I don't watch as many movies as I used to. When I can, I read. I write. But mostly I teach, feed my kids, do laundry, scrub floors, get snacks, crab at people, and stare at my manuscript somewhat envisioning the revisions I'll make the next time I open it.
When I was younger and without children, I watched a lot of tv and movies. My husband an I loved movies. (I often wish I would've gotten into writing sooner. I imagine how much I could've written in those days!) Some of my favorites, pre-hubby even, were Meg Ryan movies, such as French Kiss and You've Got Mail (the line my title for this post came from). I used to be able to recite French Kiss by heart. Lines like: "Yyeeeuu pipple meke my ass tweetch." and "I didn't used to think I'd be the kind of woman to say this, but it's true. All men are bastards."
As for the title of this post, "It's not personal, it's business" (from You've Got Mail), I was thinking about the business side of publishing. Of course publishing is personal. It's our very own stories and the characters we imagined and gave life to on the pages of our manuscripts!
So, in truth, it is personal, and it's also business. (So basically, the title for this post popped into my head and I used it without it actually having much at all to do with the post.)
That said. I've been back in the blogosphere a little bit this week, reading blogs by authors who've self-published. And I'm amazed and intrigued and kind of think that's a path I'd like to stroll down and do a little sight seeing.
What could make it more personal than doing it all, well, personally?
I haven't queried very widely in my four years of writing. My first novel went in a drawer pretty quickly after I could never get the beginning right. My second I couldn't get the query right, so I figured there had to be a plot issue. My third is still in the revision stages with a co-author (yo, Erica!) and my fourth (current novel) kept novel #2's characters but took on a fresh story. It is in its second or third revision. This is the one I love and will probably query, but am seriously thinking out a strategy for going indie with it.
I'm feeling a little bit stalkerish with the indie authors I've known about or am learning about through links and side bars and blogs and facebook this week. But I'm also seeing quite a bit of camaraderie amongst them, so I'm thinking they'd be happy to offer tips and won't mind me hanging around.
I have so many questions! So many answers are already out there, thanks to the above mentioned authors, but still so many more!
If you've wondered about the indie life, check out these authors' sites.
Hugh C. Howey blogs about an author who turned down a $120,000 book deal to go indie because she (using research and figures) decided she'd make more self-publishing.
Susan Kaye Quinn provides a wealth of knowledge and experience on self-publishing. Right now I'm stuck on her five year plan. I'm overwhelmed by the details and planning of going indie, and yet am thinking "I think I can do this, in some way shape or form." I can't quit my day job, am not ready to quit a day job I enjoy, so I couldn't take on the same goals as full-time writers do, but with a five year plan, I can visualize what I am able to do and make my goals and dreams realistic for me, my family, my writing and my life. Quinn has great links for the professionals you'd need to help you out too, from editors and formatters and cover designers, etc.
Leigh Ann Kopans, an author who got an agent and still chose to go indie. This shows that being a hybrid author (or having that goal) is doable as well. There are options!
H.P Mallory, a very successful indie author who offers info for others who want to give it a try too
another best-selling indie author, Kristen Lamb, offering advice on what NOT to do when self-published, because, let's face it, some people are not ready to take that road when they do. That's why all the people who plan out all the details and dedicate themselves to the business side of putting a flawless product out there for readers inspire me. If I do this, I want to do it absolutely the right way. Without rush, without error. (Those who start out before they are ready can always revamp, revise and try again!)
All of The Indelibles who have come together to help one another and others interested in learning about going, and surviving, the indie life amaze.
And the first blogger friend I watched decide to self-publish, in utter fascination, and take off with a trilogy (I devoured) and start her own media company, Rachel Morgan. Without her recent post sharing the number of sales she made this past year, I wouldn't even be considering this, because in my real world, I have to be thinking about income and my family and what time and money spent on publishing means for us. She made it feasible, a viable "Honey, I think I'd like to do this." type of conversation and a worthwhile daydream. Along with all the other blog links I've been scouring--okay that is not the right word-- this week, hers was a catalyst to me writing this post.
There are more, so many more, but this is where I'll stop linking for tonight. I think the best thing right now is the freedom of options, that I could make my writing a business, more than the hobby my husband and parents think it is. I like the creative control being an independent author offers. I like being able to publish what I want, when I want and being in control of the income, the cover, the title, the editing, etc. I used to want an agent and then a publisher for validation of my writing, but I have access to writers now that I didn't have four years ago. And there are people I trust to tell me if something I'm writing is crap. I won't publish something if it's crap. I'll start over until I write something that many people think is "wow".
For now, I need to get readmitted to my Master's program and finish a thesis, take five more credits to renew my teaching license next June, teach, be a mom, finish my revisions. I've read that it takes three books to make a decent name for oneself as a self-published author and since I won't be able to write three books in one year, I figure I'll wait until I have the two or three ready to go. So, I have time to learn more, to plan, and to take action.
I'm sure I'll bring this up again!
p.s. if you can help me think of the word I mean that is not scouring...i'll be incredibly grateful. oy.