June 2018: Publishing Path
~ Raisa Greywood ~
QUESTION: Which path did you take: Trad, Indie, or Hybrid? And what led you to that choice?
Raisa Greywood said:
That’s a very good question, and one I think every author should consider strongly before choosing one path over another. I’m hybrid at the moment, with both indie titles and several upcoming books with publishers.
Like many authors, I spammed (yes, I admit it) dozens of agents with what I thought was gorgeous prose with engaging and detailed characters. Most of them were kind enough not to laugh at those first attempts, but provided very little in the way of feedback on why they wouldn’t accept my work for representation.
Frankly, there is very little that is more soul-crushing than to receive one of those ‘thanks, but no thanks’ emails. I wouldn’t say I gave up, but I decided if I was going to get attention from those hallowed halls of publishing, I was going to have to get myself out there first. It’s a tremendous risk for an agent to take on an unpublished author, especially one who (cough) hadn’t learned the finer points of verb tenses and story construction.
That’s another issue altogether. Ladies and gentlemen, hone your craft before you expect anyone to take you seriously. And this applies no matter which publishing route you take. Nobody wants to read prose riddled with grammatical errors.
Then I learned agented submissions aren’t the only way to go. That was a watershed moment for me. Could I do it myself? Could I put a book out there and would people read it?
The answer is a resounding yes! Though I’m not as skilled at marketing as I should be, my little book, Wicked Deception, has been selling. And I did it without the help of an agent who would have skimmed a healthy percentage off my royalties. I don’t mean to denigrate the services of an agent. Far from it, in fact. IF you can get representation, go for it, but it’s not the only way to market and sell your work.
When I published Wicked Deception, it was on my own schedule. I held off on it for months, telling myself it wasn’t quite right yet as I worked up the nerve to hit that ‘submit’ button on KDP. I contracted the cover art long before I ever set a date for publication. It was very much like sending my firstborn off into the wilds as a grownup – and trust me, the feeling is exactly the same. I just delivered my Spawn to her new house and job eight freaking hours away!
That feeling of sick anticipation and dread won’t be there with the titles going out under publishers, and there’s some relief there, too. I’m not in this alone anymore, though the lessons I’ve learned as an indie will carry over to the titles I offer under a publisher’s umbrella.
And a funny thing happened after that one little book went live on Amazon. I was invited to participate in anthologies. Then, a publisher picked up an entire freaking SERIES from a pitch event hosted by Passionate Ink, and I was invited to participate in yet another multi-author series.
Of course, I said a resounding, “Yaaassss!” to all of those requests. Part of me squeed like a Little on a sugar high, and part of me wanted to wet myself in terror. What had I done?
Deadlines, edits, blurbs (which I hate), marketing, tweeting, Instagram… And these authors I’m working with are freaking USAT bestsellers! What if they don’t like what I’ve done? What if they laugh and point and say, “What the hell is this no-account hack doing in our august presence? Get the newb out of here, already!”
That has NOT happened! All the authors I’m working with on three unique and separate anthologies and boxed sets are incredibly generous and kind, and are the most amazing bunch to work with, but the initial feeling of not being good enough is persistent. Despite the fact that my work on one anthology is being used as a character guideline for eight amazing authors, that feeling of being the kid picked last for dodgeball remains and will probably stay there until I see that f*cker in print.
Putting out books with a publisher relieves you of all sorts of responsibilities. Many of them will cover your editing – which is expensive, and cover art – also pricey. In return, they will take a percentage of your royalties and ask for a period of time of exclusivity. You also gain a little bit of protection from legal issues when you fly under a publisher’s umbrella. Given the current state of turmoil in the indie community between #cockygate, the rampant abuse in Kindle Unlimited, and the astonishing amount of outright piracy, trad publishing can take a great deal of worry away. I made the hard decision to pull my indie titles out of KU because of Amazon’s nonsensical enforcement of their TOS, the abuse by clickfarmers and page stuffers, and the very real risk of losing my account if someone pirates my work. This WILL cost me money, but there aren’t enough antacids in the world to keep the budding ulcer at bay as the situation gets worse.
Trad publishing is also an excellent opportunity to grow a brand for a new author like me. I have almost no following right now, but that will grow based on the captive audience provided by the publishers. Those readers will invariably follow my indie books as well – at least I hope they will!
I guess the bottom line is that each author has to decide for themselves which path is best for them. There is no hard and fast answer for which is best. For me, I plan to remain hybrid.
Wicked Deception Book 1 of Wicked Magic
My father sold me into marriage. Though I know my worth is measured in their negotiated bride price, I accept the agreement. After all, how many young girls of reduced circumstance have the opportunity to marry a handsome earl? Such things happen only in halfpenny novels.
Richard, my husband, is both more and less than I expect. He demands such things from me and the pleasure is beyond my comprehension, though I know I get only the small part of him his mistress Angeline doesn’t claim for herself.
When my husband brings her to share our marriage bed, she binds me into a web of delight and agony I cannot escape. Nor do I want to. I am enthralled by their touch, my obedience bound to their will. My love for them is boundless, and I am their willing concubine.
The spell is broken when I learn what Angeline truly seeks. I know I must take back my husband and my family. Suffer not a witch to live, and I have labored too long under her spell.
All characters are over the age of 18, and this story is intended for mature audiences. This book contains dark themes, including unequal power exchange, corrective discipline, and explicit sexual content involving MFF ménage. Please do not purchase if these things are not to your liking.
Available in Ebook:
– Kindle – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B3XS4G8
More Authors Dish about their debut novel inspiration.
– Read the authors of Day One: http://coffeetimeromance.com/CoffeeThoughts/ad2018-jun-pub-day1/
– Read the authors of Day Two: http://coffeetimeromance.com/CoffeeThoughts/ad2018-jun-pub-day2/