This year, I am changing my ways.
Instead of focusing on those areas of my mind or body or personality, which, by my own measure, aren’t making the grade, I am instead choosing to focus on relationships.
Let me explain.
At the beginning of 2011, I made the decision to self-publish my novels and short stories. It was January. The media hadn’t yet begun saturating their pages with articles about the revolution—for it truly is a revolution—taking place in homes and businesses all across America, thanks to a little thing called the e-book.
Did I query any literary agents before deciding to self-publish? Yes, I did. Eleven of them, to be exact. I received personal notes of rejection from three (“too long” they said, which I blog about in this post), form rejections from two, and silence from the remaining six agents.
There were many things wrong with the initial presentation of my work, I know that now. My summary wasn’t tight enough, my original opening chapter hadn’t yet been cut from the manuscript (I ended up cutting the first four chapters, by the way) and, frankly, I didn’t know enough about this business to function effectively in this marketplace.
Ultimately, my decision to self-publish was accidental. It turned out that the more deeply I researched the traditional book publishing world, the more certain I became that self-publishing was the best, if not the only, way to evolve from writer to author.
Beginning on New Year’s Day 2011, and continuing for a period of thirty days, I read everything I could find online regarding the subject of publishing a novel. One day, I came across the blog of man named J. A. Konrath. It was as though, suddenly, the first bright star had appeared in my night sky. It was affirmation, I felt, of my decision to move firmly, confidently forward into this new and great unknown.
I was on the right track.
This evening, I went into J. A. Konrath’s blog archives and re-read the first post that I had stumbled across one year ago. ‘Response to Richard Curtis’ was the name and, in it, Konrath states:
“Change is scary. When it first starts to occur, people are afraid of it,
and come up with excuses for it. Of course the industry wants to view
me as an anomaly. If I’m not an anomaly, and others can do what I’m
doing, the industry is in big trouble.“
Personally, I have received resistance, in varying forms, from people in my life. One friend was condescending, persistently, for about six months. She is no longer a person with whom I prioritize spending my precious, and limited, free time.
But she was the exception.
Most people I know, particularly those in my own family, looked at me at the beginning of all this, and asked, “But why would you self-publish? That’s not how it’s done.”
And, a year ago, that statement was true.
Fast-forward to the sound of the wild applause that, last night, rang in 2012. This is the year in which I will self-publish my first novel, Ava. I didn’t expect to wait this long, to delay until the calendar had changed years, but it was the right decision.
I needed to learn the core skills—primarily in the technology sector—that I most emphatically did not possess at this time last year. I needed to learn the art of communicating in the “entirely online world” in which e-books exist.
But the best part? It has been this: Over the past twelve months, I’ve met intelligent, interesting, confident, fearless individuals. Many are indie or self-published authors. Some are graphic designers or editors or bloggers. Others are SEO specialists or marketers or formatters.
All are readers.
Learning about their individual journeys—the differences, the similarities, the inspirations—fascinates me, fuels me. The willingness of these writers to be among the first to travel down this revolutionary road fills me with great confidence about the stability of the foundation of this new industry.
These are the relationships that form the center of my New Year’s Resolution: To shine a light on each and every individual I meet who is getting out there, taking the risks, facing the challenges, holding on tightly to self-confidence, and making a difference in the indie and self-publishing industries.
In 2012, I’m looking forward to interacting with you, fellow members of the self-publishing community, on the pages of your blogs and websites, on your Facebook and G+ accounts, and inside the stream of your Twitterverse.
Until then, I wish you love, opportunity, great books, and success in the New Year.Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in