) So, I am taking control. I am going to work through the new publisher and put out a number of them in both print and eBook format. We might do some shorter work as well. Then I'm going to be marketing like mad.
It's going to be a lot of work -- but for once, unlike Vision and Forward Motion, it is going to be work for me. That's probably not something people think much about. I know I don't consider it very often! I like FM and Vision (most of the time), but I spend far too much time trying to help others with their careers. I need to take an equal amount of time for my own. Well, maybe not an equal amount -- I don't have that much time just sitting around! LOL
Things are looking interesting. This might work. It might not. But at least it is something I can try.